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5 Herbs to Balance Hormones Naturally

5 Herbs to Balance Hormones Naturally

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Hormones and your health

Hormones are chemical messages that help cells talk to each other and do different things. Endocrine glands are the building blocks of your body’s endocrine system. This system controls your mood, metabolism, growth, and reproduction.

Your body is in a state of homeostasis when all of its hormones and endocrine system work together. Because of this, having an imbalance of hormones—either too little or too much of a hormone—can cause bad results.

Some of the problems that can happen because of hormonal issues are oxidative stress, infertility, and endocrine disorders like thyroid disease.

Hormone levels naturally change for women at certain times in their lives, like when they hit puberty, pregnant, or going through menopause.

In the same way, men may also show signs of hormonal imbalances during youth or as they get older, though not as quickly or clearly as women.

1. Nigella seeds

You may also know this plant as kalonji or fennel flower. Its flowers make tiny black seeds that are full of antioxidants. Thymoquinone, a type of phytonutrient or plant chemical, is found in these seeds and makes them useful for medicine.

Scientists are looking into how nigella seed can help protect and heal people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Among other things, PCOS causes women of childbearing age to have hormone levels that aren’t normal.

Using nigella seed products on animals has helped keep insulin, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and thyroid hormone levels in check, among other things.

Also, Nigella sativa extract has estrogenic activity, which means it works like the hormone estrogen in your body.

It is even being tested on rats to see if nigella seed extracts could be used instead of hormone replacement treatment (HRT) during menopause, when the body usually makes less estrogen than it used to.

More and more people are buying concentrated Nigella sativa vitamins, which are sometimes sold as “black seed” or “black cumin seed.” It’s easy to add whole nigella seeds to bread, soups, and other foods. They smell like herbs.

Still, remember that most research on nigella seeds and hormones was done on animals and used thymoquinone that had been concentrated or separated. So, cooking with whole seeds can be tasty and good for you, but it might not give you the same health benefits.

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a shrub that grows in the nightshade family. It is also called winter cherry, Indian ginseng, or Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is a well-known herb in plant medicine, and you can easily find many supplements, teas, and root powders that contain it.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the brain is thought to help your body deal with stress by changing its balance. The HPA axis makes and releases many hormones, such as cortisol, that set off your body’s reaction to stress.

Cortisol helps you get through days that are busy and full of things to do. However, tests on humans and rats suggest that a long-term imbalance of the hormone could lead to endocrine disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome and Addison’s disease.

Sixty people in a 2019 study who took 125–300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day for 8 weeks had lower blood cortisol levels, less stress, and better sleep than a compare group. A study with a similar setup that was done in 2012 found the same results.

Other enzymes may also be changed by ashwagandha. For instance, scientists are looking into how it changes insulin levels, chemicals that control reproduction, and other things.

An 8-week study done in 2018 on people with high levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone made by the pituitary gland that is used to check for thyroid problems, found that taking 600 mg of concentrated ashwagandha extract every day lowered TSH levels.

On the other hand, different studies have shown different health benefits for ashwagandha.

During clinical studies, ashwagandha supplements were also linked to side effects in some people. Ashwagandha may not be safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or who have autoimmune diseases or thyroid disorders.

In the end, more big studies with humans are needed on the subject.

3. Black cohosh root

Nickel sativa and black cohosh are both from the same plant family, which is also known as the crowfoot or buttercup family. You may have also heard black cohosh called rattleweed or bugbane.

A lot of people like this product, which is made from the ground roots of the black cohosh plant. People usually take it in the form of a pill, an extract, or tea.

Triterpene glycosides are thought to be what give the herb its health benefits, but it’s not clear how many of these are in black cohosh pills.

Black cohosh has been used for a long time to help women with health problems like menstrual changes, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopause symptoms.

Black cohosh, like Nigella sativa, may be a phytoestrogen, which is a plant chemical that, when taken in big amounts, acts like the hormone estrogen. Still, no one knows for sure if black cohosh is a real phytoestrogen or if it works in some other way.

Some research studies have shown that black cohosh can help with menopause symptoms better than a fake drug or no treatment at all.

Still, there needs to be more thorough research on people, especially since black cohosh has been linked to bad and even serious side effects. So, you should talk to a doctor before using the plant.

4. Chasteberry

Another popular herbal supplement that you can find in extract or capsule form is chasteberry.

It’s often sold as a treatment to treat menopause symptoms and improve women’s reproductive health when mixed with other herbs like black cohosh.

This is the fruit of the Vitex agnus tree, which is also known as the chaste tree, the monk’s pepper, or vitex.

The berries have chemicals called diterpenoid compounds that might be what makes this vitamin work on hormones like prolactin and the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Several reviews of the literature have found that chasteberry may lower the amount of prolactin in the blood. A lot of women who have PMS also have high amounts of this hormone. It might also help with some PMS symptoms, like breast pain.

The herb has also been studied for its ability to ease the signs of menopause and help with fertility problems and PCOS.

It looks like chasteberry might help keep hormones like prolactin in balance, but most scientists agree that more study in humans is needed before we can say for sure if it works.

5. Marjoram

Other Origanum genus herb plants, like oregano, have been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of illnesses.

Flavonoids and phenolic acids are two bioactive plant compounds that are found in the herb. These are likely partly responsible for its medicinal qualities.

Early studies on oregano in people and animals looked at how it could help people with PCOS and lower stress.

For instance, a recent study found that rats with PCOS had higher amounts of estradiol, a hormone made by the ovaries, after being given marjoram extract.

Also, people with PCOS were asked to drink thyme tea twice a day for one month in a small study. When compared to the placebo treatment, drinking marjoram tea was linked to large drops in fasting insulin hormone levels. This could mean that blood sugar control is better.

But it’s still too early to say how marjoram should be used as a plant supplement to fix hormonal problems. Some scientists also say that there isn’t enough study on how safe it is to use hormone-altering herbs for long periods of time or a lot of the time.

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