Hormones are vital to our health. But when they get out of whack, it can cause serious issues in our bodies. Discover which herbal teas help to balance your hormones.
Hormones are chemical signals produced by our bodies. They play a vital role in keeping our internal systems working as they should and influence everything from our reproductive systems to our metabolism.
Our hormone levels naturally fluctuate throughout our lives, so it is normal to experience variations. However, even expected changes in hormone levels can make us feel unsettled – just ask anyone who has gone through puberty, menopause, or a menstrual cycle.
On the other hand, sometimes our bodies get out of balance and start to produce too much or too little of a particular hormone. Even small changes like this can cause havoc on our health.
Mood swings, weight gain, skin issues, insomnia, low libido – there are plenty of unwanted side effects of hormonal imbalance. Sometimes, it can even be an indicator of a serious condition like diabetes or an autoimmune disease.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, always start by consulting your doctor. They’ll be able to help you uncover the underlying causes and can suggest treatment options.
Sometimes lifestyle changes can also help alleviate the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Losing weight, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and managing your stress levels can all help keep your hormones balanced.
Although herbal teas won’t cure hormone imbalance on their own, there are some herbs that may help as part of a healthy lifestyle. Which tea works best to balance your hormones depends on what issues you are experiencing and what is causing them. However, this blog post should give you some ideas to get started.
1. Teas for Managing Stress Hormones
The main hormone associated with stress is cortisol. Produced by our adrenal glands, this hormone is responsible for launching our bodies into ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. When your heart starts racing and your body feels primed to act, it is cortisol that has come into play.
Unfortunately, many of us are living with chronic stress. While short-term exposure to cortisol is beneficial, giving our bodies the spurt of energy we need to get out of dangerous situations, living with high cortisol levels long term can cause all sorts of unpleasant side effects. These include high blood pressure, digestive issues, and anxiety.
Since cortisol also inhibits insulin production, high levels of this hormone can eventually put us at risk of high blood sugar levels, weight gain, and even diabetes.
Fortunately, several herbs are known to help with stress management and relaxation. Called adaptogens, these plants affect the adrenal gland, bringing the release of stress hormones like cortisol back into a healthy balance.
Ashwagandha, ginseng, and rhodiola are three adaptogens that are traditionally used to balance stress hormones and help our bodies cope better with challenging times. All three can easily be incorporated into a stress-busting herbal tea blend.
2. Teas to Support Metabolic Hormones
There are many different hormones involved in our metabolism and digestion. In fact, cortisol is one, as are the sex hormones – oestrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
Other hormones that affect the metabolism are insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, and triiodothyronine (T3), which is made by the thyroid gland.
An imbalance in insulin levels can lead to high blood sugar levels and, eventually, type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, an underactive or overactive thyroid gland can throw your metabolism off balance, causing weight gain or loss, fatigue, and changes to your heart rate.
Thyroid issues are often caused by an underlying autoimmune disease and should be treated by your doctor. However, one way to support the healthy function of your thyroid is to make sure you have enough iodine in your diet.
One of the best natural sources of iodine is seaweed, such as kelp or bladder wrack. We use both these in our NutraThyroid tea.
Meanwhile, there’s evidence that drinking green tea might help to increase insulin sensitivity and balance the levels of this hormone in our bodies.
Green tea may also support weight loss, which can reduce our risk of developing hormone imbalances.
3. Teas for Better Sleep
We’ve already seen how adaptogenic herbs like ginseng and ashwagandha help to balance our stress hormones. However, there’s another group of herbs, called nervines, that are also brilliant for relaxation and calm.
These herbs don’t necessarily affect our hormone production directly the way adaptogens do. Instead, they work with our nervous systems, helping to restore our sense of calm. In turn, this can reduce our stress levels and bring our hormones back into balance.
Nervines typically help us to get a better night’s sleep too. Since sleep is essential to hormone balance, this can mean we’re less likely to experience issues with our hormone levels.
Some of the herbal teas that can help to soothe worries and ease you into a restful night’s sleep include lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower, and lavender. We use these calming herbs in our NutraRelax blend.