Females have a hard time with their hormonal cycles. The reproductive hormones in every woman fluctuate depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. These fluctuations can cause symptoms that many are familiar with like Premenstrual Syndrome. Unfortunately, these natural hormone fluctuations are a part of daily life for women everywhere.
But, what do you do if your hormonal cycle becomes unbalanced?
There are many reasons that the hormones of a woman can become off balance. Stress, breastfeeding, and increased exercise are just a few of the common reasons women see a shift in their natural hormonal state. If you notice an unexplained shift in your hormones, it is always wise to seek the guidance of a medical professional because this can indicate a wide array of medical conditions.
Once you have ruled out pregnancy and serious medical conditions, you may want to try to balance your hormones naturally. Fortunately, there are many herbs available that have been used to help produce changes within a woman’s body to balance hormones. Here are the top herbs that you may want to consider to help with a hormone imbalance.
According to an article published in American Family Physician in 2005, Chasteberry has been used for centuries to treat many hormone and gynecologic conditions. Currently, the literature supports the use of Chasteberry for cyclical breast discomfort and premenstrual syndrome. There is a large amount of support for this because of how Chasteberry affects the body.
Chasteberry indirectly evokes changes in how the body produces prolactin and progesterone. These changes are dose dependent meaning that low doses of Chasteberry have resulted in decreased estrogen and increased progesterone and prolactin. However, when someone takes a high dose of Chasteberry prolactin is decreased.
In Germany a small study was done, that showed those suffering from fertility issues caused by amenorrhea who received Chasteberry got pregnant at twice the rate as those getting a placebo. Another study on the effects of Chasteberry on women with luteal phase defects was found to increase their midluteal phase progesterone levels and had an increase in pregnancies.
While all of these studies are good, Chasteberry should be heavily discussed with your doctor. This is especially true if you are taking any other medication that can cause changes in hormones, are on antidepressants or hormone therapy as Chasteberry can interfere with these therapies.
The Next Stage
As women transition out of their reproductive years, they may find that their hormones drop off. Menopause is a difficult time for many women as their estrogen levels begin to lower and they start to see the physical effects of that. Luckily, there are herbs that can help boost the body’s production of estrogen.
The root of Black Cohosh was first used by Native Americans to treat many female issues. Today black cohosh is commonly used to treat symptoms of menopause, PMS painful menstruation and it is even used to assist in starting labor.
One of the reasons that black cohosh is so effective for women’s health later in life is because it is a plant-based estrogen. The ingestion of the root can cause the body to increase the levels of estrogen in menopausal women. Web M.D. notes that this plant has different effects on people at different stages of life, and a woman in menopause will react differently than a woman who is treating PMS.
In addition to affecting estrogen levels, it is thought that black cohosh may affect some of the neurochemicals in the brain. Serotonin levels are affected by this root, and this may be why women who are suffering from the irritability and increased moodiness from menopause see a difference in their outlook when taking this herb.
As with all supplements, you should talk to your doctor to make sure supplementing black cohosh will not interfere with current medications or therapies.
There are many options for you when your hormones are out of balance. Whether you are suffering from infertility, or going through the late changes of womanhood, hormonal balance can be achieved with the help of natural herbs and supplements.