Find Safe Herbs for Balancing Female Hormones

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Herbs for balancing female hormones can help correct improper levels of estrogen and progesterone, which are hormones specific to females. From before a woman’s first menstruation cycle until menopause, these hormone levels rise and fall on monthly and annual cycles. Exposure to toxins in the environment, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and aging can all throw hormones out of balance. Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include emotional instability, hot flashes, irregular menstruation, memory loss, headaches, and changes in the skin. Often, physicians prescribe synthetic estrogen or progesterone supplements to counteract the effects of a hormone imbalance, but the side effects and unknown long term effects make herbal supplements an attractive alternative to these prescriptions.

Wild Yam ( Dioscorea villosa)

In the 1960s, hormone manufactures used Mexican wild yam to produce synthetic progesterone and androgens. This has led some to believe that wild yam literally contains these hormones, which is inaccurate. In its natural form, it actually contains the hormone diosgenin that is similar in structure to progesterone and DHEA (an adrenal hormone). Therefore, wild yam is used as an alternative to synthetic progesterone treatments. There is also a natural decline in progesterone around the age of thirty, which can cause depression, cramps, and a loss of sex drive. Wild yam can assist with balancing those declining levels without a prescription. It also has anti-spasmodic properties that can alleviate severe menstrual cramping.

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa, Actea racemosa)

Native American cultures in central North America traditionally use black cohosh as a remedy for female health issues. The herb contains phytoestrogens, or natural plant estrogens, which is an alternative to synthetic hormone therapy. It may stimulate estrogen receptors, causing the body to believe more estrogen is present in the body. This can relieve hot flashes, vaginal dryness, depression, night sweats, and irregular cycles. Black Cohosh also increases blood flow to the uterus and decreases cramping due to its anti-spasmodic properties. Midwives often use black cohosh to induce labor. The roots of the plant are made into teas, infusions, or pill supplements.

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)

According to the Mayo Clinic, Dong quai is a traditional Asian herb used for various female health issues and is also called the “female ginseng”. The herb has estrogen-like properties that can regulate existing irregular estrogen levels by acting as an estrogen substitute. This slows the creation of estrogen in the body, which is useful for women with high estrogen levels. The estrogenic properties can also balance low estrogen levels by acting as a substitute. It also includes coumarins, which dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow to the uterus. Dong quai stimulates the liver, which speeds up the excretion of excess estrogen in the body. It has anti-spasmodic properties which relieve menstrual cramps by relaxing the muscles of the uterine wall. Although dong quai is one of the main herbs for balancing female hormones, it is also used to treat yeast infections and sporadic herpes outbreaks.



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