The supplement hype is in full-swing in the natural community, but I’m here to tell you the truth – not everyone needs supplements. It is an individualistic need depending on your lifestyle choices, bodily chemistry, and personal situation, not to mention your current health situation. While these supplements won’t actually balance all of your hormonal issues, they can help to fill the spaces in between just as essential oils can help to bridge the gap. If you neglect your dietary and nutritional needs, stress management, sleep, and toxic load, then the supplements will not be able to support your body in the way that they should. But, if you are making changes already to strengthen your foundation and reduce stress levels, then some of these supplements could be a key addition to your personal healthcare plan.
Let’s take a look at the best and most well-researched supplements available for various types of hormonal support!
#1 – DIM (Diindolylmethane)
found in cruciferous vegetables shows great promise for its ability to increase the body’s production of healthy estrogen while decreasing the bad. As both a phytonutrient and antioxidant, it prevents estrogenic cancers, alleviates symptoms of PMS as well as those experienced by those entering the menopause transition. While supporting a healthy metabolism, it can help your body to balance estrogen and testosterone levels while also aiding adrenal function and reducing chronic inflammation.
#2 – CHASTEBERRY (Vitex agnus-castus), or VITEX
, supports hormonal activity especially low progesterone levels, possibly affecting the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland, lowering imbalanced levels of prolactin, and also influencing several neurotransmitters in the body. For supporting symptoms of perimenopause and postmenopause as well as balancing emotional issues, many women have found success in combining it with Black Cohosh.
#3 – BLACK COHOSH (Cimicifuga racemosa)
has been used in Native American natural healing to support a variety of health issues, but especially those related to the female reproductive system and childbirth. Known as Remifemin in Germany, it has found success as a supportive supplement for women dealing with PMS or menopause that influences serotonin receptors to ease hot flashes and regulate hormones. Use it with caution, however, since it is only recommended for 6-months at a time to prevent any potential side effects.
#4 – MAGNESIUM
is a crucial component in our bodies though most people are deficient in this vital mineral. In addition to supporting many systems, it supports the HPA Axis by regulating healthy cortisol levels and protecting your body from the onslaught of toxins and free radicals. In turn, this helps to up your libido and promote fertility for a healthy reproductive system unencumbered by chronic stress levels. While you can do things like take an Epsom salt bath to support your body’s needs, a supplement may also be recommended by your trusted healthcare provider.
#5 – B-COMPLEX VITAMINS (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12)
are unsurpassed as vital components for optimum body functioning, especially to support healthy adrenal function. Thiamin (B1), Ribloflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pyridoxine (B6), and Cobalamin (B12) each play a vital role in our overall health, but especially post-menopausal when our libido may suffer. B-complex vitamins can help to reduce cortisol levels and keep your reproductive system functioning properly.
#6 – ASHWAGANDHA + RHODIOLA ROSEA
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) boasts the ability to combat chronic stress levels while restoring proper reproductive function, especially where sexy time is concerned. Other benefits include supporting memory and cognition as well as alleviating symptoms associated with depression and anxiety without side effects. Rhodiola rosea also helps to fight those stressors that plague the body to revitalize overall wellness as an adaptogenic herb. The body-mind connection greatly benefits from its rejuvenating properties to balance your mood and fight symptoms of fatigue or distress. Combining the two creates an amazing blend to sustain your energy and revitalize your mind, with overall body support..
#7 – OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS (DHA & EPA)
play essential roles in our brain health and should be a regular part of our diets. Most people, however, do not get the bare-minimum 2 servings of fatty fish each week, necessitating a supplement to support optimum brain health. DHA strengthens brain function, while EPA reduces problematic inflammation, even helpful in those recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Both acids support transmission of messages from the CNS to the body.
# 8 – HOPS (Humulus lupulus L.)
may sound like a surprising addition to this list, but this isn’t a free pass to go to the bar. In the female flowers of the hops plant is an amazingly-potent phytoestrogen called 8-prenylnarigenin that mimics estrogen in your body. This supplement isn’t for everyone, especially those with estrogen dominance, but those facing perimenopause when natural hormonal decline begins may benefit. It can alleviate some of the horrid symptoms, while possibly stimulating production of progesterone.
#9 – MACA (Lepidum meyenii)
is a root popular in the Peruvian diet due to its rich content of nutritional vitamins and minerals. It supports healthy reproductive function and alleviates symptoms of PMS and balancing hormones while working as a natural aphrodisiac.. It can be very easily incorporated into your diet as a powder added to smoothies, making it a quick way to support your nutritional needs and hormonal balance.
#10 – PROBIOTICS
are an excellent way to support your gut health, where 90% of the body’s serotonin production exists. Gut health is key, as it functions as our “second brain,” relaying many messages to the brain throughout the day. Chronic stress can cause digestive fatigue, so keeping it healthy will serve your body well. Probiotics are a great natural way to support the natural bacterial flora in your gut, but they aren’t all made the same. When choosing an effective probiotic, make sure to find one with 30-40 strains. And if you are trying to support a specific issue, choose one that has the specific strain listed for that issue. I also recommend adding probiotic rich foods to your daily diet like; kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
THE BOTTOM LINE
While supplements can be extremely helpful, I always hesitate to recommend them because it is so important for you to discuss their use with a trusted healthcare provider. Don’t just go grab them off of the shelf. Please discuss their use with your healthcare team to ensure that they will support your individual needs and for proper dosage and length of use. Each person has their own specific nutritional and dietary needs as well as special circumstances that will dictate what supplements may be the best for them, and I want you to be the best that you can be.