Herbs for Women's Hormones: A guide
Updated: May 27
Herbs have been one of the most important tools I have incorporated into my wellness routine. I began my herbal journey with raspberry leaf, my acupuncturist insisting that it would help me and my menstrual cramp pain. I stopped by my local herb store to pick some up one day, and fell in love. The walls were lined with herbs from top to bottom. The idea that each herb helped a different ailment excited me.
I began sipping raspberry leaf every time I experienced cramps, which helped soothe me immediately. I was so intrigued by the power that this single herb had, I decided to take an introductory course through the Herbal Academy.
Herbs are a topic you could spend the rest of your life learning about and still not know everything. During my course at The Herbal Academy, I bought an assortment of herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, and my obsession began. My "beginner" herbs were peppermint, raspberry leaf, oatstraw, chamomile, nettle, and lavender. Soon I was making tinctures and teas and giving them to my friends. I made a sleepy tea for my stepdad with skullcap, a hormone tea for my stepsister with nettle and raspberry leaf, and a digestive tea with peppermint for a friend.
If you're looking for some period relief, herbs can definitely help you! Herbs are chock full of minerals, and even if you aren't suffering from PMS, they will provide benefits.
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Raspberry leaf. A cup daily will help tonify your uterus and ease your flow.
Mugwort. A warming tonic that stimulates blood flow. It is a "releasing" herb that encourages stagnant blood to move.
Ginger. This has been shown to reduce cramping; taken just before or during the menstrual phase is best.
Cinnamon. There have been studies on mega-dosing cinnamon to reduce cramps. (Try 1-2 tablespoons in coffee, curry, or hot chocolate)
Yarrow. It has been shown to reduce painful cramping.
Cramp bark. What a great name for a herb that eases cramps!
Besides these, there is also vitex (chasteberry), lavender, chamomile, motherwort, and more. I suggest you buy a couple of herbs and experiment to see how they make you feel.
But how do you prepare them? I will share a few of my favorite ways...
You can consume herbs in various ways, pre-made blends, single herbs steeped on their own, tinctures, or topical application from a salve. You can buy these products online from herbalists or formulate your own!
You can also try a Yoni steam. Many swear by this practice, which has been used in traditional cultures for centuries. It is prepared the same way as a facial steam. Boil water, add herbs (raspberry leaf, nettle, rose, chamomile, and dandelion are all excellent choices!), and squat above the pot! Be extra careful that the water is not too hot as you will burn yourself. *Do not do this on your period* 1-2 weeks before your period is most beneficial, but you can also do it after your flow to cleanse.
Another one of my favorite ways is to drink herbal infusions. Pour hot water over your herbs (1-2 tbsp), and let soak for 24 hours. Drink the next day after straining the herbs and warming the tea cup (or drink it cold with ice!). This is an "infusion" and is an extra potent way to get all the benefits of the herbs!
I like to make an infusion of oatstraw and raspberry leaf leading up to my period. It makes me feel nourished and makes my periods so much easier!
Thanks for stopping by; always invest in quality, well-sourced herbs. If you have any questions about herbs, feel free to send me an email.