How to use supplements and herbs to balance hormones
Women know, all too well, that hormones can play havoc with our bodies and our lives. However, you may not need to turn to pharmaceuticals for help. Dozens of studies have shown that managing your hormones with supplements and herbs can mitigate the effects of fluctuating hormones and provide symptomatic relief. Before starting on any new regimen, check with your doctor—especially if you are taking any prescription medicines as some prescription drugs may interfere with the effects of herbs and supplements.
- 1,200 mg of calcium a day may mitigate your cramps as research has shown that cramps may be caused by a calcium deficiency.
- Magnesium can help overcome the blahs and low feelings that frequently result from the breast tenderness and bloating that accompany PMS.
- Chasteberry—made from the berries from the chaste tree—can help with heavy or irregular menstrual flow.
- St. John's Wort can help with the mild depression that is hormone-related. Note: It should not be used to treat clinical depression.
- Black Cohosh can help even out the hormone fluctuations that cause hot flashes.
Regulating Estrogen Levels
- Soy foods help keep estrogen levels constant and avoid the mood swings associated with low levels of estrogen.
Complementary medicine, including supplements and herbs that balance hormones in women, are different from the approaches used by conventional medicine. They should be used together with conventional medicine. If your symptoms don't go away after a month, or they get worse, you should stop taking the herb or supplement you've started, and see your physician.