Many hormones are moving throughout your bloodstream and organs, carrying chemical messages. These include melatonin, insulin, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. Hormones play a critical role in metabolism and reproduction, and they also affect mood. An imbalance of hormones could lead to problems like depression or allergies. There are some viable natural options to help correct hormonal imbalances 2.
Male Hormone Imbalance
Men experiencing a loss of libido, inadequate muscle tone or lack of stamina might have low testosterone levels, according to the Holtorf Medical Group. Dr. David Rakel of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, advises men to avoid exposure to several chemicals that can suppress testosterone, such as BPA in plastic, organophospate pesticides and phthalates 3. Coupled with good nutrition, enough sleep, exercise and not smoking, to maintain healthy testosterone levels, Rakel suggests using supplements like quercitin, saw palmetto and DHEA, a precursor to testosterone.
Female Hormone Imbalance
According to "Natural Hormone Balance," an imbalance in female hormones can lead to problems like premenstrual syndrome, fertility issues, endometriosis, fibroids, hot flashes and breast tenderness 7. The author, Suzanne Olivier, attributes many cases of hormonal imbalance among women to poor nutrition, environmental chemical exposure and unnecessary medical intervention in a woman's natural life stages. Kate Hanley, writing on DeliciousLiving.com, recommends taking 150 to 300 milligrams of dong quai, an adoptogenic herb, daily to help manage PMS symptoms and hot flashes.
Adaptogenic herbs are one option for restoring hormone balance. According to DeliciousLiving.com, an adaptogen corrects excess or inadequate hormone production by improving the ability of hormones to bind with cells. Ashwagandha, used in Ayurvedic medicine for thyroid and adrenal support, can help you better manage stress. The suggested dose is 600 milligrams daily. Rhodiola is another adaptogenic herb that might help reduce stress, improve mental clarity and boost strength or stamina. Look for a standardized extract with at least 1 percent salidroside and 2.6 percent rosavin; take 100 milligrams daily.
Soy and Omega-3s
"Natural Hormone Balance" suggests women struggling with hormone imbalances first try introducing more soy into their diet 27. Phytoestrogens in soy mimic estrogen in the body. You can also buy soy supplements, which are usually high in concentrated soy isoflavones and may relieve menopausal symptoms, according to MedlinePlus 18. DeliciousLiving.com also recommends omega-3 fatty acids to correct hormone imbalances. Omega-3s make it easier for hormones to reach their destination while also repairing hormone receptor sites. A daily dose of 500 milligrams of mercury-free fish oil is a good source of omega-3s.
- MedlinePlus: Hormones
- Natural Horizons Wellness Centers: Hormone Imbalances
- American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine: Optimizing Hormone Balance in Men
- Holtorf Medical Group: Are You Losing Your Edge In the Boardroom or Bedroom?
- DeliciousLiving.com: Top Herbs for Hormonal Balance
- EMcom.ca: Endocrine Primer - List of Hormones
- Natural Hormone Balance; Suzannah Olivier
- MedlinePlus: Soy
- View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images