When it comes to herbs that balance hormones, there is an overwhelming number to choose from.
As a result, we often feel overwhelmed when we try to make sense of the options that are on the market (which is why it’s always a good idea to work with an herbalist or naturopathic doctor for a customized plan).
But you can start to overcome this overwhelm when you understand some of the types or categories of herbs that have traditionally been used to support hormone balance. These categories are:
- Nervous system herbs: this system manages all communication throughout the body. And a lot of that communication relies on hormones. So, whether it’s communication about sleep, your menstrual cycle or your body temperature, the nervous system needs to be in good health for everything to run smoothly.
- Herbs for the digestive system (particularly, the liver): this organ does a lot of heavy lifting to keep our hormones and entire body in check. This includes storing vitamins and minerals, removing toxins from the blood, metabolizing estrogen, converting thyroid T4 hormone to T3 and so much more.
- Herbs for the reproductive system: this system is part of the HPG axis, which involve the hypothalamus, pituitary and gonads (i.e. the ovaries, for women). The HPG regulates secretion of sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
As you can see, if one of these three systems isn’t working optimally, it can be harder to balance your hormones and/or getting last results.
So, in this article, we’re going to look at six herbs that address all of those systems, plus an all-in-one supplement that you can use to quickly incorporate these herbs into your routine.
Note: this post contains some affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you use them.
6 HERBS FOR NATURAL HORMONE BALANCE
The herbs we’re going to look at are:
- St. John’s Wort and Wild Oats: for the nervous system.
- Red clover and dandelion: for the liver and blood purification.
- Vitex and black cohosh: for the reproductive system.
Let’s dive into each one!
1. St. John’s Wort
This bright herb has traditionally been used as a tonic for the nervous system.
Not only can St. John’s Wort alleviate mild to moderate depression, but it also relieves physical tension and eases anxiety.
In fact, this herb has been shown to be very helpful when “menopausal changes trigger irritability and anxiety” (source).
Furthermore, St. John’s Wort is effective at reducing spasms in various parts of the body. It’s no surprise then that this may help to ease menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms (source).
Last but not least, St John’s Wort is also good for the liver which is a nice perk for hormone health.
2. Wild Oats (Avena Sativa)
Even though we often think about oats in terms of oatmeal, the plant actually has a long history of medicinal use.
Wild oats (sometimes called “milky seed”) have historically been used to support the nervous system (which plays an integral part in hormone function), soothe frayed nerves and promote physical, mental, and emotional strength.
Whether we’re talking about exhaustion, depression or insomnia, oats benefit the entire body in various ways!
3. Red Clover
This is significant because clean blood means you no longer have to worry about hormone disruptors flowing through your body and causing more damage to other parts of your body.
Aside from its cleansing abilities, red clover contains isoflavones that act like natural estrogen.
Now, you might be thinking “should I be taking in more estrogen?”
Remember that even though excess estrogen can cause problems, too little estrogen can also be problematic.
With red clover, your body will be able to find a happy medium that works for you.
In addition to all of the above, red clover has also been shown to help with inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and more!
According to herbalist James Green, “including simple, wild, fresh and free herbs such as young springtime dandelion leaves in your diet helps everything work better” (source).
That’s a lot of praise for something many of us consider to be a pesky weed!
There are two main reasons why dandelion is great for the liver, and hormones:
- First, it increases bile production.
- Secondly, it supports emptying of the gallbladder.
Both of the above functions contribute to healthy liver function and ultimately, to hormone imbalance.
In addition, dandelion acts a diuretic, meaning it increases urine.
Other than regular bowel movements, urine is one of the body’s preferred – and safest – ways of eliminating toxins from the body.
5. Vitex (aka Chaste tree or chaste berry)
Also known as chasteberry or chaste tree, these little berries have been shown to improve PMS, irregular (and absent) periods, infertility, menopause symptoms, fibroid and endometriosis.
So, how can one plant do all this?
It’s all down to the fact that vitex acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
As we saw earlier, the hypothalamus and pituitary send out signals that affect hormone production in various parts of the body.
In addition, vitex is able to (source):
- Increase levels of luteinizing hormone.
- Inhibit the release of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone).
- regulate prolactin.
These three things are important for maintaining a healthy balance of estrogen to progesterone.
And this matters a lot because estrogen and progesterone are strongly intertwined.
Any disturbance in the delicate balance between these two hormones could contribute to estrogen dominance and a laundry list of health complications.
6. Black Cohosh
If you struggle with hot flashes, anxiety, PCOS, fibroids, or sleep disturbances, black cohosh is an herb that you should consider using (source).
