What is a Hormone Imbalance?
The human body is complex. Factors that disrupt the delicate balance known as optimal health can eventually cause increasingly noticeable problems. There are so many factors in modern life that can disrupt this balance, leading to a hormonal imbalance. This problem affects men just as much as it does women. What factors can lead to an imbalance? Environmental factors, such as exposure to hormone disruptors, which are found in chemical pollutants, hormone-injected animal products, pesticides, drugs, and even plastics are a major problem. Chronic stress is another problem, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion. Other factors such as trauma, childbirth, synthetic steroid use, and nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to an imbalance.
Herbs for hormonal imbalance can offer natural support by recreating a state of harmony, helping the body get back on track. They act by stimulating proper function, by cleansing the body of toxins and pollutants, and even by nourishing the glandular system. Herbal therapy is beneficial because it is both gentle and effective.
Signs of an Imbalance
What are the symptoms of a hormone imbalance? For a women, signs that the body could use help to regain proper functioning include:
- Oily skin
- Weight gain
- Low sex drive
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Excessive hair growth
- Missed periods
- Painful periods
- Water retention
Men may experience:
- Poor sexual function
- Low libido
- Difficulty urinating
- Diminished muscular strength
- Mood swings
The following herbs can be used to help the body restore a state of balance. The most important herbs are the bitters, which stimulate balance — encouraging an increase in the production of hormones when necessary or a decrease in production if that is what will create harmony. The alteratives help by correcting impurities in the blood. From a holistic point of view these plants offer the body an essential cleansing action that allows for homeostasis. The glandular agents act by supporting the endocrine glands, nourishing and toning this system.
Useful Bitters for Hormonal Imbalance:
Alteratives for Balance:
- Burdock root
- Red clover
Herbs to Support the Glands:
Licorice (Should not be used in cases of high blood pressure)
All of these herbs are safe for general use except for licorice, which can raise blood pressure if taken over the long-term. Try adding an herbal infusion to your diet or supplementing with one or more of these herbs in capsule or tincture form to address an imbalance. To make a tea steep one to two teaspoons of the dried herb with one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. While using herbs for hormonal imbalance is a safe way to recreate a state of health it is important to talk to your doctor about using herbs if you are taking any form of medication, if you are pregnant, or if you have a medical condition.
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Hoffmann, David. “The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies.” (Element Books, 1996).
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition” (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
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