If you’re looking for alternative therapies for hormonal imbalance, you can try the medicinal and therapeutic power of herbs.
According to Dr. Anna Cabeca, OB-GYNE and women’s health expert, about 43% of women admitted to saying that hormone imbalance has negatively impacted their lives. Men also undergo hormonal imbalance during puberty or as they age.
Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance are mood swings, fatigue, sleep disorders, obesity, menstrual issues, sexual dysfunctions, and more.
Many individuals said that natural alternatives such as using herbs are beneficial in helping them cope and treat their hormonal health issues. Herbs can be used as a cooking ingredient, tea, or supplements to help balance their hormones.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise as several herbs have traditionally been used for thousands of years as an alternative therapy to help individuals deal with hormonal health issues.
Factors That Affect Hormone Balance
According to studies, sleep is among the top factors that affect hormone levels. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body cannot produce enough leptin, the protein that regulates your body weight.
Instead, it increases your ghrelin, the hormone in the stomach that makes you feel hungry. This leads to common hormonal imbalance issues like obesity, diabetes, and increased appetite.
Read More: 10 Things Not To Do Before Bedtime
Too much stress also affects your hormone balance. When you have an increase in stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, it can result in mood swings, fatigue, irritability, obesity, and cardiovascular issues.
The food we eat also plays a vital role in our hormone balance. Certain foods can restore, maintain, or throw off the balance of your hormones. A 2015 study shows that overeating sugar affects your insulin, the hormone that converts sugar to energy. It leads to metabolic diseases, obesity, and other hormonal imbalance issues.
How Can Herbs Regulate Hormone Balance?
Food and drink affect our hormone levels. Some herbs increase certain body chemicals, triggering a response in your hormone balance.
Some herbs are rich in phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic the functions of estrogen in the body. These herbs are beneficial for those suffering from hormonal balance related to menopause, menstruation, and sexual function.
There are also herbs with adaptogenic properties, meaning they contain stimulants that regulate the production of hormones according to your body’s needs. It also counters stress and fatigue in the body. Some herbs can help regulate prolactin, the hormone linked to menopausal symptoms and infertility issues.
There are more amazing ways that prove herbs can regulate hormone balance. We’ll discuss them more in detail below.
The Best Herbs For Hormone Balance
This article shows you 10 best herbs for hormone balance and evidence to prove how they can help individuals deal with hormonal health issues.
- Nigella Seeds
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Milk Thistle
- Black cohosh
- Red Clover
- Oat Straw
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is one of the most popular herbal medicines. It offers many health benefits, including treating hormonal imbalance in the body.
This herb works as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with stress and fatigue. Ashwagandha helps your hormone balance by stimulating your thyroid and adrenal glands to lower your cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
This powerful herb can also improve sexual desire and treat sexual dysfunction. Studies show that it increases the production of luteinizing hormone (LH). For men, this increases testosterone, while for women, it increases the sex hormone, oestradiol.1 2
2. Nigella Seeds
Nigella seeds, commonly known as kalonji or fennel flower, can also be beneficial for balancing your hormones. This herb contains a powerful compound called thymoquinone, which is linked to many health benefits.
Nigella seeds contain phytoestrogen, meaning it mimics the function of estrogen in the body.
Studies show that nigella seeds produce thyroid hormones and luteinizing hormone (LH), resulting in an increase in estrogen for women. This effect is beneficial for menopausal women or women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).3
3. Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry leaf is an herb also known for its medicinal properties. Also rich in phytoestrogen, it contains a compound called fragarine, which mimics estrogen’s effects and is known to inhibit uterine activity.
It helps lessen menstrual cramps and reduce heavy discharge during menstruation. It’s also beneficial to pregnant women in limiting their urge to urinate frequently, preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage.
Red raspberry leaf is rich in B vitamins, crucial in women’s reproductive health. Vitamin B6 binds and regulates reproductive hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Chasteberry is another herb used as a remedy for the symptoms of menopause and aids in women’s reproductive health. It lowers the levels of prolactin, the hormone associated with premenstrual symptoms.
