Supplements For Natural Hormone Health
There is a HUGE array of supplements on offer for healthy hormone balance. But which to take?
Although the best source of vitamins and minerals is through a well
balanced diet, many foods today are depleted in these vital trace
elements. Most of us need to supplement our diet with some of the
vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function optimally.
Any treatment for hormonal disorders is best used for a minimum of three months for optimum results.
The following list are helpful for natural hormone health.
- A good multivitamin and mineral supplement as an ‘all rounder’. Take
a woman’s multivitamin and mineral formula, preferably one containing
vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium.
- B vitamins are important for the breakdown of
proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the body. B vitamins are also
important for energy production, fat burning, digestion and hormone
imbalances, including your thyroid gland and metabolism. B vitamins are
beneficial for your nervous system and adrenals and can helpful in times
of stress. They also help boost energy, and ease anxiety and
irritability. B vitamins are needed by the liver to convert excess
oestrogen into weaker and less dangerous forms. B vitamins are of
benefit in times of stress and help with nervous system activity and
provide energy. Specific B vitamins used in the stress response include
B2, B5 and B6.
- Vitamin B6 in particular has been found to
increase progesterone levels and inhibit the excessive production of
prolactin. Vitamin B6 levels may be reduced due to the contraceptive
pill. Vitamin B6 can be helpful for high prolactin, depression, anxiety,
fluid retention and breast tenderness.
- Magnesium balances blood sugar levels, is
essential for energy production and is involved in the nervous system
and in the relaxation of muscles. It can be used to help relieve
irritability, fatigue, period cramps, cravings, blood sugar problems and
fluid retention. There is a strong link between magnesium deficiency
and insulin resistance.
- Zinc is essential for hormone balance and tissue
repair. It also helps with appetite control and is necessary for the
correct action of insulin, hence a healthy blood sugar balance. It also
functions together with selenium and vitamins A and E in the manufacture
of thyroid hormones. Because zinc is an essential mineral used for
wound healing and the normal oil gland function of the skin, it is an
excellent mineral for skin problems.
- Calcium is an important mineral for cramps,
headache and pelvic pain. Calcium is essential to reduce the risk of
developing osteoporosis. Make sure you choose a calcium supplement which
also contains vitamin D, magnesium and manganese for maximum
- Iron is an important supplement for women
experiencing heavy periods. A loss of iron can lead to anaemia, which
can cause extreme fatigue and weakness. Iron may be needed if you are
bleeding heavily and your iron levels are low. NB. Inappropriate use of
iron supplements can interfere with zinc uptake. Iron should be taken
with vitamin C and away from tea, calcium, zinc and some herbs (e.g.
chamomile, fenugreek, milk thistle, lime flowers, peppermint, rosemary
- Omega 3 oils (EPA & DHA) found in oily fish
and flaxseeds but also as a supplement are helpful for dry skin, vaginal
dryness, fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, weight problems,
memory problems, blood sugar imbalances and cellular health. Research
has shown that women with low intakes of Omega 3 oils have more painful
periods than women who have a good intake
- Evening primrose oil can be helpful for breast tenderness, dry skin and vaginal dryness
- Vitamin A is an immune system booster,
antioxidant and important for wound healing and skin conditions such as
acne. A Vitamin A deficiency has been found in women with heavy
bleeding. One study showed that 92% of women who are prescribed
supplemental vitamin A found that their heavy bleeding was either cured
or alleviated. Beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A in the body.
- Vitamin C is well known for helping boost the
immune system and provide resistance to disease. It is also used for
tissue repair. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is shown to help reduce hot
flushes. Vitamin C helps build up collagen, which gives skin its
elasticity. It is also helpful in preventing and treating vaginal
dryness (which can cause discomfort when the vagina loses some of its
'stretch'). It can also help retain the elasticity in the urinary tract
and prevent leakage or stress incontinence, which is common during
menopause. Collagen is also important for your bones. Vitamin C when
combined with bioflavonoids is also helpful with period pain because the
combination helps relax smooth muscle and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin E plays an important role in tissue
repair and healing and is an antioxidant. Vitamin E is effective for
reducing hot flushes and helping with vaginal dryness.
- Selenium, when taken together with vitamin E, has
been reported to decrease inflammation associated with endometriosis,
as well as boosting the immune system. Selenium together with zinc is
also important for healthy thyroid gland functioning. It also assists in
removing toxins from the body. Many agricultural areas are extremely
deficient in selenium, so a supplement form of selenium is highly
- Iodine is necessary for healthy thyroid gland
function and the development of the baby's nervous system. Many
countries routinely provide iodine supplements for the duration of the
- L-tyrosine (together with iodine) produces
thyroid hormones that control the body’s metabolism. A deficiency of
tyrosine leads to hypothyroidism and low adrenal function.
- Chromium is essential for insulin’s response on
blood sugar, and helps with cravings, hunger and weight loss/fat
burning. Since chromium helps to relieve blood sugar imbalance, it may
help to alleviate symptoms of sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
- Co-enzyme Q10 is a nutrient that assists with
energy production and oxygen carrying capacity in our bloodstream.
