Herbs are a group of plants whose leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds are used for various purposes.If you love to cook, you may be most familiar with using herbs as cooking ingredients. However, herbs are also used for healthcare, spiritual rituals, and more for thousands of years.
Traditionally, some herbs have even been used to balance hormone levels. Although rigorous research on the topic is limited, some evidence suggests that certain herbs could influence hormone levels in your body, as well as other related functions of the endocrine system. Here’s a list of five herbs with hormone-balancing claims.
Nigella seeds: Nigella sativa is also known as kalonji or fennel flower. Its flowers produce tiny black antioxidant-rich seeds. These seeds have medicinal properties, as they contain thymoquinone, a type of phytonutrient, or plant compound. Early research, mainly in animals, suggests that thymoquinone could act like estrogen in your body and possibly offer symptom relief during menopause. Concentrated Nigella sativa supplements are becoming increasingly popular and sometimes marketed as “black seed” or “black cumin seed.” Whole nigella seeds have an herby aroma and are easy to add to bread, salads, and other dishes.
Ashwagandha is also known as winter cherry, Indian ginseng, or Withania somnifera. It is an evergreen shrub from the nightshade family. It’s highly regarded in herbal medicine, with many ashwagandha supplements, teas, and root powders widely available.
some evidence suggests that certain herbs could influence hormone levels in your body, as well as other related functions of the endocrine system.
By supporting pathways in the brain that are responsible for producing and administrating hormones in your body, ashwagandha might help normalise blood levels of cortisol and thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha may be unsafe for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, as well as people with autoimmune diseases or thyroid disorders.
Black cohosh root
Black cohosh comes from the same family of plants as Nigella sativa — commonly called the crowfoot or buttercup family. You may also have heard black cohosh called bugbane or rattleweed. It’s a popular supplement made from the ground roots of the black cohosh plant. It’s typically taken as a capsule, an extract, or tea.
The estrogen-like effects of black cohosh supplements make the herb another candidate for supporting women’s reproductive health and treating side effects of menopause.
Chasteberry is a common herbal supplement that’s commonly available in extract or capsule form. It’s often combined with other herbs like black cohosh and marketed as a remedy to treat symptoms of menopause and support women’s reproductive health. Chasteberries are the fruit of the Vitex agnus tree which is also called chaste tree, monk’s pepper, or vitex. Studies have found that chasteberry might lower levels of prolactin in the blood. Elevated levels of this hormone are often associated with PMS. The supplement may also treat certain symptoms of PMS like breast pain. Other studies have looked at the herb’s ability to relieve menopausal symptoms and help treat infertility issues and PCOS.
Marjoram and other types of herbal shrubs of the Origanum genus, such as oregano, have been used in traditional medicine for various ailments. The herb contains bioactive plant compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids, both of which are likely partially responsible for its medicinal properties. Early research on marjoram in humans and animals has evaluated how it could reduce stress and help people with PCOS.
Marjoram tea was linked to significant reductions in fasting insulin hormone levels, which could indicate improved blood sugar management.