Herbs possess numerous health benefits and they are mostly beneficial in regulating the hormonal balance. Some of the most beneficial herbs used for hormonal balance include: myrtle, sandalwood, clary sage, lavender, holy basil and thyme.
What does hormonal balance mean? We are taking about:
– Thyroid hormones: thyroxin and triiodothyronine are produced by the thyroid gland, and their function is to regulate the metabolic processes.
– Sleep hormones: sleep hormones, such as: melatonin produced by the pineal gland, may greatly affect the overall health if they are imbalanced. Bad sleep quality can make the human body weak and prone to diseases.
– Adrenal hormones: cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, aids the metabolic processes and regulates stress levels.
– Reproductive hormones: progesterone and estrogen regulate menstrual cycles, vaginal pH and female fertility.
Testosterone regulates male fertility, libido, bone mass and the production of red blood cells. In fact, men and women have 3 hormones, and any hormonal imbalance may increase the risk of cancer.
The function of the endocrine system is to maintain the hormonal balance. If one of the hormones is out of balance, it may affect the others, thus causing numerous symptoms, including weight gain, pain, fatigue, etc.
SYMPTOMS OF HORMONAL IMABALNCE
Some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance are:
– Low libido
– Weight loss or weight gain
– Irregular menstrual periods or infertility
– Anxiety and depression
– Appetite changes
– Digestive issues
– Hair thinning and hair loss
CAUSES OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE
Hormonal imbalances are caused by numerous factors, like medical history, diet, stress levels, genetics, and exposure to toxins in the environment. Some of the most common contributors of hormonal imbalance are:
– Gut issues and food allergies
– Being obese or overweight
– Increased levels of inflammation caused by sedentary life and an unhealthy diet
– Genetic susceptibility
– Lack of rest and poor sleep quality
– Toxicity (exposure to toxins, pesticides, cigarettes, viruses, alcohol and chemicals)
HERBS FOR HORMONAL BALANCE
The five most beneficial herbs used for hormonal balance include:
1. Holy basil for reducing anxiety
According to the studies, holy basil possesses properties, which reduce the cortisol levels, the stress hormone. It has been also shown that the extract of holy basil aids in reducing the levels of anxiety. In addition, it is also beneficial for treating memory issues, exhaustion, sexual issues, and sleep quality.
2. Myrtle for improved sleep quality
Even though myrtle has been used as a hypnotic herb and a sedative by some cultures, its effects on the humans are still not known. Nevertheless, there have been numerous studies on its effects on mice and rats.
According to the findings of the study, the animals that took extract of myrtle slept more often and their muscles were relaxed. It has also shown that the myrtle extract has anti-anxiety properties.
In addition, another study has shown that the extract of myrtle has relaxing properties on some animals. In fact, mice that took myrtle essential oil had prolonged sleeping activity, which slowed down the function of the brain.
3. Clary sage for healthier menopause
Clary sage has the ability to reduce the levels of cortisol. A recent study has shown that 50-year old women, who inhaled oil of clary saga, experienced reduced levels of cortisol. In addition, even though the reducing was rather slightly, there was also a decrease in the thyroid hormones.
It is also considered that clary saga can increase the levels of estrogen in women, who have menopausal symptoms as a result of decreases estrogen levels.
4. Thyme for preventing breast cancer
In vitro study evaluated the effects of a few herbs extracts on breast cancer. The herb that was able to act with progesterone, a female sex hormone produced in pregnancy and menstrual cycle, was thyme.
According to the researchers, thyme has a great number of phytoprogestins and phytoestrogens, which were tested to find out of they have effects on the growth of the breast cancer cells.
Interestingly, the findings of the study have shown that the thyme had the same effects in inhibiting the breast cancer cell growth and preventing the function of the progesterone.
5. Sandalwood for lowering stress
A recent study assessed the effects of aromatherapy on women, who underwent breast biopsy, a test to find out if a lump is malignant.
Undergoing breast biopsy may be rather stressful for most women. Therefore, participants in the study were told to try a combination of two essential oils.
The findings of the study have shown that the combination of peppermint oil and orange oil was less effective than the combination of lavender oil and sandalwood, which has shown calming effects in the participants and reduced anxiety.
In addition, another study has shown that patients with poor sleep quality experienced improved sleep by inhaling different types of essential oils.
One of the essential oils used in this combination was sandalwood. Nearly 64 % of the participants experienced a slightly imropved sleep quality.
It can be especially effective at regulating hormonal balances. It is beneficial for the thyroid as it promotes elimination of free radicals, which lead to cellular damage. In addition, it can be also used to enhance an overactive thyroid gland, and aids in overcoming adrenal fatigue.
Gut health issues have been considered to cause autoimmune reactions, as well as thyroid disorders. You can use the fennel oil to calm down your body, enhance digestive processes, and improve metabolism and lower inflammation.
All you have to do is to rub two drops of fennel essential oil on the stomach or pour 1 – 2 drops of the oil in lukewarm water or tea.
Lavender oil enhances emotional balance, because it significantly treats depression, anxiety, stress and mood swifts. In addition, it is used to improve sleep quality, which in turn helps to regulate hormones.
HOW TO USE HERBS MEDICINALLY
You can use herbs in many ways. The simplest way to experience their benefits is to include them in your smoothies or diet, even though you can find them in essential oils, teas, and extracts. You can use medicinal herbs in ointments and poultices.
Extract forms represents concentrated doses of medicinal herbs, which can be found in powder form (loose powder and capsules) when the water is eliminated completely from the herb or tinctures (liquid). It is best to use tinctures on an empty stomach for 1 – 2 ml.
Essential herbal oils can be used in numerous ways:
– Mix it with a carrier oil, such as: coconut oil, and apply it on the skin
– Add several drops to a warm bath
– Use it as a diffuser. Put a few drops in a distilled water and place it in place it in somewhere in your home.
When you prepare or buy herbals teas, you should look for herbal ones. Moreover, you should buy whole leaf teas instead of teabags, which may often contain pesticide residues. Consume the herbal teas three times on a daily basis.