There are many herbs provided by nature that offer a long list of health benefits. Some herbs are good for topical application, while others can be consumed for more potent results. Health benefits range from improving your digestive system to helping with PMS symptoms, and so much more—without the negative side effects that pharmaceuticals can have.
Some herbs are especially ideal for women and conditions from which uniquely women suffer. Here are some of those top herbs for women’s health.
1. The Healing Powers of Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the most popular herbs in recent years. It’s become increasing popular in recent years thanks to the health benefits it offers such as the management of inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. While everyone can benefit from taking turmeric supplements, it’s particularly beneficial for women.
Affecting up to 10 percent of all women, endometriosis is a common condition that’s characterized by endometrial tissue growth outside of the uterus. Since turmeric helps alleviate inflammation caused by endometriosis, it can help with pain management. Not only that, but it has also been shown to help stop endometrial cells from growing.
Women who experience painful, long menstrual cycles could consider taking a turmeric supplement. This natural herb has been shown to ease menstrual pains, cramps, inflammation and general discomfort. By taking turmeric, women can often reduce or eliminate their use of over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which can damage internal organs. And because it stimulates blood flow, the herb also helps to normalize cycles.
The average woman will go through menopause around the age of 45 to 50, during which she can experience a wide range of unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, hot flashes, sweating, trouble sleeping, anxiety and irritability. While there’s no way to prevent this female biochemical process, turmeric may offer relief of its symptoms. Research has shown that menopausal and postmenopausal hot flashes are linked to low antioxidant levels in the body. With its antioxidant properties, turmeric restores these levels and reduces the severity of hot flashes and other symptoms.
2. The Adaptogenic Herb Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha (which is Sanskrit for “horse smell”) is an adaptogenic herb that comes from the nightshade family. As it is used to benefit both physical and mental health, it is referred to as a “rasayana” in Ayurvedic medicine. Its numerous benefits include reducing adrenal fatigue, boosting thyroid performance, protecting the brain from cellular damage, and easing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, ashwagandha is known for its ability to reduce chronic inflammation in individuals with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
How Does Ashwagandha Benefit Women?
Since it relieves stress, ashwagandha protects women from premature aging due to the toll stress can take on the body. It also is known to balance out hormone production, which certainly can benefit women who are going through menopause. Additionally, since it impacts the hormones and blood flow through the body, sexual health and fertility tend to improve in women who take ashwagandha.
On the cognitive side, ashwagandha protects against the neurological degeneration women face as they age and can even improve visual memory processing. With its role in evening out hormone levels, ashwagandha also acts as a mood stabilizer, which can benefit women who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
3. Don’t Forget the Fenugreek
Fenugreek is a type of plant that can be used for both cooking and medicinal purposes. In cooking, the leaves are most commonly used; the seeds are ground and used as a health supplement.
One of the main groups that will benefit from taking fenugreek regularly is post-natal women. Why? This herb is labeled as a galactagogue. This means that it will help stimulate milk production in lactating women. It can be used as an aide to help bring on lactation or as something to encourage a larger milk supply.
Treatment of Eating Disorders
Women are the largest population reported to have eating disorders, and research suggests that fenugreek can play a role in the treatment of these diseases. While the herb does not prevent issues from anorexia nervosa from occurring, it does help patients by increasing their appetite and therefore motivation to eat.
Fenugreek is also beneficial in treating hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in women. A compound that is found in fenugreek acts similar to how estrogen normally does in the body. Instead of experiencing the effects of this hormone dropping during menopause, women are able to have diminished symptoms that are more tolerable.
4. Vitex for Fertility and More
Its scientific name is vitex agnus-castus, but most women know it as the incredible herb contained in the chasteberry fruit from the lilac chaste tree. Vitex has a spicy medicinal scent, and many view it as a lifesaver.
Improve a Variety of Conditions
Vitex is also seen as an exceptional healthy herb to use for menopausal symptoms. In addition, the chasteberry herb is beneficial when it comes to relieving the common cold, inflammation and swelling, migraines, headaches and joint problems.
The herb also seems to have a calming effect on the digestive system, the spleen, liver and uterus. When applied topically as an oil, the herb promotes a gentle, relaxing state of being.
Reduce PMS Symptoms
Vitex has a long history of use by women when it comes to balancing their periods. Studies have shown that the herb from the mint family has a natural progesterone-like effect, which may account for its popular use in the support of women’s reproductive health.
Chasteberry supplements are often recommended for a range of menstrual issues that include PMS, period acne, breast tenderness, bloating, insomnia and moodiness.
Although vitex does not contain hormones, experts believe the unique herb is able to affect a woman’s hormonal activity by stimulating the pituitary gland. More luteinizing hormone is then produced, and the ovaries begin increasing their production of progesterone. The cycle starts operating again in its normal monthly routine.
I hope this article will serve as a reference for you to find relief for common conditions that females struggle with, without resorting to dangerous drugs. Have you had any success with these herbs? Did I skip one you consider a lifesaver? Drop a comment below.