Hormones are small messengers that move in through blood, and tell the organs and tissues to fulfill their functions. Although they are tiny, they affect our lives tremendously. A balanced state of hormones is important for healthy body and living. Main causes for hormonal imbalance are menopause, puberty or premenstrual syndrome. Each hormone plays a unique role, and if the hormones are not secreted in the appropriate amount, then it disturbs the proper functioning of the body. Some common causes of hormonal imbalance are consumption of alcohol in excess, exposure to chemicals, an overdose of painkillers, inconsistent sleeping patterns. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance include weight gain, high blood pressure, depression, and fatigue. Although hormones are little things, they can cause havoc when they are out of balance. Hence, hormonal imbalance treatment becomes indispensable.
Home Remedies for Hormonal Imbalance
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for the production of hormones. They are beneficial for hormonal imbalance in women as they help reduce menstrual pain and menopausal symptoms (1). These fatty acids help create healthy and responsive cell membranes, which causes a better adherence of hormones to the cell. It also makes sure that cellular receptor sites are working in the optimal condition and repaired if damaged. Food rich in omega3 fatty acid includes flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil, Chia seeds, winter squash, oily fish, soybeans, etc. So dwell on these foods to get the hormones balanced. Raw butter can also be a good choice as it consists of various fatty acids which are said to improve metabolism, have antimicrobial properties, and fight against bacteria. You can also opt for their supplements to balance your hormones.
Note: Take supplements under the supervision of a doctor.
Avocados are rich sources of healthy mono-unsaturated fats (2). Also, they have high quantities of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid – all essential for maintaining hormonal balance in the body. Along with maintaining your hormonal levels, it also takes care of the cholesterol balance in your body.
Carrots contain fiber that absorbs excess estrogen and flushes it out of your body. It plays a vital role in balancing hormones in both the genders. Carrot fiber also prevents estrogen from being reabsorbed in the intestine that usually happens when transit time is slow. This is important because too much estrogen (whether produced by the body, the diet or from exposure to xenoestrogens in the environment) can lead to all kinds of hormonal disruptions, including PMS, mood disorders, acne, and infertility (3).
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D affects our pituitary gland which releases many hormones. It helps in problems associated with reduced levels of estrogen. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to an abnormal secretion from parathyroid gland, which may affect your weight and appetite. Taking vitamin D is the simplest of all. Just get out for a ten minutes walk in the sun or have a sun bath. A little sunlight everyday will enhance your body’s natural rhythms, and provide you with vitamin D. Besides that, you can dwell onto food rich in vitamin D. Consuming oily fish, cod liver oil, milk, and eggs can enrich one with vitamin D.
Working out keeps the body fit and healthy. The physical activity affects hormone production, thereby, balancing them. When you exercise, the levels of stress-causing hormone cortisol are decreased. This is helpful as the hormonal imbalance can cause mood swings. You can hit the gym for forty minutes on a regular basis or can sweat it out in dancing or while enjoying a sport with your friends. You can also opt for yoga and some relaxation techniques to reduce the stress.
6. Coconut Oil
This oil can be found in almost everyone’s house. It offers a multitude of benefits, be it cooking, massaging and treating various diseases. Coconut oil is proven to be helpful in getting the hormones balanced (4). Coconut oil also helps reduce your weight, improves immunity, balance blood sugar levels, and boost your metabolism. Two to three tablespoons of coconut oil should be incorporated into your diet on a daily basis. You can easily use it while cooking as it has a very high smoking point and is safe to be used as cooking oil.
Note: Make sure that you choose extra-virgin coconut oil for consumption.
Fenugreek seeds contain diosgenin, a phytoestrogen compound that seems to work like the hormone estrogen. Fenugreek has been used for many years as a form of natural hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women (5). Soak a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of hot water for fifteen minutes. Strain the drink, and drink it twice or thrice a day. Add a small amount of honey and lemon to it for taste.
Note: Sometimes fenugreek does not suit your body; in that case, one can try fennel seeds.
Magnesium is a powerful medicine for keeping hormones balanced. It prevents excessive cortisol and insulin. It is involved in the manufacture of steroid hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. It is also essential for thyroid production. Magnesium also plays a role in preventing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Magnesium oil can be used topically as the mineral is better absorbed by the skin than the digestive tract.
9. Egg Yolks
Egg yolk provides nutrition to us. They have higher quantities of vitamin A and D. Vitamin D works as a natural steroid hormone in our body. Egg yolks are rich sources of selenium that converts thyroid hormones from the inactive state to active state. The cholesterol in egg yolks provides an important component of sex hormones that helps balance the hormonal quantities.
