5 Herbs You Need To Try For Hormone Balance

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We want to touch on some great herbs for hormonal balance. That’s because hormonal conditions are not only very challenging, they are also very common. If you struggle with them you’ll know that they are often complex and super frustrating.

Very few women in their lives escape hormonal imbalances, with 50-80% experiencing premenstrual symptoms
(PMS) and between 30-40% of women reporting PMS symptoms which require treatment. That is a lot of people that need help with their hormones!

Unsurprisingly, hormonal conditions have a massive impact on your quality of life. Hormonal imbalances can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, aggression, as well as symptoms like fatigue and pain. Also it is important to note that most of the medical testing and studies have been done on males so the complexity of female hormones is still somewhat of a mystery.

There is a lot to consider when looking at hormones and this blog is for education purposes, if you are experiencing chronic hormonal concerns consider seeing a medical practitioner who can help you through the whole process. If you are looking for a natural way to approach your hormonal imbalances these are some great herbs to help!

1 Vitex

Vitex agnus-castus (Vitex) is one of the most recommended and popular herbs for hormonal conditions. Vitex is the genus name that refers to a broad range of species, but you might know Vitex agnus-castus for its common name chaste tree or chasteberry. While the bark and the flowers are used in herbal medicine, the berries are most commonly utilised for medicinal purposes. 

Vitex has been used traditionally for years to help with PMS, infertility, breast pain, irregular periods, missing periods, mood swings, oestrogen excess as well as low mood. Vitex supports an increase in dopamine which helps supports better mood and motivation. It also supports healthy ovulation and oestrogen to progesterone ratio. 

vitex-herb-for-hormone-balance

2 Chamomile

This is one of our most favourite herbs (we use organic chamomile in our Rest and Calm). Chamomile is one we often associate with nervous system support, as it helps to calm your nervous and digestive systems down. But chamomile can also help support and reduce premenstrual breast pain which can result from hormonal imbalances.

One study showed that people who took chamomile daily over two cycles reduced their reported pain levels significantly. Chamomile is a well tolerated plant with minimal to no side effects so it is a great herb for hormone balance.

chamomile-herbs-for-hormones
3 Turmeric

Turmeric is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. The active constituent within turmeric is curcumin which can be very helpful for hormonal conditions, in particular for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Curcumin can also help with the blood sugar imbalances that can arise from PCOS as well as helping to reduce inflammatory markers that can occur in chronic conditions.
 
Curcumin also helps support the liver which is a very important focus for those with hormonal imbalances. If you are wanting to try using turmeric to help you could try adding more fresh turmeric into your diet like this recipe for a turmeric paste to flavour your meals or you could try a turmeric tonic. Our Anti Flam is the perfect way to utilise the benefits of this herb for hormone balance.

turmeric

4 Globe Artichoke

Building on turmeric’s support for the liver, globe also helps the liver and also the liver detoxification pathways - but in a more direct way. The leaves of the globe artichoke are incredibly bitter. The bitter taste activates the bitter taste receptors you have throughout your body, in particular throughout the digestive system.  Globe is another of the organic herbs we use in our products (our Liver Bitters).

But how is this relevant to hormones and why is globe artichoke a good herb for hormone balance? Well when you have more estrogen circulating in your body (which can happen from taking the oral contraceptive pill, BPAs in cooking instruments or containers, from skincare - to name a few) you need to detoxify that out of your body efficiently so it won’t build up.

But most people find this quite hard as liver and digestive systems can often be under pressure and not performing their best, so people end up recycling the circulating estrogen back into their bodies and it starts to build up. 

The best way to help support elimination is to ensure regular bowel motions. And to do that you need fibre and bitters. So, that is why globe is an amazing hormonal herb!


globe-artichoke-herb-for-hormone-balance


5 Paeony

Paeony is a very popular traditional Chinese herb. Traditionally it is the bark that is used as a tincture. Paeony is often combined with other plants to support hormones (often you find it paired with vitex). 

Paeoniflorin is one of the active constituents within the plant. It is anti inflammatory, antispasmodic and has sedating properties. In vitro experiments have also shown that it can affect ovarian follicles through its action on the enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme is found widely found throughout the body especially in ovaries, liver and in fatty tissues. 

Paeony works on normalising aromatase activity as well as reducing androgen production. Excessive androgens can present as extra hair on face and body, cystic acne, female baldness (predominantly PCOS symptoms and also after menopause). 

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It can be quite hard starting to balance hormones, you can always start slow and see if you notice any difference in your cycles. There are great apps you can download that can help track your period, pain and also any other symptoms you experience, this would be a great thing to incorporate when you start a new herb or regime to see if it is helping with your hormones. 

References
Mohammadi, S., Karimzadeh Bardei, L., Hojati, V., Ghorbani, A. G., & Nabiuni, M. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin on Insulin Resistance Index, Levels of Interleukin-6, C-Reactive Protein, and Liver Histology in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-Induced Rats. Cell journal, 19(3), 425–433. https://doi.org/10.22074/cellj.2017.4415

Saghafi N, Rhkhshandeh H, Pourmoghadam N, Pourali L, Ghazanfarpour M, Behrooznia A, Vafisani F. Effectiveness of Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile) extract on pain control of cyclic mastalgia: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018 Jan;38(1):81-84. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2017.1322045. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PMID: 29072514.

Trickey, Ruth.  (2011).  Women, hormones & the menstrual cycle.  Fairfield, Vic :  Melbourne Holistic Health Group

Rafieian-Kopaei M, Movahedi M. Systematic Review of Premenstrual, Postmenstrual and Infertility Disorders of Vitex Agnus Castus. Electron Physician. 2017;9(1):3685-3689. Published 2017 Jan 25. doi:10.19082/3685

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