Coenzyme Q10 also assists normal carbohydrate metabolism (the way our
bodies break down the carbohydrates we eat to turn them into energy.
- Folic acid (folate) supplementation is routinely
recommended prior to and during the first trimester of pregnancy. This
is testimony to the growing support for preconception nutrient
supplementation. Folic acid reduces the risk of congenital diseases such
as spina bifida and may prevent miscarriages. Many common household
foodstuffs are now also fortified with this nutrient. Folic acid is
essential for the formation of genetic material (DNA, RNA).
Supplementation of 400mgs per day in early pregnancy may reduce the
incidence of neural tube defects by 48-80%.
- Bromelain is an enzyme contained in pineapples
which has been found to be extremely useful for treating painful
periods. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps as a natural
- DIM (Di-indole methane) helps the liver convert
oestrogen into a healthier form. It is beneficial for conditions such as
PCOS, endometriosis & fibroids. DIM also helps correct androgen
(e.g. testosterone) excess, a common cause of acne, especially sore,
cystic acne. The dose is dependent on body weight.
- Amino acids for liver function; glutathione, glutamine and sulphur containing amino acids aid in liver detoxification.
NB. For best results, try these recommended supplements
for a period of three months. These supplements are best taken under
the care and guidance of your healthcare practitioner.
Herbs for Natural Hormone Health
- Chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus) is one of the most important herbs
for female hormone problems. It helps stimulate and normalise the
function of the pituitary gland, which controls and balances the
hormones in our body. Chaste tree helps to:
- Regulates periods
- Restarts periods which have stopped
- Helps with heavy bleeding
- Reduce the symptoms of PMS including skin breakouts (acne), moods and pre-menstrual mouth ulcers
- Increases the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen by balancing excess oestrogen.
- Dong Quai has been used in Asia for thousands of
years for menopause, especially hot flushes. Dong Quai contains
phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens). These natural plant oestrogens
compete with the oestrogen in the body for binding sites. The
phytoestrogens in Dong Quai produce oestrogenic activity when the body’s
oestrogen levels are low, as is the case in menopause, and the ability
of the phytoestrogens to occupy oestrogen receptor sites also helps
reduce high oestrogen levels.
- Black Cohosh is effective for balancing hormones and alleviating symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness.
- Tribulus is a popular and successful herb used in Europe for menopausal symptoms.
- Other herbs that are very effective for
menopausal symptoms include St John’s Wort, lavender, red clover, sage,
Shatavari, wild yam and Zizyphis.
- Horsetail, Ladies Mantle, Shepherd’s Purse,
Yarrow, Cransebill, Witch Hazel, Tienchi Ginseng, Beth Root and Golden
Seal are astringent herbs that help regulate excess bleeding.
- Paeonia (peony) & Licorice together are
beneficial for oestrogen dominant conditions such as endometriosis,
fibroids & PCOS.
- Cramp bark and Wild Yam are herbs that help to reduce pain and spasm associated with period pain.
- Blue Cohosh, False Unicorn Root, Ladies Mantle,
Feverfew, Calendula, Ginger and Shatavari are other herbs that may be
prescribed by your naturopath or medical herbalist for hormone
- Adrenal adaptogen herbs such as Siberian Ginseng
and Withania help improve your ability to cope with stress and improve
energy, vitality and wellbeing.
- St Johns Wort can help relieve mild to moderate
depression and anxiety associated with PMS. It is important to take a
standardised extract three times daily.
- Milk thistle, Schizandra and Rosemary improve liver detoxification, optimising hormonal balance.
- Bladderwrack is a herb traditionally used for an
underactive thyroid gland. It contains high amounts of iodine which may
be responsible for stimulating production of thyroid hormones.
- Gymnema is beneficial for sugar cravings and blood sugar balance fat burning.
- Blood purifying herbs for skin complaints include
Echinacea, Blue Flag, Clivers, Red Clover, Burdock, Oregon Mountain
Grape and Yellow Dock.
NB. You should not take any of the above herbs if you
are taking the oral contraceptive pill, fertility drugs, HRT or any
other hormonal treatment or other medication unless they are recommended
by a registered, experienced practitioner.
The Natural PCOS Diet
This expertly written e-book provides information on the most
suitable diet for PCOS, as well as supplements, herbs and other
lifestyle recommendations to overcome PCOS.
In addition, The Natural PCOS Diet outlines the diagnostic
criteria and important pathology testing for PCOS, also the role of
inflammation, leptin, gluten and insulin resistance relating to PCOS.
What's more, a dedicated cookbook for PCOS, The Natural PCOS Cookbook is yours, FREE, when your order your copy of The Natural PCOS Diet. Click here for more information:
The Natural PCOS Diet.
How To Order Supplements
- Simply Click here to order you superior quality, practitioner-only supplements or repeat prescription items.
- Click here to order Australia's best thyroid formula - Thyrosynergy
- Contact Jenny Blondel, Naturopath for any queries or questions you may have.
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