Normal hormone production has a profound effect on your general health. So if your body experiences any changes in hormone levels, you might suffer from lots of less-than-pleasant symptoms starting with dry or itchy skin, fatigue, and mood swings and ending with PMS, weight gain, brain fog, and migraines. Fortunately, you can improve your hormonal health by introducing some new habits into your ordinary lifestyle.
Bright Side has gathered the most effective ways to maintain your hormonal balance without using any medications.
10. Improve blood circulation in your pelvis.
Efficient pelvic circulation is essential for keeping your hormones in balance. So if your period begins or ends with a lot of dark-brown blood or if your lower belly feels cold when you touch it, your pelvis probably needs some help. In this case, try to do self-massage or apply a compress of hot tea made with fresh ginger on this area.
9. Eat more eggs.
To optimize your hormone health, it is recommended to consume at least 20-30 grams of protein per meal. And among all high-protein foods, eggs are considered to be the most nutritious ones. Eating them on a daily basis may help you lower your levels of insulin and ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. Eggs will also help you boost your metabolism and lose weight more quickly.
8. Practice diaphragmatic breathing.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, your emotions and hormones are closely connected to each other in the following way:
- Fear affects your cortisol levels and can cause problems with your reproductive organs, kidneys, and adrenal glands.
- Frustration, impatience, and unforgiveness are linked to an estrogen imbalance and can cause disease in your liver.
- Worry and anxiety are related to your insulin levels and can lead to diabetes.
If you are feeling stressed, angry, or overwhelmed, try to practice deep belly breathing for at least 15-20 minutes, twice a day. This will help you decrease stress hormones and improve your overall sense of well-being.
7. Go organic.
Most of the pesticides, fertilizers, and growth hormones used in the foods you usually eat can wreck your endocrine system. For example, pesticides usually contain xenoestrogens, these are synthetic hormones that confuse your internal organs because they imitate the natural female hormone estrogen.
So the easiest way to restore your hormonal balance is to change your dietary habits. To do this, always check food labels and avoid purchasing pre-packaged foods. It’s also better to find some good online sellers and buy organic foods from them.
You should also avoid eating GMO foods as they are usually sprayed with glyphosate. This herbicide can cause hormonal issues and lead to depression, infertility, birth defects, and even cancer.
6. Try seed cycling.
Seed cycling can help your body balance progesterone and estrogen during your menstrual cycle.
- The follicular phase (1-14 days): consume 1 tbsp of raw freshly ground flax seeds and 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds (or chia/hemp seeds) and take 1500-2000 mg of fish oil every day.
- The luteal phase (15-28 days): eat 1 tbsp of raw freshly ground sunflower seeds and 1 tbsp of sesame seeds and take 1500-2000 mg of evening primrose oil daily.
If you keep seed cycling over a period of about 3 months, you should feel that the severity of your PMS symptoms has been reduced, that your mood has improved, and that you have less water retention and menstrual cramps.
5. Take a detox bath.
A relaxing bath with Epsom salts will help you increase the magnesium levels in your body and lower your stress hormones at the same time. Just fill your bathtub with warm water and add 1-3 cups of Epsom salt to it. In addition to the Epsom salt, you can also add 1/2 cup of baking soda and a few drops of essential oils. Soak in the bathtub for about 12 minutes, then rinse off with clean water.
4. Drink Sole.
While ordinary table salt can be really harmful for the human body if consumed in large amounts, natural salt can actually support your health in plenty of different ways. This natural alternative to regular salt will help you reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, improve your nighttime sleep, and boost your energy throughout the day.
To make Sole, take a glass jar and fill about 1/4 of it with pink Himalayan salt. Add filtered water to the jar, gently mix the water and the salt, then leave it overnight to let the salt dissolve. Add 1 tsp of Sole to a glass of pure water and drink it each morning before having anything else.
3. Consume adaptogenic herbs.
Adaptogenic herbs can help bring your body’s hormones into balance and protect them from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excessive stress. Among adaptogens, you should know and consume the following ones:
- Vitex (or chaste tree) will lengthen your luteal phase, raise the levels of progesterone, and nourish your hypophysis, the gland that controls your other hormone glands.
- Red raspberry contains tannins that will relax the muscles in your body, soothe stomach pain, and reduce other manifestations of stress. It will also relieve PMS and cramping.
- Holy basil, or tulsi, will help you get rid of anxiety and emotional stress by balancing your levels of cortisol.
- Shatavari will be helpful in relieving menopausal hot flashes and PMS symptoms associated with irritability and mood swings.
- Ashwagandha will support your thyroid and prevent adrenaline, cortisol, and progesterone imbalances caused by emotional, physical, or mental stress.
2. Use essential oils.
- Clary sage oil contains natural phytoestrogens that will help you regulate your menstrual cycle, relieve PMS symptoms, and get rid of depression and anxiety. To relieve stress, diffuse 3-5 drops of this oil in your room. If you feel pain in your stomach or have cramps in your legs, mix 5 drops of clary sage oil with 5 drops of coconut oil and massage the mixture onto the affected area.
- Fennel oil will help relax your body, improve your digestion, boost your metabolism, and reduce the inflammation caused by thyroid disorders. Simply rub a few drops of this oil into your stomach or add 1-2 drops of it to your cup of tea.
- Lavender oil will restore your emotional balance and improve your nighttime sleep by treating feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. To achieve this effect, diffuse 5 drops of the oil at home, add 5 drops of it to your bath, or apply it to your temples, neck, or wrists.
- Thyme oil will relieve the symptoms of menopause and treat infertility, depression, hair loss, and insomnia by improving your progesterone production. Just add 2 drops of it to your bath or rub 2-3 drops with equal parts of coconut oil onto your belly.
- Sandalwood oil will help you increase your libido, reduce stress, restore mental clarity, and give you a feeling of relaxation. There are several ways to use it — inhale sandalwood directly from the bottle, diffuse a couple of drops at home, or apply it to your wrists and the bottoms of your feet.
1. Walk barefoot.
Earthing, or grounding, can significantly lower your levels of cortisol, the hormone that is associated with stress, inflammation, and sleep dysfunction. It’s estimated that the soles of your feet contain about 1300 nerve endings per square inch. So walking barefoot on a grassy lawn, sandy beach, or even a concrete road will help you absorb the natural energy from the ground and improve your overall health.
Do you know any other ways to balance hormones naturally? Share your experience with us in the comments!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me