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Can Natural Herbs Cure Women's Hormone Problems?

Can Natural Herbs Cure Women's Hormone Problems? Can Natural Herbs Cure Women's Hormone Problems? Can Natural Herbs Cure Women's Hormone Problems?

Overview

From the time of menstruation through the occurrence of menopause, hormones are occasionally the bane of a woman's existence. Hormones are responsible for the occurrences of premenstrual symptoms such as moodiness, acne and cramping. Hormones are also responsible for the symptoms of menopause that include night sweats, hot flashes and irritability. Though there may be some medications to help with hormonal problems, some women may wish to try natural herbal therapy to help with symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Herbal supplements are generally not considered cures to any medical condition and you should talk to your doctor before beginning a new supplement regimen.

Wild Yam Extract

Wild yam is a plant that is native to the Americas and has been used for many years for a variety of female complaints. It contains a precursor to hormones, diosgenin, which may be made into testosterone, progesterone and estrogen by the body. It is thought to ease hot flashes and night sweats during menopause and may help relieve acne during perimenopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is not the same as natural progesterone but many creams made from wild yam extract have progesterone added to them. Medline Plus states that there is no evidence of its actual effectiveness.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a plant that is native to parts of the United States and Canada. According to the "Prescription for Herbal Healing" it may help balance hormone levels in both men and women. It is useful for both symptoms of PMS and menopause. It may help to reduce stress levels and the moodiness associated with hormonal imbalance. It is the primary ingredient in an over-the-counter supplement sold to women of menopausal age. It may help to regulate estrogen production both before and during menopause and has anti-spasmodic effects that may help with menstrual cramps. The estrogenlike compounds require healthy digestive bacteria in order to be absorbed. Because it does contain phytoestrogens, it should not be used in those with hormone-related cancers such as breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.

Dong Quai

Also known as angelica root or by the Chinese name, tang-kuei, dong quai is native to Asia. It may help to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome by regulation of the reproductive system. It is thought to balance the levels of hormones and may stop cramping and migraines common in PMS. Some women may experience relief of hot flashes. It may increase the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy in women who have had their ovaries removed but does not appear to help after menopause. It may have a mild laxative effect and may increase sensitivity to the sun. It should not be taken by those who are on blood thinners as it may increase the chance of bleeding. Talk to your doctor about all of your medical conditions and medications before you take dong quai.

Vitex

Vitex, also known as chaste berry is a tree that is native to the Mediterranean area. It has been used in both China and Europe. It may normalize the activity of female sex hormones in cases of dysmenorrhea, or painful periods, and appears to be useful during PMS. Unlike many other plants used for hormonal imbalance, it contains phytotestosterones, which may work in the body alone or to stimulate the production of progesterone. In rare cases, taking Vitex may result in a longer than normal or heavier periods. Women of childbearing age should use caution as vitex may stimulate the release of multiple eggs from the ovaries. It should not be combined with estrogen replacement or birth control pills. Talk to a doctor before taking vitex.

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