4 Herbs to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Do you suffer from weight gain, fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, or an irregular heart rate? These can be signs of a hormonal imbalance.
Our hormones play an important role in regulating everything from mood to menstrual cycles to fertility, and metabolism. Keeping our hormones balanced is key to making sure your body is functioning at its best.
Here are four natural herbs that can help to balance your hormones that have been used in ancient remedies for centuries.
This herb is a potent adaptogen, which is a non-toxic plant that helps the body resist stressors. Ashwagandha is great at balancing hormones and addressing stress, anxiety, and depression. Traditionally, it was often used to normalize low thyroid (hypothyroidism). This herb can also lower high blood sugar and high cholesterol.
You can start by supplementing with 300 to 500 mg a day. Many supplement instructions recommend taking 1,000 to 1,500 mg a day, however, begin with a lower dose and work your way up to this for the best results.
Also known as chasteberry, vitex can help to boost fertility. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that when 53 women who were not able to conceive for 6 to 36 months were given a herbal blend with vitex, in addition to green tea, vitamins, and minerals, all of their menstrual cycles normalized. 26 percent of the women become pregnant within the first three months, and 5 percent got pregnant after six months.
A popular herbal remedy for PMS and cramps, this herb has also been shown to lower PMS-related issues in 93 percent of participants of a study in the Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine1. For PMS, you can take 400 mg per day, best taken first thing in the morning before breakfast.
Scientific studies also show evidence that vitex can help with endometriosis, amenorrhea, and menopause symptoms. It has also been linked to promoting healthy milk production in breastfeeding women.
For infertility and menopause problems, take 160 to 240 mg per day. For endometriosis, take 400 mg per day.
This herb increases sexual arousal and boosts testosterone levels. It has traditionally been used to treat hernias, erectile dysfunction, and male pattern baldness. A study by Australian researchers revealed that thirty healthy men who took a fenugreek supplement experienced higher sexual arousal, energy, and stamina. The supplement also helped them sustain normal testosterone levels2. Take 600 mg of fenugreek seed extract daily.
4. Black cohosh
Black cohosh contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estrogens. It can treat hormonal issues, including menopause symptoms. A study in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion found that eighty postmenopausal women who experienced hot flashes significantly reduced their severity and frequency over eight weeks after supplementing with black cohosh3. This herb is also known to improve sleep during menopause. You can take 160 to 200 mg daily.
Aside from using herbal remedies, ensure you manage your stress levels to keep your hormones in check. Other recommendations to support your hormonal balance include exercising regularly, eating enough protein at every meal, avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates, and consuming healthy fats containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as coconut oil and MCT oil.
Author: Jesamine Dyus
1 N;, Loch EG;Selle H;Boblitz. “Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome with a Phytopharmaceutical Formulation CONTAINING VITEX Agnus Castus.” Journal of Women's Health & Gender-Based Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2000, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10787228/.
2 Steels, Elizabeth. “Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation.” Phytotherapy Research : PTR, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21312304/.
3 Mehrpooya, Maryam, et al. “A Comparative Study on the Effect of ‘Black Cohosh’ and ‘Evening Primrose Oil’ on Menopausal Hot Flashes.” Journal of Education and Health Promotion, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 1 Mar. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868221/.
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