3 Culinary Herbs to Naturally Improve Your Hormones
Balance starts on your plate.
Healthy hormone balance is essential if you want to live a healthy life. Unfortunately, these tiny chemicals can be complicated, and keeping them in balance isn’t always easy.
If you struggle with menstrual irregularities, infertility, or troubling menopause symptoms, it’s time to take a closer look at your hormone balance – and what’s on your plate. Thankfully, there are several herbs and foods that can support a healthy hormone balance from the root.
Let’s Cook! These 3 Culinary Herbs Naturally Improve Your Hormone Balance
Before we get started, you may be wondering “what is a culinary herb?”
Unlike herbs that are prescribed by an herbalist or other healthcare practitioner, culinary herbs are primarily used to cook with rather than used as medicine. They are easy to find, gentle, and well-tolerated by most people. However, that doesn’t mean their benefits aren’t as powerful as purely medicinal herbs! These culinary herbs pack a punch when used regularly. In fact, many of the commonly used herbs in medicinal formulas are also culinary herbs. Think garlic, ginger, pepper, fennel, and peppermint.
For our purposes, we’re focusing on three herbs that have been found to have a significant impact on hormone health. Let’s dive into these culinary herbs!
- Nigella Seed
Nigella seeds (Nigella Sativa) are small black seeds that are packed with antioxidants. They have a slightly bitter flavor, and many people think they taste like a combination of cumin, oregano, and onion.
Nigella is unique in that it contains a phytonutrient called thymoquinone. This compound has been shown to improve hormone balance, especially in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Researchers believe this is because thymoquinone regulates key hormones such as testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and thyroid hormone. It also helps keep insulin in check, which is particularly helpful for women with PCOS who develop insulin resistance.
Other studies show that nigella acts as a “phytoestrogen,” meaning it mimics the activities of estrogen in the body. For this reason, it can be a helpful way to balance your hormones during perimenopause.
Try it: Nigella Seed Beetroot Rice
Marjoram is a commonly used herb in many recipes. But did you know that it has been used in traditional medical systems for centuries? Marjoram contains flavonoids and phenolic acids which help reduce inflammation, stress, and hormone imbalances.
Like nigella, marjoram is believed to be a helpful herb for women with PCOS. Its effects focus on reducing fasting insulin levels and improving blood sugar management. Insulin resistance is a common issue in women with PCOS. High insulin causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone than normal, which perpetuates the hormone imbalance. Marjoram and marjoram extract may help keep these levels low so your body can return to a state of balance.
Try it: Lemon and Marjoram Sardines with Walnut and Pepper Dressing or Simple Marjoram Tea
- Maca Root
Maca root was first used by the Peruvian people centuries ago as a medicinal herb. They found that it enhanced fertility, improved libido, and prolonged endurance. With more modern research, we have learned that maca root also balances the hormones.
Rather than acting as a phytoestrogen (like nigella) to balance the hormones, maca root is an adaptogen. This means that it helps the body manage stress and better maintain its hormone balance. Because of these adaptogenic effects, maca can be used whether you have an excess or deficiency of certain hormones; it supports the body to balance itself accordingly.
Maca root has also been shown to stimulate the pituitary and hypothalamus – two key endocrine glands that regulate hormone production throughout the body. As such, both men and women can benefit from the fertility-enhancing effects of maca root.
Try it: Maca Root Latte
Find Your Balance Through Nutrition
These three culinary herbs are a great first step in finding your natural hormone balance. Most of the time, however, our bodies need more support to truly overcome hormone-related issues like infertility, PMS, PCOS, and menopause symptoms.
At Moringa Natural Health Center, we guide your body into balance with an individualized and comprehensive hormone wellness plan. With the right diet and supportive natural therapies, you can improve your hormones – often without drugs or hormone replacement therapy.
Ready to find your balance? Request an appointment to get started today!
Dr. Lena Fernandez