Herbs for hormonal imbalance are not the usual topics you will find concerning the treatment of hormonal imbalance, there has been a wide disregard for the superiority of natural things for synthetic products, so much so that it has affected the things we introduce to our bodies. Take for instance, until recently, people will rather use toothpastes containing dubious synthetic materials instead of the natural toothpastes that are available to us.
In the same way, hormonal imbalance treatment has been treated, after series of tests, of course, with medications that have serious side effects, and people have been contented with just that. You should know, that there are herbs, made from leaves, stems, and roots of different plants that are effective against the hormonal imbalance symptoms you feel.
In this article, we will discuss about how hormonal imbalance affects both men and women, the causes of hormonal imbalance, and the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. However, our goal is to help you know and identify those herbs for hormonal imbalance, that is herbs that will help you alleviate the symptoms and effects hormonal imbalance causes.
What is Hormonal Imbalance?
The human body functions in an orderly manner, and this is achieved through the relay of messages to the different organs of the body, concerned with specific functions, such as digestion, reproduction, excretion, to cover the bigger events. However, within these big biological events, there are smaller ones, and each one is started by the instruction given by the brain, and delivered by biological chemicals, called hormones.
These hormones, produced by different endocrine glands, should be in specific proportions to give the right effect. However, when they are produced too much or too little, a condition we refer to as hormonal imbalance, they cause a different effect, either excessive or inadequate, from what they are supposed to.
Hormonal imbalance affects both men and women, and it is manifested in many ways, ranging from reproduction – menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, sex drive – to appetite, digestion of food materials, regulation of internal environment, and sleep. When these biological processes and functions are disrupted due to an imbalance in hormones, it causes a reduction in the quality of life.
Although some hormones, such as Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone, progesterone, and estrogen, in women, fluctuate throughout their active reproductive life, they are meant to do so at certain times of the month and when certain conditions, such as pregnancy occurs. Also, hormones such as insulin only increase in the blood stream when there is need for glucose to be extracted from it.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance occurs due to many reasons, some of which may be from the dysfunction of certain endocrine glands, certain medication or treatments, and others may be caused by our own activities as suggested by our lifestyles. Here are some of the causes of hormonal imbalance.
- Tumor growth as in cancers.
- Hormone therapy
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
When these causes kick start the improper balance of hormones in the body, they lead to the manifestation of their presence by causing some signs to be seen and felt by the affected individuals. Some of the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance as generally observes in men, women, and children, include:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Sudden weight loss
- Muscle aches, stiffness, and tenderness
- Anxiety, irritability, and nervousness
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Thinning hair
Signs and symptoms specific to women include:
- Irregular or heavy menstrual flow
- Excessive facial and body hair
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of hair
- Painful sexual intercourse
Signs and Symptoms specific to men include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced hair growth
- Loss of muscle mass
- Breast tenderness
In children, generally, hormonal imbalance manifests in the late onset of puberty and its signs. In male children, there is an excessive lengthening of the arms and legs compared to the trunk, the voice doesn’t deepen, and the pubic hairs, testicles, and penis growth are impaired.
In female children, their growth is not as rapid as it should be, the breasts refuse to grow, and menstruation doesn’t appear.
All of these symptoms in children is explained as hypogonadism.
Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance
There are many treatment options for hormonal imbalance, depending on the cause and symptoms an affected individual show. These treatments are usually medication based and they address specific hormones that need to be balanced. Some of them include:
This hormonal imbalance treatment is for men who have insufficient amount of testosterone. It is also for women who have excessive amount of testosterone. Men can be given patches or injections that supplement the testosterone their bodies produce.
This treatment is for women who have excessive amount of androgen, that is, masculine hormones in their system. They are used to address hormonal imbalance symptoms, such as facial hair in women and hair loss.
Thyroid hormone therapy
One of the causes of hormonal imbalance is the dysfunction (overactivity or underactivity) of the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone therapy is used to supply thyroid hormones, artificially into the body of an affected individual.
