Adaptogens are a category of herbs and mushrooms that help the body and mind deal with stress by regulating the nervous and endocrine systems.
Certain adaptogens are particularly beneficial to women's health because of their ability to support female hormonal balance, reduce stress and promote reproductive health.
The following adaptogens support female health and well-being:
Adaptogens for women and their hormonal system
Ashwagandha is considered one of the most important medicinal herbs in Ayurvedic medicine.
It helps balance hormones, reduce stress, optimize the sleep cycle and support the reproductive system.
Ashwagandha has the ability to increase resistance to stress and lower the production of stress hormone cortisol.
Prolonged stress can disrupt the hormonal balance, which can lead to anxiety, sleeping problems, an irregular menstrual cycle, PMS symptoms and reduced fertility.
This adaptogenic herb has a beneficial effect on mood swings and sleep disorders related to PMS.
It also has a positive effect on the thyroid gland. It plays a crucial role in regulating hormones - imbalances can lead to fatigue, weight gain and mood swings.
Ashwagandha also contributes to the relief of symptoms of menopause.
A 2015 study showed that women who took Ashwagandha experienced much less hot flashes and fewer menopause-related symptoms compared to women who took a placebo.
Ashwagandha supports the reproductive system of both women and men and has a positive effect on fertility.
A 2018 study found that women taking Ashwagandha experienced improvements in fertility, with higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of stress hormones compared to women taking a placebo.
Maca gives energy and increases endurance.
It contributes to a stable, positive state of mind and helps the body adapt to various stressors, including hormonal changes.
Maca contributes to a healthy hormone balance and menstrual cycle.
This Peruvian herb helps relief the symptoms of PMS and menopause, such as mood swings, menstrual cramps and hot flashes.
Maca stimulates cognitive functions such as concentration, mental clarity, memory and the processing of information.
This potent root has a very high nutritional value. It is a complete protein containing 19 amino acids, it is rich in calcium, contains 20 different fatty acids, iron, potassium, 4 types of alkaloids and vitamins such as C, E, B1 and B2.
Maca contributes to sexual health including libido and fertility of both women and men.
In this article you can read more about Maca and its different types.
The most famous is yellow Maca, then there is the more rare red Maca which is particularly beneficial for women and black Maca which is very good for men.
High Vibeology uses all three Maca types in its blends.
Rhodiola rosea increases resistance to stress, has a mood-elevating effect and can help relief feelings of anxiety and depression.
Prolonged stress disrupts the hormone system, accelerates aging and has a negative impact on mental well-being and overall health.
This adaptogenic herb helps increase energy levels and reduces fatigue. It also has a positive effect on cognitive functions.
Research has shown that Rhodiola rosea helps deal with the symptoms of burnout.
It contributes to the regulation of the menstrual cycle and supports hormonal balance and fertility in women.
Hormonal imbalance can lead to menstrual complaints, reduced fertility and other health problems.
Rhodiola rosea supports female reproductive health.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb that helps increase resilience to stress, lowers production of the stress hormone cortisol and helps regulate mood.
It's one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine and supports women's health with its stress-reducing and hormone-balancing properties.
Tulsi contains compounds such as eugenol and rosmarinic acid, which regulate estrogen in the body.
It is traditionally used to treat the reproductive system and support female fertility as well as a healthy pregnancy.
Tulsi helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce symptoms of PMS and relieve menopause.
Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve menstrual cramps and its antioxidant properties help protect the body from free radical damage.
Tulsi can help relieve symptoms of PCOS, one of the most common hormonal conditions many women suffer from.
PCOS is caused by the secretion of excessive male hormones in women, disrupting the reproductive and menstrual cycles.
Schisandra is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an effective tonic for the reproductive system of both women and men.
It is traditionally used for its beneficial effect on female reproductive health, supporting fertility and helping to regulate the menstrual cycle and menopause.
In addition, Schisandra helps relieve menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms as well as PCOS.
Its calming and stress-reducing properties help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress and increase energy.
Schisandra is used to support the liver, which is our main detox organ and is responsible for breaking down hormones in the body.
A healthy liver is essential for hormonal balance.
Schisandra contains antioxidants that help protect the liver and promote liver function.
Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties support skin health. They help reduce inflammation and redness, improve skin elasticity and protect against free radicals.
Shatavari is used to support female reproductive health, especially during pregnancy and lactation.
It stimulates the production of the hormone prolactin which is necessary for the production of breast milk.
Shatavari is one of the best known adaptogens for women due to its wide range of properties such as its ability to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce menstrual cramps and balance PCOS.
In Ayurveda, this herb has been used for centuries to support women's health.
It contains phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. These can help balance hormone levels in women, especially during menopause when estrogen levels drop.
In addition, it contains calcium, zinc and other nutrients that are important for fertility.
By supporting hormonal balance, Shatavari may help reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
Shatavari is also considered an aphrodisiac and may support healthy sexual function in women.
It is known as a soothing and cooling herb that promotes intestinal health.
It may help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and help treat conditions such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Shatavari helps the body adapt to stress and can reduce the negative effects of stress on the body. It helps reduce feelings of anxiety, improve mood and promote relaxation.
Dr. Aviva Romm, a well-known MD specialized in women's health, midwife and herbalist often prescribes Shatavari for chronic fatigue. "In my practice, I recommend Shatavari for women who are exhausted or overwhelmed, have low sex drive, and are experiencing hormonal imbalances, especially related to fertility and menopausal symptoms."
Adaptogens during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
I asked Aviva what she recommends regarding the use of adaptogens during pregnancy and breastfeeding and she replied:
“If you are breastfeeding you can use adaptogens, but avoid the stimulant types such as ginseng. Adaptogens are not suitable during pregnancy.”
Aviva says that many herbs are safe during pregnancy after the first trimester and advises to see which herbs you can safely use from the second trimester under the guidance of your doctor.
After giving birth you can start taking soothing adaptogens again.
You can read more about this in this article on adaptogens and pregnancy.
Make sure to always discuss all your medical questions regarding adaptogens when breastfeeding, in combination with medication, in the event of medical conditions, etc. with your general practitioner and/or specialist. I recommend doing this before starting adaptogens or any new supplement.
I hope this article about adaptogens for women and their hormonal system has inspired you to try these herbs for natural health and wellness support!