Balancing your hormones is pivotal in making sure the body can function properly. Hormones deliver messages between different cells and organs, which play a key role in bodily functions. The main female hormones are estrogen and progesterone. Although testosterone is considered a male hormone, women also produce and need small amounts of it.
Estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries, though the adrenal glands and fat tissues produce small amounts as well. Low estrogen in the body can lead to painful sex due to a lack of vaginal lubrication, an increase in urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to a thinning of the urethra, irregular or absent periods, mood swings, breast tenderness etc.
Too much estrogen in the body can cause bloating, breast tenderness, fibrocystic lumps in your breasts, decreased sex drive, irregular menstrual periods increased symptoms of PMS, etc.
Progesterone is in charge of regulating the inner lining of the uterus. It is important to keep progesterone levels in balance, especially when you are trying to conceive as progesterone prepares the uterus lining for pregnancy.
Low progesterone can lead to low libido, hot flashes, migraines, anxiety, irregular or absent periods. If the body produces too much progesterone you may experience water retention, drowsiness, fluctuating weight and mood, etc.
Different herbs can help balance female hormones naturally. Here are my 7 favourites:
Researchers believe that vitex works by decreasing levels of the hormone prolactin, which in turn helps rebalance other hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. It can help reduce PMS symptoms and promote a regular cycle.
2. Black Cohosh
Black cohosh is a native plant to North America and woodland herb commonly used for symptoms of menopause, PMS, and painful periods. Black Cohosh is a phytoestrogen, which can help to lower elevated estrogen or raise low estrogen.
3. Red Clover
Red clover contains isoflavones, plant-based chemicals that produce estrogen-like effects in the body. Isoflavones have shown potential in the treatment of several conditions associated with menopause. Those with hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or endometriosis, should speak to their healthcare provider before taking red clover due to its estrogenic activity.
4. Dong Quai
Dong quai is used for menstrual cramps, PMS, and menopausal symptoms. This powerful adaptogen is also known as female ginseng and has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Dong quai has been shown to balance levels of estrogen and help alleviate common symptoms of menopause or PMS.
5. Fenugreek Seed
Fenugreek seed is another herb used in TCM. It contains phytoestrogens, which assists in balancing estrogen and managing painful periods. The seeds may also help to increase low testosterone and improve low libido in women
Maca is a powerful adaptogen that may help restore women’s hormonal balance by nurturing the endocrine system and assisting in the regulation of healthy adrenal and thyroid hormone production. This root may has a reputation as an aid for sex and reproductive issues and rev up sex drive in women (and men). Maca may act similarly to estrogen in the body, so women with certain conditions should avoid it.
Dandelion root is high in plant estrogens and plays a significant role in the detoxification of the body. Getting rid of excess hormones in the body can help balance the endocrine system and restore homeostasis.