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Here’s How Herbs Can Help with Bodily Function

From hormone balance to sex drive.

The best herbs for balancing hormones aren’t herbs at all, actually! The best way to balance hormones is with diet and lifestyle first, far and away. Common and major affects to hormone imbalance include stress, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, poor quality or excess animal-based foods, environmental toxins, irregular or disrupted sleep, lack of exercise, and body composition (fat versus muscle). That’s a lot! When we start there, though, it’s extremely likely we’ll reach hormone happiness without ever needing an herb or supplement. And, any great herbalist will say the same. We interviewed Rachelle Robinett, herbalist and life-long naturalist, to tell us about the wonders of herbs and hormone balance. Keep reading for more!

Rachelle Robinett, RH (AHG), Herbalist, Educator, and life-long naturalist, is the founder and owner of Pharmakon Supernatural — a company dedicated to modern herbalism education. In leading Supernatural, Rachelle combines holistic herbalism experience with today’s health science and an understanding of both individual behavior modification and wellness industry zeitgeists to create life-changing health for thousands of people every day. Rachelle has been studying the relationship between plants and people her entire life, around the world. In addition to directing the operations of Supernatural, Rachelle writes, consults, and explores the human experience with inner and outer travel, and in solitude. The Supernatural ecosystem includes Supernatural Café and Shop, the HRBLS product line of herbal gummies, and on-demand online classes that bring the history and global nature of herbalism into the daily lives of modern humans.

herbal remedies
Image: Monika Grabkowska via Unsplash

Here’s How Herbs Can Help with Bodily Function

The best herbs for balancing hormones aren’t herbs at all, actually! The best way to balance hormones is with diet and lifestyle first, far and away. Common and major affects to hormone imbalance include stress, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, poor quality or excess animal-based foods, environmental toxins, irregular or disrupted sleep, lack of exercise, and body composition (fat versus muscle). That’s a lot! When we start there, though, it’s extremely likely we’ll reach hormone happiness without ever needing an herb or supplement. And, any great herbalist will say the same.

That said, herbs and supplements can help expedite the process and can surely be used from day-one; it’s just critical to stress that the diet and lifestyle components have to be in play. When considering hormone balance, we first determine if it’s sex, stress or sleep hormones we’re looking to affect. The system of hormones overall is called the endocrine system and many herbs — like maca — work on it, holistically. Other herbs are more specific, and target certain hormones or receptors precisely. For sex hormone balance, I’ll use a combination of phytoestrogenic herbs, which have a normalizing effect on estrogen levels, plus herbs for liver support. Liver function is key for hormone balance because our liver filters hormones out of our blood. Also key: Digestion and motility. If we’re not eliminating well, we’re simply reabsorbing what we would prefer to be detoxing. Which means that even increasing fiber will help balance hormones.

My favorite herbs for female sex hormone levels are usually red clover (a phytoestrogen) and nettle (deep green and nutritions), red raspberry leaf (uterine toning and nutritious), licorice (adaptogenic properties and excellent for hormone levels), chaste berry (progesterone leveler and helpful for cystic acne, often) and black cohosh (great for peri and menopausal hormone needs, too). Many herbs work even better together. For example, Black cohosh with chaste berry, licorice, sage and motherwort is a dynamic formula for women’s health.

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