Regardless of the stage of life a woman is in, her hormonal health plays a large role in her overall health. When your hormones are out of whack, it can affect your energy levels, play into a predisposition for anxiety and even stymie your sex life. If you’re hesitant to turn to Western medicine for help balancing your hormones, however, there is an alternative.
Many herbs contain powerful compounds that can help assuage any hormone-related issues you may experience. Here are 10 adaptogenic herbs for hormone balance if you regularly experience hormonal upheaval.
Adaptogenic Herbs for Hormone Balance
1. Maca Root
Maca has long been a go-to supplement for women in menopause because it boosts the production of estrogen, which helps to relieve symptoms. Pre-menopausal women also use it to ease the side effects of PMS — it balances out the ebb and flow of estrogen during your cycle. You can pick up maca root in pill form at any drugstore or supermarket.
Ashwagandha is one of the best adaptogenic herbs for hormone balance. It has been used since ancient times for a variety of uses, but largely to reduce levels of stress and the “stress hormone” cortisol. Cortisol can create high blood sugar and increased abdominal fat, particularly in women, so a helping hand from this herb will help. Pick it up at any specialized supplement or vitamin shop.
Chasteberry is in the mint family, but it’s more potent than its peers. The plant boosts the production of the luteinizing hormone, which can help to ease symptoms of PMS and menstrual cramps, regulate your cycle and assuage endometriosis side effects. Pick it up in capsule, tablet, liquid or essential oil form at a vitamin store like GNC or online.
4. Rhodiola Rosea
Eating plant foods alleviates stress by building a stronger immune system, but the addition of an herb like Rhodiola Rosea doesn’t hurt. Supplement with Rhodiola Rosea to regulate your cortisol levels. Since it decreases the production of cortisol, expect less anxiety and better sleep while you’re taking it. Grab the herb in pill form at any drugstore.
5. Black Cohosh
Native Americans taught European settlers about black cohosh decades ago, but it’s still just as relevant today. Black cohosh mimics estrogen in some people, so if you’re suffering from PMS, painful menstruation, menopause or osteoporosis, taking black cohosh could help. Snag a bottle of black cohosh pills at the drugstore.
6. Red Clover
For women in menopause, red clover could be a lifesaver. Although it has a wide variety of uses, red clover particularly targets some of the most unpleasant aspects of menopause. It fights hot flashes, and there’s some evidence it might also ease anxiety and depression, depending on the form you take. Look for Promensil or Novogen at the drugstore to help with menopause.
7. Avena Sativa
Many plant-based foods have medicinal properties when they’re eaten consistently as the basis of your diet. One of them is oatmeal, which might already be a part of your daily routine. You probably know avena sativa simply as “oats,” and you may even have it in your cabinet right now. It not only boosts your mood and helps to alleviate stress, but it might also enhance your sex life. You can buy it in liquid or tablet form online or at a store like Walmart.
8. Catuaba Bark
There’s some evidence that Catuaba bark acts as a natural aphrodisiac for women and men alike. It might also put you in a better mood, particularly during PMS, by balancing out your hormones, and it could even protect your brain from oxidative damage. Buy it online if you want to try this potent herb.
Whereas Western hormone replacement therapies come with potential risks, epimedium naturally helps to balance hormone levels in women experiencing PMS or menopause, specifically estrogen. So regardless of the stage of life you’re in, adding this to your arsenal of herbs is a good idea. It’s available as a pill online and at Walmart.
For women struggling with infertility, shilajit might provide some help. Although studies are still inconclusive, some research points to shilajit as a potential way to boost ovulation in women — which could improve chances of conceiving. Try it in powder or resin form from an online retailer such as Amazon.
With so many holistic options as alternatives to traditional Western medicine, you have a lot of ways to combat hormonal changes and imbalances that are sitting right in the natural supplements aisle at your grocery store. Make sure to purchase the highest-quality product available in order to reap the best rewards, and always loop in your doctor when you supplement.