This therapy aid in helping women have more of the female sex hormone. It is important in maintaining the menstrual cycle, and consequently getting pregnant.
Also, the use of vaginal estrogen creams, that helps to alleviate vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse, can be classified under estrogen therapy.
Hormonal birth control
This is specifically for women who are dealing with infertility as a result of an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. The imbalance causes the release of ovum not to occur, thereby, eliminating any chance of pregnancy.
This therapy includes the use of any birth control method, including vaginal ring, pills, injection shots, and many more.
Herbs for Hormonal Imbalance
Apart from these common therapies for hormonal imbalance, there are also herbs – leaves, roots, flowers, and barks – from plants, that help to address the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. However, they do not act as fast as the medication you will be prescribed in the hospital, but has more lasting effect once their effect takes hold on the body.
Vitex agnus-castus (Ata Iyere)
Commonly called Chaste tree, produces leaves and stems that are extensively used in herbal medicine. In the past, it was believed to be an anaphrodisiac, that is it counters the desire to have sexual intercourse. However, its use, today, although sexual, has been as a tonic to improve the sexual vibrancy of both men and women.
Its berries, leaves, stems, and flowers, are commonly used to produce tinctures that are mixed with water at a ratio of 1:1, and to be taken first thing in the morning.
It is effective in treating premenstrual stress as it raises the level of oestrogen. However, it is not advisable to use this herb during pregnancy.
Asparagus racemosus (Aluki)
Asparagus racemosus, popularly called Shatavari among the Indians and Aluki, among the Yoruba is an important herb used in Ayuverdic medicine. It commonly grows in the tropical climate of India and the Himalaya, and due to its popular and numerous uses, combined with indiscrimate harvesting and deforestation, it is now categorized as an endangered plant in its natural habitat.
Shatavari roots are majorly used in the treatment of menstrual issues and hormonal imbalances in women. They are also used to treat indigestion and gastric ulcers. It is said to contain steroidal saponins, alkaloids, and mucilage.
Girdle pod (Irawo Ile)
Girdle pod, a widely known plant in West Africa is useful to both animals and humans. It is used in some parts of West Africa to supplement livestock feed. However, it offers more important uses for to humans.
It possesses antifungal properties; hence, it is used to treat fungal skin infections. It is also used to address amenorrhea – a condition of irregular menstruation in women that usually arises due to hormonal imbalance.
Irawo-ile, as it is called in Yoruba, is an important herb that help to restore the correct balance of reproductive hormones by interacting with the ovaries.
Maca root has gained popularity in recent times, due to its advertised ability to help men perform better, sexually, in the bedroom. As is expected, any product that preaches enhanced sexual ability, always makes good sales. However, is the claim true?
The use of Maca root can be traced to hundreds of years in Peru, where they are grown in high altitudes. The roots are harvested and dried, ground into powder as added as additives to foods. Some studies have shown that Maca root is efficient in improving the amount of testosterone in men. Also, it improves the menopausal symptoms in women.
This proofs that the plant does not contain hormones, but encourages the primary gonads concerned with producing primary sexual hormones, to produce more.
Scent leaf (Efirin)
Efirin is a common herb in West Africa. It is commonly called African basil or scent leaf and its use for health purposes predates many medications today. It is an effective laxative and analgesic. However, it does more than calm an upset stomach or treat inflammations.
Scent leaf, Efirin, is useful in improving the production of testosterone and boosting male fertility. It increases the volume and quality of sperm, thereby, treating male infertility.
Herbs for hormonal imbalance are common in Africa and West Africa. The negligence of people to alternative medicine is the reason most of the knowledge of the uses of the plants around us is reducing day by day. So many herbal remedies to our ailments have been ignored for medications that has great side effects and consequences attached to its use.
However, for those who believe and trust the efficacy of herbal medicine and the usefulness of natural means of treatment, there is hope for individuals who suffer from hormonal imbalance as there are roots, leaves, stems, and flowers that can be combined for the best treatment. Approach an approved alternative medicine clinic, get tested, and treated accordingly. For all you know, a recommendation of herbal superfoods is all you'll get.