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Herbs for Menstruation, Menopause, and Balancing Hormones

The healing properties of herbs were first presented to me while I attended the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics. I was so intrigued that I went on to study in greater depth with a lovely woman who was so passionate about them that she started her own herbal education program, Hearts Revived. I can understand why a lot of people would be turned off by these “hippy-dippy” home remedies. There are newer, “better”, more potent, faster ways of alleviating health issues. Personally, I have found the slower, more gentle, more subtle way of herbs to work better for me long term without creating new issues (side effects). While alterations to my food and herbs are where I go first, I will not hesitate to enjoy the benefits of modern medicine when necessary.

Recently, I was sleeplessly writhing with terrible menstrual cramps as I had run out of my favorite supplement, Cramp Bark Extra – which is a great assistance for relaxing smooth muscle contractions. I usually take this when I feel like I’m nearing my menstruation phase, and it mitigates cramp pain and other PMS symptoms tremendously. I used to struggle with endometriosis throughout my teens and early 20s and would be in so much pain that I’d just lie in bed for 3 days. Fortunately, I found several lovely mentors that helped guide me toward an improved diet (more on that later). With a more nurturing diet in addition to herbal support, I was able to eliminate endometriosis and soothe most of my other health issues. Throughout that process of finding what worked for me, and in a pinch (like the other night), ibuprofen is my friend. If you’re experiencing pain that ibuprofen does nothing for, I feel you. I have been there. That is exactly why I want to share what helped me, in hopes that it may be helpful to others.

Though I have not experienced menopausal symptoms yet, I included the potential benefits of these herbs on menopause as well. There are many herbs and foods that can assist with hormone balancing, I’ve highlighted some of the ones I’ve used and have become my favorite. I tend to favor easy and uncomplicated when it comes to herbal/dietary solutions. There are also many ways to prepare and ingest herbs. You can grow and prepare your own at home, which is my favorite option because I love seeing healthy, empowered communities. Here is a great video with one of my favorite Herbalists Rachelle Robinett on how to create some really helpful teas with these and other herbs. If you don’t have the ability to grow your own herbs, I highly recommend ordering through Mountain Rose Herbs and you can get 15% off with discount code: MRHPartner15. Their standards for potency and quality are incredibly rigorous, you won’t be disappointed.

Herbs that have been most helpful for me:

  1. Garlic (Allium sativum):

  2. My number one favorite cure-all for any health issue is Garlic. If you don’t like garlic (because you’re a VAMPIRE, emotional or otherwise), you’re not going to want to be around me when I’m healing from something! HA! Because it’ll be coming out of my pores, baby!

  3. Anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties help alleviate cramps and discomfort.

  4. Immune system support can be helpful when some experience a temporary weakening of their immune function.

  5. Cardiovascular benefits can be particularly valuable as women may experience changes in their heart health and cholesterol levels during menopause.

  6. Here is a FREE PDF I found of one of my favorite books on the most beneficial properties of garlic that I HIGHLY recommend! Or a hard copy, if you prefer.

  7. Cacao (Theobroma cacao):

  8. EAT THE DAMN CHOCOLATE, Girl! Cacao (the raw, less processed form of cocoa) is full of nutrients that positively impact emotional well-being during menstruation. It contains magnesium, which helps relax muscles and alleviate menstrual cramps. Additionally, cacao is known to boost endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain! I will be sharing recipes that include cacao soon.

  9. It’s a good source of antioxidants, which can counter oxidative stress associated with aging.

  10. It’s important to distinguish between cacao and processed chocolate products, as the latter often contain added sugar and may not provide the same health benefits. Raw cacao or high-quality dark chocolate with minimal additives is preferable for obtaining its potential health benefits.

  11. Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus):

  12. As the name suggests, Cramp Bark is well-known for its ability to relieve menstrual cramps. It contains natural antispasmodic properties that help relax the uterine muscles, reducing the intensity of cramps and pain during menstruation.

  13. This is the main ingredient in the product I mentioned earlier, Cramp Bark Extract.

  14. While Cramp Bark is primarily used for menstrual discomfort, it can indirectly support menopausal health by addressing uterine and pelvic muscle tension.

  15. Maca (Lepidium meyenii):

  16. Maca root helps in balancing hormones and supports overall reproductive health. It can aid in reducing menstrual irregularities and cramps.

  17. I add a teaspoon of Maca to my smoothies, I would describe it as a subtle malty flavor. This is the one I use – Navitas Organics.

  18. During menopause, Maca can assist in alleviating mood swings, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances.

  19. Ginger (Zingiber officinale):

  20. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce menstrual pain and discomfort, as well as joint pain. It can also alleviate nausea, which is sometimes experienced during menstruation.

  21. It can be beneficial for managing hot flashes and promoting better circulation.

  22. Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus):

  23. Chasteberry helps regulate irregular menstrual cycles by balancing hormones and supporting the production of progesterone.

  24. It can be beneficial for alleviating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating, hot flashes, and night sweats due to its hormone-balancing effects.

  25. Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus):

  26. Known for its uterine toning properties, which can help reduce excessive menstrual bleeding cramping, and strengthen the uterus.

Please feel free to share your own experiences with these herbs or any others that you have found helpful. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist before incorporating these herbs into your regimen. Herbal remedies may not be suitable for everyone, so individual responses may vary.

I created my own infographic, feel free to share:

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