Natural Remedies For Hormonal Imbalance In Women
17th March, 2021
Feeling cranky and irritable over seemingly nothing? Do you feel like having a good cry every now and then for no good reason? Bloated? Irregular period? Sweating on a cold day? There may be a chance your hormones are responsible.
What is a hormonal imbalance?
Hormones play an enormous part in the way that the human body functions, they are effectively chemical messengers which tell our organs and tissues what to do and when to do it. In a woman’s body, the main hormones present are oestrogen, progesterone and to a lesser extent, testosterone. These hormones play vital roles in sexual development, fertility, reproduction and beyond. Hormone levels fluctuate dramatically during life stages such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause when the body experiences great change. In order for these bodily functions to take place smoothly, the hormones need to be in a delicate balance. Occasionally, this balance can become disturbed causing an array of symptoms and for some women, continual problems.
How do you know if you have a hormonal imbalance?
There are many factors which may cause a hormonal imbalance and the symptoms can present in many different ways for each individual. Some women may experience symptoms surrounding their menstrual cycle such as painful, heavy or irregular periods, bloating, breast tenderness or acne. Others may find that they are unable to lose weight easily, perhaps their hair is thinning or their moods are unstable. Some women may notice that they are fatigued even after adequate rest or that they are experiencing episodes of anxiety or having trouble sleeping. The list of symptoms is long and some women may experience more symptoms than others and to varying degrees of severity.
What causes hormones to become imbalanced?
Hormones exist in a delicate balance, however, they may occasionally get out of balance due to a myriad of reasons causing much grief for some women.Many factors can cause our hormones to become unbalanced including unusually high levels of stress, medications, bad diet, poor sleep patterns, thyroid issues and environmental pollutants.While back in the old days women may have been told to simply grin and bear what was once seen as ‘women’s problems’, we now know that there is a lot that can be done to encourage hormones back in to their natural balance.
Are there herbs that can help?
There sure are!
Herbs are a great way to help your hormones get back into balance. There are a multitude of herbs specific for the female reproductive system. A herbalist is your best friend when it comes to selecting the right herb or herb mix for you. The actions of herbs are complicated and often a blend of herbs may be indicated for particular issues that are specific to you. Below are four great herbs to help with female hormonal balance.
Vitex - Vitex agnus-castus
Vitex has long been used for hormone balancing in women, its strengths lie in the role that it plays in supporting a healthy menstrual cycle. By maintain a healthy balance of hormones, Vitex can help to reduce painful periods, relieve mood swings and help to regulate an irregular menstrual cycle. Vitex can also be beneficial for women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and moodiness.
White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
For thousands of years the sliced, dry root of White Peony has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help support female hormonal balance. By positively influencing female hormones, White Peony is a valuable herb for regulating the menstrual cycle and relieving painful periods. White Peony is often combined with Licorice (Glycyrrhyza glabra) for hormonal problems including excess facial hair growth, irregular ovarian function and infertility.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage has a long history of use in herbal medicine and the benefits are wide ranging. While Sage tastes great when stuffing your roast chicken or roast pumpkin, it can also be beneficial in the management of hormonal issues. Sage can help to relieve the dreaded night sweats and hot flushes often associated with menopause. The symptoms of menopause are many, impaired memory recall and poor concentration are among them. Sage with its antioxidant properties can help in this area by supporting mental clarity and improving memory recall.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa)
Used in Traditional Native American medicine, Black Cohosh is much regarded for its vast array of benefits including supporting female hormones during menopause and perimenopause. The antioxidant properties of Black Cohosh may be responsible for its use in helping alleviate hot flushes associated with menopause.
Will improving my diet and lifestyle help?
Most definitely! Diet and exercise play an enormous part in every area of health. Try to tidy up your diet and lifestyle with the tips below:
- Include healthier fats into your diet, not only do they taste great they also support a healthy balance of hormones, fight inflammation, and help you to feel full, curbing the appetite. Try adding avocado, fatty fish such as salmon, seeds such as linseeds and nuts to your shopping list along with beneficial oils such as extra virgin olive oil.
- Avoid bad fats such as those in fried or processed foods, this type of fat can promote inflammation and poor health all round. You don’t need it in your life.
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates! These aren’t good for anybody, so they need to be avoided. Try sticking to whole foods like brown rice, quinoa, wholegrain bread, beans and legumes. These foods will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced, keeping your energy levels up and your mood stable.
- Physical activity is beneficial for everybody, find what works for you and do it regularly. Being physically active can help to boost hormones which naturally decline as we age, exercise also helps to keep insulin levels at a healthy range ensuring that our blood sugar remains stable.
- Keep stress to a minimum. Too much stress may cause menstrual cycles to become irregular and trigger mood swings.
Seek help if you need it
There are many natural approaches to balancing hormones that you can implement yourself, however if you can relate to some of the symptoms and suspect that you may have a hormonal imbalance please see a health professional, they are in the best position to guide you in your path to get well and offer further assistance should it be required.