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Best Supplements and Herbs To Balance Female Hormones Naturally

Healthy Lifestyle

3 May 2021

Let’s be real, the supplement and herbal market can be misguided and confusing AF.

Not only is it difficult to interpret what you might actually need based on your unique hormonal imbalances and symptoms, but when you do figure it out it can still be extremely difficult to sift through all the products and find a trustworthy brand that actually works.

Which is exactly why I created this guide, so that I can empower women with the best supplements and herbs to balance female hormones naturally.

So that you’re investing your money and time into products that will actually work to help you feel your very best (always my end goal for you!)

Please keep in mind this is a very general guide, and I encourage every single woman reading this to 1) take into account your unique hormonal imbalances, symptoms, and needs and 2) check in with your medical practitioner before adding ANY new herbs and supplements to your routine, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have a pre-existing medical condition.

If you need a tailored supplement and herb plan to help you balance your menstrual cycle check out my go-to guide. For fertility-boosting supplements and herbs (for both male and female) I highly recommend this resource

 

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE IN WOMEN

Before you start taking ANY new herbs or supplements, I also encourage you to learn as much as you can about your specific hormonal imbalances. The more you know, the more targeted you can get in your supplement and herb approach, saving you time and money while getting you better results.

Check out this post for the most common hormonal imbalances and symptoms in women, or take this free quiz to investigate further. 

Once you’ve done a bit of research to become your own health advocate, seeking out a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic practitioner who specializes in hormone health to administer root cause testing can make a huge difference in helping you rebalance your hormones quickly and effectively.

 

WHY SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS ARE IMPORTANT FOR FEMALE HORMONE BALANCE

While I’m a FIRM believer in focusing on getting as many nutrients as possible from a variety of real, whole foods, I also believe that supplements and herbs are an effective way to fill in any nutritional gaps, helping hormones stay balanced in order for women to feel their best.

This is because nutrition is a KEY aspect of hormone balance. Our hormones would simply not be able to produce, function or do their jobs without nutrients derived from the food we eat, as well as the supplements and herbs we consume.

A lack of nutrients, whether due to dieting, skipping meals or not eating enough, eating a limited variety of foods, nutrient-poor processed foods, pesticides or environmental contamination, soil depletion, foods sitting on the shelve too long, etc. negatively impacts our hormones, leading to the uncomfortable symptoms and hormonal imbalances we experience as a result.

Because it can be more challenging today to access a variety of nutrient-rich foods (some reasons listed above, with soil depletion being a major factor) I often recommend supplements and herbs as a helpful and natural way to increase vitamin and mineral intake in order for optimal hormone balance.

 

THE BEST SUPPLEMENTS TO BALANCE FEMALE HORMONES NATURALLY

Truly, I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much more of an impact you can make if you’re able to determine your unique nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances and tailor a supplemental plan to your needs.

That being said, in general, these are the most common supplements I recommend to balance female hormones naturally.

 

+ Probiotics

When gut bacteria becomes imbalanced (due to toxin exposure, medications and hormonal birth control, stress, alcohol, etc.), our microbiome is unable to extract nutrients from our food and supplements effectively. Over time this can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which as you’ve learned is a root cause of many hormone imbalances.

Adding in a high quality probiotic supplement works to re-establish the bacteria needed to improve the production and regulation of key female hormones.

Here’s the probiotic brand I use and recommend:

Personally, I’ve been using this brand for over a year and have experienced a big improvement in my regularity, as well as a reduction in digestive symptoms like bloating, constipation, etc. It includes prebiotics and probiotics, over 24-tested strands, 53 billion AFU’s, and no need to refrigerate. *Don’t forget to use code SOFRESH15 to save 15% off your purchase. 

 

+ Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is incredibly common in women due to depletion via stress (which actually pushes minerals out of the body). This is a double-edged sword as magnesium is needed to calm our nervous system and regulate stress hormone cortisol, which works to lower inflammation, promote optimal sleep and keep hormones balanced.

Here’s the magnesium brand I use and recommend:

I use and recommend this brand to clients experiencing irregularity or constipation and this brand to clients who are deficient in magnesium and experience symptoms such as low quality sleep/insomnia, headaches, painful periods, cravings or joint-pain.

