Have you ever wondered why so many are interested in adaptogens and their very potent, powerful nature? These incredible adaptogens or adaptogenic substances are used in herbal medicine for the claimed stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis, which in turn can have a great effect on the systems in our bodies. There’s a lot that we can do to really hone in on helping with the homeostasis, especially with hormones. We interviewed Rachelle Robinett, herbalist and life-long naturalist, to tell us about the wonders of adaptogens. 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.
What Do Adaptogens Have to Do With My Hormones?
Adaptogens are a small category of herbs (about 20 in total) that work on the HPA-axis in the brain, and help to normalize our stress response system. They’re great for athletes, the chronically stressed, and specific people in need of adrenal response recovery or support. So, they don’t have a whole lot to do with sex hormones except that chronic, negatively perceived stress can spike cortisol which can in turn exacerbate estrogen dominance. They have more to do with stress hormones — for example ashwagandha is great for normalizing cortisol levels — and they tend to help us return to homeostasis more quickly after major exertions.
But, if your question is what do herbs have to do with my hormones, then herbs can work specifically or generally. Some will increase or decrease a hormone level, whereas others might be busy tidying up the endocrine system overall. Some are normalizing which means they work to return us to balance, and others will push our body up (caffeine, say) or down (Valerian, a great nervine). When choosing herbs for hormone balance, it’s best to know which hormones you want to balance, and what balance means for you, personally.