Studies show that because of its effect on prolactin, chasteberry or vitex agnus castus can treat hormonal imbalance issues like PCOS, infertility, and menopausal symptoms.4
Read More: Best Acupressure Points For Fertility
Maca is another powerful herb used to regulate hormones, treat infertility and improve sexual endurance.
Maca works as an adaptogenic herb, meaning it adjusts your hormones depending if you need more or less. It also reduces your stress by lessening the cortisol hormone.
Also known as the Peruvian ginseng, Maca can boost strength, endurance, and vitality by producing reproductive hormones, testosterone, and oestradiol. According to research, consuming maca root increases the sexual desire and fertility in both men and women.5
Maca root is so potent that it can improve semen quality and reduce enlarged prostates in men. It can also relieve symptoms of menopause and low libido in women.
6. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle aids in balancing your hormones by keeping your liver healthy. The liver is responsible for regulating hormones, including the reproductive hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisol, etc. Hormonal imbalance can occur if your liver fails to convert or remove excess hormones from the body.
It’s beneficial for lactating mothers because it helps produces the milk-producing hormone prolactin.
Milk thistle can also treat skin problems like eczema. Check out this article for more info: Best Herbs For Eczema.
Marjoram is a sub-species of the oregano and part of the mint family. It has been used as an herbal medicine for hundreds of years due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
This herb is beneficial to hormonal health, especially to women. Marjoram can be used to treat PCOS and infertility by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing excess adrenal hormones.6
Marjoram contains carvacrol, a compound that can increase the production of the hormone progesterone. It helps regulate menstrual flow and can restore the hormone balance of women with irregular menstrual cycles.
8. Black cohosh
Most of the black cohosh’s hormonal health benefits come from triterpene glycosides compounds. It helps ease menopausal symptoms among women by reducing hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, irritability, tinnitus, and other common symptoms.7
Black cohosh also has phytoestrogen, which functions like the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens offer various effects on sexual function, desire, and behavior.
Read More: Best Herbs For Menstrual Cramps
9. Red Clover
Red clover is an herb rich in phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which act like estrogen hormones in the body.
Studies show that red clover’s estrogen-like effects can help balance hormones in menopausal women. It reduces their symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and others.8
10. Oat Straw
Oat Straw is a highly beneficial herb filled with potent chemicals that could help balance your hormones, leading to reduced inflammation and improved mood and cognitive function.
In traditional Chinese medicine, oat straw treats mood swings, anxiety, sleep, and other hormonal imbalance. It does this by calming the nervous system and relieving stress and fatigue.
Oat straw is also widely used as a male sexual enhancer that can help improve libido and treat erectile dysfunction. When used with saw palmetto, oat straw can also help sexual asthenia in women.
Other Home Remedies For Hormone Balance
A good healthy lifestyle can make a huge difference in your hormone balance. You can try some of these home remedies :
- Eating healthy fats can help lessen insulin resistance and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. You can include in your diet cold-pressed coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, almonds, and other foods rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
- Commit to regular exercise. Engaging in physical activities like yoga can improve your hormone levels. Feel free to read our blog post about the best yoga poses for beginners.
- Manage your stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline by engaging in calming exercises like meditation (read our vedic meditation guide for example)
- Avoid exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), toxic chemicals that can alter the production of hormones in the body. Common examples are cigarette smoke, BPA, arsenic, lead, mercury, phthalates, etc.
There you have it! I hope this list of medicinal herbs can help you look for alternative treatments for hormonal imbalance.
Many herbs are good options to keep your hormone balance, depending on your need. Our list includes herbs that contain phytoestrogens, adaptogenic properties, and vitamins that are beneficial to your hormonal health. They can help maintain your weight, improve your sexual function, aid in menstrual health issues, and address infertility and reproductive health concerns.
Always check with your health care professional when you’re planning to take herbal medicines, especially if you have a known medical condition.
So the next time you feel in need of alternative options for hormone balance, you may want to give these herbs a try.
Feel free to also read our article about the best herbs for adrenal fatigue!