A stressful lifestyle, poor diet, environmental factors, aging, and declining physical activities are just some of the reasons why more and more men and women are developing hormonal imbalances. This malfunction of one or more hormones in your body can lead to various symptoms, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, mood swings, muscle pain, low sex drive, hot flashes, and infertility. If left untreated, hormonal balance can trigger long-term issues such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, increased risk of cancer, and urinary tract infections.
One of the traditional medical approaches to this condition is hormone replacement therapy. However, this treatment is considered to have many side effects. It is best to talk with your doctor about a comprehensive approach and appropriate corrective care.
Adaptogens, aka adaptogenic substances, can always help because they regulate endocrine system functions and help with achieving hormone balance.
As their name suggests “adaptogens” contribute to your body’s adaptation to stress, and they do so in a completely natural and holistic way.
Adaptogens are actually planted extracts which encourage the body’s ability for resistance and resilience to the harmful effects of physical, mental, emotional, and environmental stressors. Adaptogens are normalizing the stress response and thus restoring hormonal balance. Since they are natural and non-toxic, adaptogens are generally safe for everyone.
The Function of Adaptogens
Now, let’s take a little closer to what adaptogens can do for you. These plant compounds target your Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) Axis to heal your body’s stress response (the-fight-or-flight response). You see, your body is not designed to cope with stress on an everyday basis. When it turns into chronic stress it can lead to hormonal dysfunction.
Adaptogens have the ability to gently heal the natural stress response and lead to a natural restoring of balance in your body.
Some of the useful functions of adaptogens:
- Regulate the production of cortisol
- Boost immunity
- Decrease fatigue
- Balance hormones
- Maintain healthy organ function
- Improve resistance to stress
Best Adaptogenic Plants for Hormonal Balance
Unlike hormone replacement therapy that produces undesirable side effects, adaptogenic herbs are a natural and safe treatment for hormonal imbalance. If you are facing any issues with hormones, here are some of the top adaptogens to try.
This is a vine that grows in Africa and parts of Asia, and it is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. The plant has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties, and it is believed that it can optimize stress response and contribute to hormone balance. While the very plant is difficult to come by, Cissus Quadrangularis is powerful natural hormone optimizer that is available on the market and offers similar perks.
Ginseng is popular among health buffs for quite some time now. For this purpose, its strongest perk is that strengthens the HPA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal) Axis which helps in stress management, and at the same time diminishes the risk of hormonal imbalance. Most importantly, ginseng promotes vitality without overstimulating the endocrine system.
Maca root is ideal for balancing female hormones, as it aids the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands. Besides balancing the hormones, it also supports the endocrine system. This adaptogen is the closest it gets to hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women.
Ganoderma Lucidum is a type of adaptogenic mushroom which supports immunity and improves your body’s ability to balances out its hormones. They have been used in Asian medicine for hundreds of years for minimizing the effects of inflammation, fighting fatigue, and preventing hormone imbalance.
Vitex Agnus Castus or Chasteberry is a powerful adaptogen that affects the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. It stimulates the hormones participating in ovulation and restores overall balance in hormones. It is especially useful for maintaining stable progesterone levels. Chasteberry can be used to promote regular cycle, alleviate PMS symptoms, and boost female fertility.
Flaxseed can be found in almost any grocery store today, and it will never be a mistake to get one of these. These seeds contain phytoestrogens called lignans, protein, fiber, and an omega-3 fatty known as ALA. Lignans can impact the hormone receptor cells to increase or reduce the production of phytoestrogen. Flaxseeds also stimulate the production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) which binds to superfluous estrogen and testosterone molecules to make them inactive.
Now, here’s a plant we all know and love. But did you know that, besides being delicious and packed with healthy calories, avocado and its micro-nutrients aid in hormone regulation? By promoting the production of progesterone, avocados regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy and inhibit the estrogen absorption which can cause serious health problems later in life.
Hormonal imbalance can cause a series of health problems that can make your life complicated. While it is essential to treat this issue in consultation with your doctor, getting additional support from harmless products of nature can only bring you positive effects. After all, mother knows best, and Mother Nature is the one mother to rule them all.