Everyone is on some kind of a healing journey at least once during their lifetime, and in every household, there’s always some medical challenge, illness, or ailment that needs a solution.
You might be surprised to learn that 25 percent of modern pharmaceutical products were originally derived from plants, and it is estimated that as many as 70,000 plant herbs have been used as medicine so far throughout history. (7)
These days, many people are using herbs to keep themselves and their families healthy, and while herbs may have their limitations, using them to support health is commonplace.
Herbs are enjoying a strong resurgence in everyday health and wellness regimens. People are viewing this as a time to learn, feel supported, and nourished by herbs, and wish to strike a balance between letting science, and experience guide their herbal journeys.
Herbs work in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs, because they respond to messages the brain receives from the body – and they can have far fewer side effects also. (8)
And, did you know that using herbs for hormones is a time-trusted, ancient practice, with herbal formulas being a great way to balance hormones naturally? (8)
Hormones Can Be Balanced With Herbs
Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers, and hormonal balance is critical for a healthy body and mind.
Our hormones are produced in our endocrine glands, and they travel through our bloodstreams telling tissues and organs what to do. They aid in the regulation of many of our body’s major processes, such as sexual development and reproduction. (1)
Other bodily functions that hormones control include:
- Sensory perception
- Growth (2)
When our endocrine glands do not produce the right amount of hormones, diseases develop that can affect many aspects of life.
Simultaneously, certain conditions caused by hormonal imbalances can then lead to further hormonal imbalances, becoming a vicious circle.
The biological changes of menopause – which some simply call “the change’’ – is a time when many women experience hormonal disarray. Other notable stages when female hormones can take on a dizzying dance are during puberty, premenopause, pregnancy, or when breastfeeding. (1)
Men don’t escape either. Young men can develop hypogonadism, occurring when the sex glands produce little or no sex hormones, known as gonad deficiency. (3)
Men are more likely to experience imbalances in testosterone levels than women, leading to decreased strength, energy, stamina, and sexual function, even coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. (3, 4)
Science is now proving that the best treatment option for hormonal imbalance isn’t always taking a mass-manufactured prescription.
We’ve sifted through the science and put together this list of 5 herbs for hormones, all of which have evidence to support some of their hormone-balancing claims:
Learn About Herbs For Hormones
#1 Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris).
Shepherd’s Purse is a herb that has strong antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activity. It can be for abnormally heavy bleeding during menstrual periods (menorrhagia) and it is used to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
It works by decreasing bleeding, stimulating muscles, and increasing uterine contractions.
Shepherd’s purse can even decrease how much thyroid hormone the body produces. (5,6)
#2 Vitex Agnus Castus (Chaste Tree)
Vitex agnus-castus can help to balance brain signals, promoting progesterone production in the ovaries. As a result, it is commonly used for the management of fibroids, helping with the associated cramping and the size of fibroids.
It can alleviate breast pain (mastalgia), premenstrual syndrome, and more severe PMS.
It has been found to reduce prolactin levels, and also have profound effects on hypothalamus and pituitary functions, normalizing the secretion of hormones – both of which can improve female fertility. (9,10)
#3 Dong Quai ( Angelica Sinesis)
Dong Quai is a blood builder for those who suffer from pelvic stagnation, which can result in low menstrual flow or increased pain during menstruation. It is also beneficial to the liver. Dong Quai should be considered if you believe the liver is involved in hormonal imbalance. (11,12,13)
#4 Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba can reduce PMS, decrease anxiety, and symptoms of depression. It has also been reported to reduce headaches and migraines. It has been found in some studies to help with erectile dysfunction in men, increase sexual desire and contentment in women, and generally increase libido in both sexes. (14)
#5 Rhodiola Rose
Rhodiola Rose is a superior adaptogenic herb for supporting the adrenal glands, and for regulating cortisol stress response. It works by balancing the function of the adrenals and returns the body to a normal cortisol release when a person has been living with chronic stress, anxiety, or even insomnia.
For hormones involved in a constant stress cycle, this herb is a health hero. (15,16)
How To Use Herbs For Hormones
Herbs include any plant whose seeds, flowers, or leaves are used for food, medicine, or perfume.
If growing your own harvest, or looking for fallen branches of trees is not your thing, don’t worry. Many online botanical stores, complementary therapists, health-food stores, farmer’s markets, or plant nurseries sell herbs – either fresh, dried, or whole plants.
Nowadays individual herbs can be used to build custom herbal formulas to address patients’ needs, creating a powerful combination for treating both emotional as well as physical conditions.
There are many ways to consume and use herbs:
- Capsules – Easy to take orally. Good for those who like no taste.
- Essential oils – Versatile. Can go on in the bath, on a pillow, or applied to the skin.
- Flower essence blends – Comforting in a tea.
- Herbal oils – For skin poultices or heated herb packs. Can increase blood supply and circulation.
- Salves – Beauty products on the go.
- Sprays – For herbal usage in cleaning products.
- Syrups – When herbs are to be used for culinary purposes.
- Tinctures – Normally potent; excellent for drop dosing.
All of the above can be used in some capacity for herbs for hormones at home. Yet it’s important to remember that even if something is all-natural, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
You must always use caution with herb consumption, as many come with their own list of side effects and dangers. Always use them under the guidance of a medical herbalist, naturopathic doctor, Ayurvedic physician, or homeopath practitioner.
With the help of herbs for hormones, and a little knowledge, many people are feeling empowered by finding and trusting their understanding of their bodies – from hormones to fertility, and also to face other lifestyle concerns.