 

+ Omega-3’s

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential building block of hormone production and function, especially in regards to female sex hormones, your adrenal glands and your thyroid. They’re also incredibly anti-inflammatory and have been shown to be extremely effective at mitigating symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s, adrenal conditions like PCOS, menopausal symptoms and fertility challenges.

Because many of us are not consuming enough sources rich in omega-3’s (cold-water fresh fish like salmon and sardines, algae and krill minimum 3x per week) it can be incredibly beneficial to add in an omega-3 fish oil supplement.

Here’s the omega-3 brand I use and recommend:

I love this brand, which features a high concentration of HIGH quality, third-party tested fish-oil from fresh, wild-caught fish, minus any gross smell or taste you might experience from lower quality brands. PS — If you’re pregnant, this omega-3 is an amazing prenatal option for both you and baby!

 

+ Activated B-Complex

B vitamins are used as cofactors in detoxification, which plays an essential role in hormonal health. This is because hormones are constantly being recycled in our bodies, their components are broken down by our livers and then either reused or safely eliminated. These detox pathways require B vitamins to be successfully completed, and if they’re not, it can throw your hormones completely out of balance.

It can make all the difference to supplement with an activated B vitamin complex, especially if you are taking hormonal birth control, postpartum, vegetarian or vegan or deal with gut issues (all of which can lead to a deficiency ) or are struggling with painful periods or fertility challenges. They’re also VITAL for a healthy pregnancy.

Here’s the activated B-complex I use and recommend: 

My favorite trusted brands include this option (includes b vitamins derived from nourishing whole foods), and this option (a potent blend rich in folate, especially important for those trying to get pregnant or planning to conceive in the future).


+ Vitamin D

Vitamin D actually acts much more like a hormone than a vitamin. Our skin can convert sunshine into Vitamin D, but our liver and kidneys need to be healthy to turn it into its active form. When blood levels are between 70-90, we’re poised for optimal hormone health, however 80% of people are deficient in Vitamin D and 93% of women struggling with fertility have low levels. It’s important to note it IS possible to have too much and to get blood levels checked first before using.

Here’s the vitamin D brand I use and recommend:

I personally use and love this option, which provides 2,000 IU’s of high quality vitamin D3 in liquid form, so that’s it’s easily absorbed in your digestive tract (especially important for people that suffer from digestive issues or leaky gut as the tablets may not break down as effectively).

 

THE BEST HERBS TO BALANCE FEMALE HORMONES NATURALLY

+ Adaptogenic Herbs

Incorporating adaptogenic herbs into your routine can be a powerful way to balance female hormones, as they work to regulate the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal connection), which is in charge of your stress response and cortisol production. They also nourish our endocrine system (ovaries, thyroid, adrenal glands) and ultimately keep the body and hormones balanced.

There are a ton of adaptogenic herbs out there, each with different hormone-balancing and healing properties, but below are a few of my faves, especially when it comes to balancing female hormones and supporting a healthy menstrual cycle.

 

  • + Maca Root — increases energy, stamina, libido and fertility

  • + Ashwagandha — reduces cortisol production, stress and anxiety, can boost mood

  • + Reishi Mushroom— helps with liver support and removing harmful toxins that can lead to hormonal imbalance **use code SOFRESH10 to save

  • + Schisandra — lowers cortisol production, rebalances nervous system, promotes sexual vitality

  • + Licorice — works to nourish adrenals, increases circulation

  • + Tulsi — regulates anxiety and stress, can boost mood, helpful at reducing PMS

  • + Chaga Mushroom — supports energy and brain function, boosts immunity and lowers inflammation **use code SOFRESH10 to save

  • + Shatavari — boosts LH production and supports libido during ovulation, helpful if trying to conceive

 

+ Red Raspberry Leaf

This is a powerful uterine tonic herb full of vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron that work to replenish the body (especially before and during menstruation). It’s also a uterine relaxant and stimulant, which works to regulate the uterus and ease heavy cramping, making it an especially good option if you suffer from PMS or painful periods.

+ Nettle

This cleansing herb is particularly helpful in reducing bloating during your luteal phase (the 10-14 days leading up to your period). It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, vitamin A, and chlorophyll that work to replenish your body during menstruation.

+ Dandelion

A cleansing herb and natural diuretic that supports the liver in natural detoxification. It’s extremely effective at relieving bloat, water retention, PMS and breast tenderness, making it an ideal herb to incorporate during your luteal phase.

