As a women, I can almost vouch on the fact that we have all had some sort or hormonal imbalance in our lives that has manifested in various ways for each of us. I’ve definitely been there myself. For me, it was one of the most frustrating + uncomfortable experiences. It left me feeling kind of lost, a little hopeless and almost unwomanly. Over the years I have become extremely in tune with my body, so when something is off, I feel it straight away.
My heart behind this blog post is to give you some inspiration + education on how your hormones work and natural practices we can implement to bring some balance back to our hormone health.
Before I get into all the details of the blog post, I need to preface that I am not a health care professional and the information stated below is for education purposes only. Before making any major changes to your lifestyle, I highly encourage you to reach out to your doctor, whether that is through natural medicine or conventional medicine, and work on a plan with them.
With that being said, let’s jump right into the various ways you can be nurturing + balancing your hormones through natural practices.
Our hormones play such a vital role in our bodies. Our hormones essentially become chemical messengers and aim to bind to specific exterior tissue + cell receptors to then play an important role in the bodies various functions. Our Endocrine system works synergistically to ensure our hormones are functioning optimally, and if they are out of balance, even just a little bit, it can have a major effect on your body and overall health.
There are SOOOO many different factors that play into hormone imbalances, as you’ve just read above, we are extremely complex and that little outline only scratches the surface of how intricately we work.
I want to give you some practical ways to help nurture those hormones back to balance through natural practices. If any of these sound a little woo-woo and left of field, I get it, but I totally believe in taking an all natural route, especially when it’s in regard to your health.
HERBS TO HELP BA;ANCE YOUR HORMONES
1. Red Clover – It is rich in phytoestrogen iso-flavones (which are essentially plant derived compounds with estrogenic activity). This herb can be helpful if you are wanting to normalize hormone levels. It is classed as an alternative herb. This means overtime it can help the body remove metabolic waste products and absorb nutrients.
Please note you should not take red clover in conjunction with blood thinning medications. Please seek a medical professional for further instruction, assistance and guidance.
2. Raspberry Leaf – It is known for it’s nutritive reproductive tonic actions. If you use it during menstruation it helps to provide vitamins + minerals which can help with particular nutrient deficiencies. It can also help restoring the natural rhythm of an irregular cycle. It’s energetics are cooling + drying. It also has a nutritive action which helps to nourish + restore the body while also soothing tissues.
3. Chaste Tree (vitex-agnus-castus) – It is used as a hormone normalizer and addresses reproductive issues. It is suggested that it increases progesterone levels.
Avoid if taking dopamine-blocking medications.
4. Dandelion Root – This is helpful for the liver and can promote cleansing in the body + removal of toxins.
5. Yarrow – This is honestly the mother of all herbs. It has so many different actions + uses for the body but because this is all about hormones let me run your through how this beautiful herb can help you. One of the actions displayed in Yarrow is that it is an emmenagogue, which means it can stimulate menstruation. It also has an astringent action, meaning it can slow blood flow down. It is also an antispasmodic which can help to ease cramping + prevent excessive bleeding.
You see what I mean, this herb has many different actions and can be versatile in meeting your needs.
If you are pregnant DO NOT TAKE THIS HERB. You want to steer clear of emmenagogue herbs altogether because it stimulates menstruation and can cause harm to baby.
If you are taking any other medications don’t take these herbs as they will interfere/interact.
I would definitely suggest getting your hormones + blood tested before introducing too many of these herbs at once. You want to get to the root of the problem and find where the imbalance actually is before taking extreme measures.
One of my most favorite topics to write/talk about. The foods we consume play a massive role in the way our bodies function, this includes how your hormones work.
Here are some of my top tips when nurturing hormones:
– Make sure you are getting enough of the right macro and micronutrients. This means adequate sources of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. While I choose to lean more towards filling my meals with majority proteins + fats, carbohydrates are still an important part of our diet. Good sources of complex carbohydrates help with thyroid function and weight maintenance. When women hit a specific low body fat percentage (It’s different for everyone) they run the risk of experiencing amenorrhea (loss of period). Carbohydrates help to sustain our body weight, which in turn helps us to protect those vital organs and ensure we are maintaining a healthy period.
– Focus on fats. Fats help ensure proper absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as: A, D, E and K. Being deficient in 1 or more of these can disrupt hormones. Find a nice balance of Omega-3 fatty acids + Omega-6 fatty acids. Essentially, you want to be getting more Omega 3’s than 6’s, but both are vital for our overall health. Hemp seeds have a really good ratio of both. Otherwise eat all the avocados, fish, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts + seeds and eggs.
You want to ensure you are getting enough vitamins. I believe in eating in a way that allows you to receive most of your vitamins + minerals from foods but I totally understand that supplementation can be powerful and helpful, especially when bringing things back into balance.
These are a few vitamins you should be getting into your diet:
Folate, this helps with cell division and ovulation.
Selenium, this helps with cell division and also helps to protect the sperm and egg if you are trying to get pregnant. It also fights free radicals in the body.
Ensure you are getting enough B vitamins, zinc and vitamin C.
Fish oil — It is full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and can really help balance hormones. It’s also great for bub’s in the womb and for a healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin D. This is a super common deficiency in most adults and can have a really negative effect on your body as a whole.
This is probably the most underrated, yet one of the most important points. It’s really crucial to pay attention to every aspect of your health, this includes the lifestyle choices you make. Everything you do has an impact on your body. Let’s go through a few vital lifestyle changes you can make to ensure you are nurturing those hormones!
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. It’s important for the body to rejuvenate and regulate different hormones in the body. Sleep is wildly over-looked and under appreciated. Take time to get to bed early — Aim for 7-8 hours. Your body needs that to function optimally.
Take time to yourself and slow down. We live in such a fast-paced world and being busy is extremely glorified but girl, let me be the first to tell you that rest is just as, if not more, important. Being over worked + stressed can lead to a spike in your cortisol levels, which leaves you with a hormone imbalance. Try to do a face mask, take a bath and read a book at least once a week. Whatever helps you relax, do that!
Ensure you are getting the right amount of exercise for your body. Too much or too little can also have an effect on hormones.
Switch to non-toxic everything. I know that statement is broad and it can be overwhelming, but different toxins + chemicals can disrupt your hormones. I’ve switched to natural house hold cleaners, soaps, shampoos, skin care, makeup — literally everything. If you would like a blog post on low-tox living, I’m more than happy to run your through how I did it and what products I’m using now.
This is a topic I am so passionate about and could write on for much longer but I understand that some of these tips might be a little overwhelming. I’m not a hormone expert, but I have done a lot of research on this, so if you have any questions or have no idea where to start regarding anything I have just written, I am more than happy to help.
If this post was informative + helpful to you, I’d love to know. Leave a comment below sharing something you’ve learned from this post.
Always remember to be kind to yourself!
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