Gelatin balances the hormones and reduces stress due to the presence of magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. It regulates the level of amino acids and subdues estrogen predominance that causes monthly cramps in women and infertility in men. When amino acids are in equilibrium, they play a vital role in thyroid function, hormone production, and metabolic rate. It tends to reduce inflammation in your joints and has enough collagen to repair your skin.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Hormonal Imbalance
The herb acts as an effective medicine in curing stress, pain, fever, and protecting vital organs like liver as it possesses significant anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. It controls the blood glucose level being a natural diabetes remedy and lowers the cortisol levels because a high level of cortisol can affect the ovaries, pancreas, and thyroid glands. The basil leaves are generally consumed in the tea form where the leaves are boiled in water for ten minutes, and then strained off. Drink a cup of this tea thrice a day.
- Alternatively, you can simply eat basil leaves on an empty stomach regularly for a few months.
12. Asian Ginseng
Asian ginseng is an adaptogen that keeps a check on hormonal imbalance. It regulates adrenaline that releases hormones related to stress. In addition to that, it provides relief from menopausal symptoms and increases sperm production also. Take 200mg of Asian ginseng extract daily for two weeks. It is better to consume this herb in cycles. So, resume the process again after taking a break of three weeks.
Note: Consult your doctor before consuming it if you are already on any kind of medication as it can interrupt with their functions.
13. Withania Somnifera
Withania somnifera is used from ancient times for improving our health condition and is extremely beneficial for maintaining a desired amount of hormone levels. It reduces cortisol level and keeps the hormones in a balanced state. It is helpful to increase the production of androgens, testosterone, and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). It also improves the functioning of the thyroid gland. Withania somnifera has the quality of allowing hormones to easily bind to the cells. A pinch of this herb dissolved in water should be consumed twice a day.
14. Dong Quai
It is a fragrant plant that is found at high altitudes like in the mountains of China, Korea, and Japan. The root of the plant is being used for centuries to treat numerous problems such as menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms, infertility, ulcers, joint pain, etc. (6). It helps balance the estrogen and progesterone levels that are too high or too low. This herb is also very useful to keep you healthy and youthful. Dong quai has anti-inflammatory and sedative qualities. A regular consumption of this herb can balance your hormones.
15. Black Cohosh
This plant is a good source of estrogen. The herb increases the hormones in certain parts of the body. Black cohosh behaves like estrogen in our body parts like the brain, bone, and vagina. Black cohosh is composed of glycosides and isoferulic acids that are supposed to help in the regulation of hormones.
Note: Do not consume it if you are pregnant.
16. Chaste berry
The fruit of the chaste tree, chaste berry maintains the proper level of estrogen and progesterone. It maintains ovulation and helps with fertility. It is actively used for treating premenstrual syndrome and is known to stimulate the pituitary gland for the production of a hormone which makes the ovaries release progesterone. Chaste berry does not let prolactin be released and increases progesterone, maintaining a proper balance between estrogen and progesterone required for a healthy menstrual cycle. You can take this herb in the tincture form. Bio-active compounds in chaste berry include flavonoids, vitexin, casticin, alkanoids, and diterpenes. These compounds have been shown to improve hormonal balance and especially act on the pituitary gland.
Note: It increases the menstrual flow. Hence, it should not be taken by pregnant women.
17. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto does not let the testosterone get converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by reducing 5-alpha reductase. DHT leads to oil formation, blocking the pores of the skin and making the hair thin. Saw palmetto also helps maintain the proper level of hormones during menstrual cycle and menopause.
18. Maca Root
Maca root also helps release hormones. It increases fertility and is helpful in treating libido. Maca root is packed with potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, and essential fatty acids, and it befits the complete body.
1/4 teaspoon of maca root powder can be combined with water, milk, yogurt, juice, or herbal tea. The root should be consumed on a regular basis, and the amount can be gradually increased to 2 teaspoons. Take it routinely for a few months.
- To keep the metabolism healthy, drink at least 6–8 glasses of water every day.
- Go for organic products.
- Say a big no to refined carbohydrates by not consuming processed and packaged food.
- Get a sleep of 8 hours to de-stress yourself, and indulge in activities that relaxes you.
- Take deep breaths or indulge in deep breathing exercise for fifteen minutes. It allows decreasing stress hormones and the body to function normally.
- Focus on nutrient-rich food and take meals at fixed time of the day.
- Go for green vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, cilantro, etc.
- You can try for a detox bath with plenty of Epsom salts. It provides magnesium known for balancing hormones.
- The most antiseptic of all the spices, turmeric, balances hormones along with curing other ailments.
- Give up unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking that cause hormonal imbalance.
- Avoid intake of artificial hormones without consulting a doctor.
- Give up products containing caffeine as it increases cortisol levels that reduce thyroid function.
- Limit the use of plastic as it can affect your hormonal level.
- Remove vegetable oil from your diet. A large quantity of omega-6 fatty acid in it may disturb the hormone balance.
- Boycott soy products as they play havoc with hormone balance.
- Toxins present in the pesticides in our food can disturb our hormonal balance.
- Kick out sugary drinks and white sugar rich candies and conventional deserts.