+ Ginger 

This warming herb promotes circulation throughout the body, helping to redirect blood back to the uterus, and alleviate menstrual cramps. It can also be used for morning sickness, or any kind of nausea.

+ Burdock Root

This liver-supportive herb works to purify blood, making it an ideal option if you deal with skin inflammation or conditions like acne or hormonal breakouts. It’s especially effective to consume during ovulation in order to help flush out excess estrogen.

+ Red Clover

This herb helps to increase cervical mucus and lubricate the vagina, working to optimize your fertile window and conception if trying to conceive. Ideal to take during ovulation.

+ Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex)

This herb helps to lengthen the luteal phase by boosting progesterone levels, which is especially important if you’re trying to conceive. Ideal to take in tincture or capsule form during your luteal phase.

+ Triphala

This herb works to support elimination, relieve constipation and help support your body’s detoxification abilities, making it ideal to incorporate during the end of your luteal phase, leading up to menstruation.

**If the thought of incorporating a bunch of individual herbs feels overwhelming, I absolutely love (and used prior to pregnancy) this custom herbal blend designed to heal your unique hormonal imbalances and promote a healthy period and menstrual cycle. Use code SOFRESH15 to save 15%.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS FOR HORMONE BALANCE

With SO many supplements and herbs available to choose from, it can be difficult to pick a trustworthy brand that is actually worth the investment. While I’ve linked some of my favorite trusted herbs and supplements I use and also recommend to clients in this post (which full disclosure, I may receive a small affiliate compensation for), here are a few general guidelines to follow when purchasing herbs and supplements for hormone balance:

 

  • + Third Party Tested — the best way to ensure the quality of a supplement. While not required by law in the US, many companies do so in order to ensure a supplement is free of harmful levels of contaminants and doesn’t contain any undeclared ingredients. Look for labels such as COA, NSF, USP, BSCG, or ConsumerLab

  • + Fillers such as gluten, soy or dairy that may provoke an inflammatory response

  • + Contain a safe and ideal level of vitamins and minerals (consult your medical practitioner and get blood levels tested to determine)

  • + Consider possible interactions (i.e. consult your medical practitioner first before taking ANY herbs or supplements as it may negatively interact with a medical condition or any medications you’re currently taking)


HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HORMONE BALANCING HERBAL INFUSIONS

A great way to save money and improve the taste of hormone-balancing herbs is to make your own infusions using dried, loose herbs (vs. buying in a pre-made tea, tincture or supplement form).

To do so, select 1-2 teaspoons of loose herbs (use the guide above to select based on your unique symptoms and hormonal imbalances) per one cup of water.

To infuse, put herbs in a large glass jar and add 1 cup boiling water per 1-2 teaspoons of loose herbs. Let steep overnight, then strain and either re-heat over stovetop or sip chilled (love this in the summertime). Feel free to add lemon or honey to enhance the flavor.

To make a quick tea, add herbs to a teapot and bring water to a boil. Let steep for 10-15 minutes, then consume.


BOTTOMLINE

While it’s important to focus on a nutrient-diet first, supplements and herbs can be an extremely effective way to fill in any nutritional gaps or deficiencies and balance female hormones naturally.

To ensure best results, it’s important to consider your own unique hormonal imbalances and needs and get testing for a targeted approach, as well as consult your medical practitioner before taking (especially if you’re pregnant, nursing, currently taking medications or have pre-existing medical conditions).

Additionally, use the tips in this guide to pick high quality herbs and supplements and use during specific times of your menstrual cycle to promote optimal healing. Consider if you’d prefer capsule, tincture or tea form, and for the best bang for your buck with herbs you can purchase dried loose leaf to make your own infusions.

**If you’re looking for a guide of exactly when to take herbs and supplements during your menstrual cycle to promote optimal female hormone balance, check out this plan.


MORE HORMONE-BALANCING RESOURCES YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL

+ Hormone-Balancing Foods To Eat For Each Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

+ Cycle-Syncing Cheat Sheet To Having A Better Period + Menstrual Cycle

+ 28-Day Hormone Balance Reset Plan


DISCLAIMER

Information in this post is not meant to be a substitute for any medical advice, medication, or protocol you have been given from your doctor. Please DO NOT begin any new supplements or herbs unless you have checked with your doctor first to be sure they do not negatively interact with any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you’re currently taking.