In fact, when it comes to improving PCOS symptoms, one study showed that black cohosh is as effective as prescription drugs.
Although it is not totally clear how black cohosh works, there’s no denying the anecdotal and scientific reports of its benefits for women’s health.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH HORMONE-BALANCING HERBS
Now that you know which herbs are best for regulating your hormones the next step is to add these herbs to your daily routine. And the simplest way to do this is with this Women’s Balance herbal blend from Gaia.
I’m a long-time fan of Gaia’s products because they’re easily digestible, liquid-based capsules.
In addition, based on videos I’ve caught on YouTube, they follow clean farming practices (which means no toxins for you to worry about).
Not only does the Women’s Balance blend contain all of the herbs we’ve covered, but it also contains:
- Alfalfa: rich in antioxidants, contains plant estrogens, supports healthy cholesterol levels, and supports healthy hair, skin, nails (source).
- Vervain: eases tension, improves moods and supports respiratory system (source).
- Sage: rich in antioxidants, boosts immune system and has a cooling effect on the body (source).
So, when it’s all said and done, this one supplement gives you multi-system nourishment so that you can support your hormones from every angle!
Go here to get this Women’s Balance formula.
FAQs ABOUT HERBS THAT CAN HELP BALANCE HORMONES
What tea is good for hormonal balance?
Some of the best teas for balancing hormones include hibiscus, stinging nettle, chamomile and mint teas (both peppermint and spearmint). These teas have various benefits that include supporting the liver, lowering androgens and regulating estrogen levels.
For a complete list of teas, be sure to check out this list of the top 10 teas for balancing women’s hormones.
Can turmeric help balance hormones?
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and liver-protective properties that can be beneficial if you’re struggling with hormonal imbalance. In addition, some research indicates that turmeric can help improve insulin resistance. This can be particularly helpful for PCOS, weight loss, acne and other hormonal imbalance symptoms that are linked to insulin resistance.
You can learn more about turmeric – and get my simple turmeric milk recipe – in this article on using turmeric for hormonal imbalance.
What foods are good for hormones?
The best foods for hormone health are anti-inflammatory foods such as whole fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains. In addition, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids – such as salmon – are also suitable for supporting hormones.
For an in-depth look at which foods to eat, read this guide on what to include in a hormone-balancing diet plan.
Does flaxseed help balance hormones?
Research shows that flaxseed contains lignans, which are a type of fiber that helps the body regulate estrogen levels. In addition, flaxseeds are a natural source of zinc, which supports progesterone production. Given these two benefits, regular consumption of flaxseeds could contribute to overall hormone balance.
For tips on how to add flaxseeds to your diet, you can use this guide to seed cycling for hormone balance. It provides more details on how much flaxseed to eat, which phase of your menstrual cycle to eat, as well as how to consume them even if your period is missing/irregular.
In the same way that we need a rainbow of foods to stay healthy, we also need a variety of herbs to reap the most benefits.
And when it comes to hormones, St John’s Wort, wild oats, red clover, dandelion, vitex and black cohosh are just a few of the herbs that can you get back on track.
Now, do note that there are many other herbs out there that provide many of the same benefits as the herbs we covered in this article.
However, what I like most about these six herbs is that they’re generally easy to find and some of them – like wild oats and St. John’s Wort – are quite effective. But they often get ignore in favor of trendier herbs.
When combined with a healthy, hormone-friendly diet, these hormone-friendly herbs are a practical way for you to reset your hormones naturally and worry-free!
Hey! Curious about supplements for women’s hormones? Here are my favorites (in-depth review of these supplements can be found here):
- Hormone Harmony: this supplement combines a variety of herbs including adaptogens (to help with cortisol and stress), nervines (for nervous system support) as well as herbal extracts that help with insulin sensitivity. In addition, many of the glowing reviews indicate that it helps with hot flashes, bloating, sleep disturbance, fatigue and more. For all around-hormone support, this is one worth investigating. Get $10 OFF with code HAPPYYOU076057.
- Green Juice: for green powder, this is my go-to. It combines green powders like matcha and chlorella, with adaptogens (ashwagandha and maca) and anti-inflammatories like turmeric. The ingredients used may help with lowering stress, cortisol, boosting energy, supporting weight loss and much more.
- Moon Balance: this powder combines some of the best herbs for menstrual support, such as hibiscus, maca and shatavari. If your cycle is off balance and you struggle with things like PMS, period pain and other menstrual imbalances, this is one to check out.
- Maca Root Powder: in the single herb category, maca is worth paying attention to. It has traditionally been used in Peru for hormone support (in men and women). Research and anecdotal reports indicate that this root vegetable helps with libido, anxiety, hot flashes, menstrual health and more.