Your endocrine glands produce different hormones to regulate your biological functions. Hormones are actually chemical signaling agents or complex molecules. Some of them have antagonistic pairs that have opposite effects. Specifically, insulin is released by the beta cells of your pancreas and another hormone called glucagon is released by the alpha cells of your pancreas. In short, they create an antagonistic pair.
When your blood sugar levels are increased after having a meal, the hormone known as insulin helps the sugar to be absorbed into your liver and cells, thus lowering your blood glucose levels. Moreover, when your blood glucose levels become very low, then glucagon gets activated. It works by converting stored glycogen in your liver back into glucose and releasing it into your bloodstream.
Adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands, testes in men, and ovaries in women secrete various hormones with different actions. When all these hormones are balanced, you enjoy good health. However, multiple factors such as conditions, changes in the body, diet and atmosphere could lead to imbalances that trigger many symptoms and disorders.
Fortunately, several herbs have a balancing effect on hormones. These herbs are also known as adaptogens as they help your body adapt to environmental changes and metabolic changes within your body.
Top 10 Hormone-Balancing Herbs
– Black Cohosh
This herb has long been used to treat female infertility. Research has found that it possesses some components that work as estrogen in the brain. Also, these components have been found to provide beneficial effects on the reproductive system.
Black cohosh is effective at alleviating the symptoms triggered by lack of estrogen in menopausal women.
The hormone-balancing effects of this herb are related to its powerful estrogenic properties.
– Suma Root
Even though Suma is also referred to as Brazilian Ginseng, it isn’t related to the real ginseng. Suma root may help strengthen the immune system, improve endocrine function, and elevate performance and strength. It has been used to treat numerous health problems. It also acts as a calming agent and general tonic.
This herb is called ‘Russian Secret’ as many Russian athletes used ecdysterone, i.e., an ergogenic compound extracted from Suma to elevate sports performance.
However, a number of sportspersons worldwide also use it nowadays. That’s not all, Suma root also helps stimulate appetite, improve memory, and keep blood sugar levels under control.
Chasteberry is a Mediterranean bush that has been used to improve reproductive health in women. Additionally, the leaf extract of this plant was used to dampen libido as well as help women remain chaste.
But, the extract of chasteberry has the opposite effect because of the differences in concentration. An extract of lower concentration raises the levels of prolactin, whereas a higher dose leads to a decrease in hormone levels.
Furthermore, Chasteberry extract helps balance several hormones, including prolactin, estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). Moreover, it can also help in the treatment of various health problems in women, such as menopausal problems, polycystic ovary disease, PMS, cyclical breast pain, and uterine fibroids.
You can find Chasteberry extract in a form of powder, oil or capsule at Starwest Botanicals.
Epimedium, also referred to as horny goat weed, is an adaptogenic herb that has been used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of various health issues, including joint pain, memory loss, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Research has proven that this herb could treat irregular periods in women as well as sexual dysfunction.
Icariin is the main active ingredient in this herb. It acts as a flavonoid and could relax smooth muscle tissue. This ingredient may simulate the hormone testosterone, and enhance sexual performance.
The USDA certified organic Epimedium powder can be found at Starwest Botanicals.
Known as a fantastic aphrodisiac, the extract of Tribulus has long been used in Chinese and Indian medicine systems to fight male reproductive problems, such as low sperm count.
This herb helps induce the production of testosterone as well as other male sex hormones. It can also improve the function of androgen receptors in the brain, thus enhancing the utilization of these hormones.
This herb possesses a compound called Protodioscin, which could help elevate the levels of DHEA in men, thus fighting erectile dysfunction and improving fertility.
– Saw Palmetto
The berry of this herb may help fight benign prostatic hyperplasia. It could help elevate sperm count, lower stress, boost the immune system and fight chronic fatigue.
Saw Palmetto helps promote optimal hormonal balance. It is known for its beneficial effects on both female and male reproductive system. As women and men have the same sex hormones such as progesterone and estrogen but in different amounts, this herb could help enhance the libido and reproductive function in both sexes.
To use, add about 10-20 drops of Saw Palmetto Extract in your favorite beverage and consume it every day.
– American Ginseng
This herb is a real ginseng, even though it has a more controlled and milder action than the Chinese ginseng. Furthermore, it enhances sexual drive and performance in men. In addition, this herb helps support the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis and keep optimal hormonal balance. But, it doesn’t overstimulate the endocrine system.
It also helps build up strength and stamina, decrease stress and boost the immune system. What’s more, American Ginseng helps also enhance digestion, assimilation and absorption of nutrients from your diet.
– Maca Root
This plant belongs to the cabbage family. Although its root is known as Peruvian ginseng, it is not a relative of real ginseng. The root of this plant is used as a veggie in the Andean cuisine. It has an ability to boost energy, and increase stamina and strength.
A number of athletes take powdered Maca root in order to elevate stamina. That’s not all, the hormone-balancing properties of this root can help reduce stress.
The root has plant hormones, which help alleviate PMS and menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes.
You can buy organic Maca Root capsules without any fillers and additives at Starwest Botanicals.
It is an herb that has been used as a natural remedy in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. This herb has a balancing effect on the thyroid and adrenal glands. Taking Ashwagandha extract provides beneficial effects in the treatment of the most common thyroid disorders, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Additionally, this herb could also prevent premature aging, lower stress, and boost blood circulation. Ashwagandha could also act as an aphrodisiac. It has been used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. It can also boost blood flow to the reproductive organs in women.
Ashwagandha may also enhance sleep and memory. Plus, it has rejuvenating properties that help older people regain vitality and physical vigor.
Astragalus, also referred to as milk vetch, is an herb that has long been used in Chinese Medicine in the treatment of various ailments, like asthma, upper respiratory infections, liver problems, and heart disease. This herb has immune-enhancing and anti-aging properties. The anti-aging properties of this herb are related to its compound called cycloastragenol. This compound helps activate the enzyme known as telomerase, which protects the DNA of cells during cell division.
Moreover, this herb has an ability to provide hormone balance by regulating blood glucose and blood pressure levels. In addition, it has a protective effect on the beta cells of your pancreas, thus reducing your risk of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.
Before using any of these herbal remedies, consult a qualified health practitioner.
- Welch, Claudia. ˮBalance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Scienceˮ;
- Mayo Clinic. ˮMayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicineˮ;