The World Health Organization reports that 80% of people worldwide use herbal remedies as part of their overall health care.
The Dictionary Defines Herbalism As…
The study or practice of the medicinal and therapeutic use of plants, now especially as a form of alternative medicine.
Herbal medicine also referred to as herbalism, Phytomedicine, or botanical medicine has been used for thousands of years. In the Western world, herbal medicine is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
There are numerous issues that can affect the normal functions of a woman’s body. These can vary from metabolic interferences to hormones and menstrual cycle complications. Often, issues arise as a result of stress, a lack of exercise, fatigue, or lack of good self- care.
Many women today are seeking natural and alternative methods to better health and wellness, and herbs are some of the most popular methods.
Many doctors today support natural health remedies for women, be it to deal with menopause symptoms or PMS and everything in between.
Let’s take a look at the incredible range of natural herbs that are available to you and their benefits.
14 Herbs For Women’s Health
1| Black Cohosh
- Menopausal hot flashes
This herb’s most common use is related to menopause; specifically it has been shown to alleviate the intensity of hot flushes that women often experience as one of its key symptoms.
Furthermore, black cohosh has been found to have positive effects on women when it comes to improving their mood and boosting happiness. It helps reduce irritability and tiredness, making it an ideal herb for anyone who feels stressed or fatigued and needs some all-natural energy.
- It’s often made into tea, or alternatively, you can choose to take it in the form of pill.
2| Red Clover
- Hormonal balance
- Menopausal symptoms
- Bone strength
Red clover is a wild plant that belongs to the legume family.
Red clover contains key nutrients:
- Vitamin C
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, health care practitioners believe red clover to be a diuretic and an expectorant (rids lungs of mucus). It also has the ability to boost circulation and help cleanse the liver.
Science has found that this herb contains isoflavones, chemicals found in many plants that mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen in the body. It is believed that isoflavones may help reduce symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes mainly because they mimic the effects of estrogen, which is depleted during menopause.
Menopausal women are at higher risk for osteoporosis (brittle bones) mainly due to estrogen drops that occur during menopause. A few studies show promising evidence that Red Clover may not only slow bone loss, but boost mineral density in both pre and perimenopausal women.
Studies have been done as to its effectiveness in preventing cancer, but experts contend that because of Red Clover’s estrogen-like effects it may actually contribute to cancer growth, just as estrogen does, and so until there is further research, it is not recommended for cancer prevention and most important it is never recommended for women with a history of breast cancer.
3| Muira Puama
Muira puama, the native Amazonian plant has gained a reputation for its ability to promote healthy libido levels in women, in fact, it’s referred to as “potency wood” in indigenous cultures of Brazil.
A study (Brazilian plants as possible adaptogens: an ethnopharmacological survey of books edited in Brazil; Mendes, et al) investigating its libido-boosting potential that involved more than 200 women with low sex drives came to the conclusion that after one month of taking the herb, 65% of the study subjects reported improved sex that included increased desire, and more intense orgasms.
Another study (Ruitenberg et al) found Muira Puama to combat stress.
Throughout history, Muira Puama was made into a tea, but evidences suggests that the active components in the herb that offer therapeutic benefits are water insoluble, so a tincture or even pill form is a better way to benefit from its nutrients.
- Warming feeling
Rou Gui is the medicinal form of cinnamon bark that can be found in health stores everywhere. Some stores may refer to it as medical cinnamon bark or Rou Gui. It’s a perfect option for women who are experiencing cramps during their menstrual cycle.
This sweet-tasting product provides women with a feeling of internal warmth, which can be especially comforting during menstrual symptoms.
Furthermore, anyone who finds themselves feeling cold due to conditions related to digestive problems, asthma, or osteoarthritis would love the warming properties that Rou Gui can provide.
5| Brazilian Suma
- Under eye dark circles
- General wellness
- Hormonal balance
- Blood sugar balance
Suma is the dried root of Pfaffia paniculata plant that grows in the Amazonian rain forests. Suma has been a part of ancient culture throughout history. Today, Suma is used in the Amazon basin as a general health and wellness enhancer.
The American Pharmaceutical Association’s “Practical Guide to Natural Medicines,” states its berries, leaves, and bark are used for medicinal purposes.
In the United States, Suma is often referred to as Brazilian ginseng. The American Pharmaceutical Association states that herbalists in the United States believe Suma to improve immune system health, and boost energy. Many herbalists also recommend its use for type 2 diabetes and to balance hormones in menopausal women.
The Natives who originated from the Amazon used Suma to boost libido levels in women. A study conducted in 1999 did find evidence that this herb increased sexual performance and interest in impotent rats. Another 2003 study found Suma to raise progesterone and testosterone levels in mice.
The Mayo Clinic reported a study that found serum that contained Suma improved the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
- Suma can be purchased in the form of tablets, dried leaves, or powder from an herb shop.
6| Holy Basil
Holy Basil, known by many as the Tulsi plant, is recognized as being a potent herb when it comes to alleviating stress.
Cortisol, a major stress hormone interferes with the body’s normal functioning and stress in general causes a variety of health risks.
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
- Memory issues
- Loss of focus and concentration
Holy Basil helps decrease production of this hormone and provides a calming effect. This has a major impact on the mind and how you go about doing your usual activities. You can think clearer and take on more tasks without stress interfering with your quality of life.
Mothers of young children often find that their mental clarity is hindered by the undue amount of stress and responsibilities involved in raising kids, in this case, the holy basil would be at the top of the recommended herbs list.
- You can consume it as a pill or simply use it to make a superb tea.
- Reproductive system health
- Balance hormone levels
Ashwagandha is an herb that originates from India and has been a part of the culture for centuries. The main benefits of this herb for women are boosts in libido and reproductive system health. Ashwagandha targets the endocrine system in helping to balance women’s hormone levels.
Ashwagandha also provides many mental benefits, as it has been found to reduce stress, anxiety and support a happier mood. More and more research is being carried out into this herb, as specialists believe it can be very useful in aiding those suffering from emotional distress and anxiety.
Tribulus Terrestris is used by women during their menstrual cycle to improve mood, and alleviate temporal mood swings. This herb also has calming effects, and so helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. Research also suggests that Tribulus may boost energy because it increases oxygen to cells.
In addition to these great mental benefits, Tribulus Terrestris has also been found effective for sexual function. In a study (Medicinal plants as alternative treatments for female sexual dysfunction: utopian vision or possible treatment in climacteric women?; Mazaro-Costa, et al), where 50 women were given this herb, 49 reported an improved sexual desire.
Brazil was the first country to realize the benefits the Catuaba tree could have on their health since the Indians residing there began putting it to use. The strong aphrodisiac properties of this plant are the most popular reason as to why people use it.
The Tupi Indians utilized it to make teas that were high in this substance and as a result, they encountered healthy libido levels.
Extracts that come from this tree include a chemical called yohimbine, which is what’s responsible for causing such a powerful effect on the libido.
- Breast milk production
- Blood sugar health
Most commonly, this herb is found in the form of seeds that help stimulate breast milk production. Fenugreek also supports blood sugar health and healthy metabolism.
Fenugreek is also very nutritious as it contains:
- Vitamin C
- B Vitamins
- Beta carotene
Shatavari is an herb that is not commonly known in many countries. It is mainly used by women in India who implement it into their regular health routine. It is believed that Shatavari helps balance hormones, and provides an all- natural energy boost and is therefore useful if you experience sudden increases and decreases in energy.
- The Shatavari herb can also increase your sex drive and improve fertility. Typically, this herb is added to milk in powdered form and drank at bedtime.
12| Chaste Tree Berry
- Hormonal Balance
Chaste tree berry otherwise referred to as Vitex, is one of the top picks when it comes to aiding a woman during her menstrual cycle. This herb is particularly potent in its ability to regulate hormone, as a result, it can help the brain, and ovaries communicate better to ensure a healthy amount of estrogen is being produced. It may have a significant and useful impact on your health, although, many find the taste to be unpleasant.
Some of the other benefits noted with chaste tree berry include:
- Aiding in conceiving complications
- PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
- Hormonal balance
The Maca root contains various compounds along with fatty acids and amino acids. The Inca warriors of Peru used to take the Maca herb to increase energy.
Nowadays, it is commonly utilized by women to increase libido. Additionally, women take the Maca root orally for hormonal balance, PMS, menopausal symptoms, weak bones caused by osteoporosis, depression and for immune system health.
- The taste of Maca is regarded by many as pleasant. Using the powdered version makes it effortless to add to drinks and mix into meals.
14| Dong Quai
Dong Quai is an herb that comes from China. Women use it to mitigate common symptoms of menopause, menstruation, and PMS.
Premenstrual syndrome is a complication where women experience an array of psychological and physical problems. Dong Quai can be advantageous in relieving these symptoms.
Caution About Herbs
Herbs are powerful plants, and so all precautions should be taken before using them. Many herbs and supplements have not been tested for safety and their effectiveness is not always proven. The FDA does not regulate supplements.
Some herbs may interact with medications and may not be indicated for certain medical condition. It is important to consult with a trained and qualified herbalist to gain insight into proper dosage. Herbalists also referred to as herbal practitioners and licensed herbalists are professionals specially trained in herbal medicine.
You should also consult your doctor before taking any herbs.
9 Weight Loss Herbs
If you’re eating meals consisting of plain chicken breast, rice, and boring salads, you may be doing yourself a disadvantage when it comes to your weight loss results.
There is a plethora of herbs at your disposal that you can add into any dull meal to not only make it taste great but to help you burn more fat!
According to Prevention Magazine, research shows that if you hate the way food in your diet tastes, you’re more likely to end up quitting it altogether.
A successful diet is all about remaining as consistent as possible and loving what you eat. If most of your meals don’t satisfy your taste buds, you’ll want to cheat more often.
Sprinkling some simple herbs and adding spices to your meals will make you enjoy a healthy diet.
Furthermore, certain herbs have thermogenic properties meaning they’ll ramp up your metabolism, and the more active your metabolic rate, the more fat you can burn while in a rested state! The following herbs can lend a marvelous helping hand during your weight loss journey.
A study from the Iran Shahid University of Medical Sciences found that consuming just a single teaspoon of cumin each day could make you burn up to three times more calories than before.
The researchers who conducted this study also speculated that cumin might increase metabolic rate. They came to this conclusion after realizing how fast and how much more effective the participants’ bodies became at burning fat. Cumin also contains key phytosterols that help reduce bad LDL cholesterol that can accumulate in the body, especially among overweight people.
The great thing about cumin is that is a very versatile herb. You can add it to many different dishes, be it soups, marinades, or meats.
Tufts University carried out a study that supports the hypothesis that turmeric can help in burning body fat.
Turmeric is considered to have thermogenic effects on the body. In other words, it turns up the internal heat, so to speak to help boost metabolism. In some cases, you may be struggling to lose weight due to a sleepy metabolism. Turmeric can give you the kick you need to start burning fat again.
Curcumin is the main ingredient in turmeric that is responsible for the fat loss benefits. It is also the component that gives turmeric its golden color. It’s a great element to add to a variety of meals to create spicy and flavorful dishes.
Cayenne is another spice that flips on the thermogenic switch, increasing the body’s internal temperature and helping you to burn more calories. As a result, you may experience improvements to your weight loss as it means your metabolic rate is increased.
Prevention Magazine mentions how implementing cayenne into your diet can aid you in burning approximately 100 calories for every meal you eat.
4| Black Pepper
Black pepper is rich in piperine that can be a powerful tool for losing weight. It’s what gives black pepper its unique taste, but it is believed to prevent fat cells from forming.
It’s a healthy option that can be added to pretty much all your meals.
Research carried out by Columbia University suggests that ginger can be a compelling addition to your meals. They found that people who drank ginger tea felt more satisfied after eating. Feeling less hungry is a weight loss seeker’s dream, and makes this herb a great ally to have on your side.
Ginger is also known for being a powerful agent at cleansing the intestinal organs and keeping things moving in the digestive system.
Dandelions are becoming an increasingly favored plant amongst chefs across the world. It is a healthy method of adding great flavor to your home-cooked meals and it’s also full of nutrients that support weight loss.
Some of the most notable vitamins and minerals it contains include
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
You can also enjoy dandelion tea, though keep in mind it does have diuretic properties.
The biggest influencer behind people wanting to use the nettle herb for weight loss is that it curbs hunger.
If you’re trying to lose weight but finding that you’re struggling with cravings, try some nettle tea to suppress your hunger.
Even once you do lose your desired amount of weight, you can keep utilizing nettle herbs to manage your weight and stop you from binging and gaining the weight back again.
Cacao is another term used for the cocoa bean, which is the dried and fully fermented seed of Theobroma cacao. Cacao in its raw form is full to the brim of antioxidants, but it also contains properties that can help to restrict your feelings of hunger.
Those who have difficulty in controlling the amount of food they eat will be happy to hear that certain chemicals in the brain that stimulate cravings are restrained by cacao, namely dopamine and serotonin.
These “feel good” chemicals cause you to have hunger impulses, and when they are suppressed, you’ll have an easier time adhering to a diet.
9| Korean Ginseng
The roots that are derived from the ginseng plant are commonly used for medicinal reasons. It has numerous benefits, which include aiding in mental clarity to help with focus and concentration.
The opinion of Dr. Robert B. Saper from Harvard Medical School, in a November 2004 issue of the “American Family Physician,” is that Korean ginseng may benefit weight loss because it affects how the body metabolizes carbohydrates. Additionally, it may help to curb appetite.
Korean ginseng may also benefit people with type 2 diabetes, as the University of Michigan Health System notes it may improve mood and boost energy in sufferers. It may also possibly help regulate insulin and improve blood glucose profiles.
However, other authorities caution that little is known as to ginseng’s effects on blood sugar, so you should always ask your doctor before using it if you have diabetes.
If revitalizing your health in all-natural ways to prevent, or improve, any internal bodily functions is important to you, turning to herbalism could be the answer.
Often times, the benefits of herbs in relation to female health issues and weight loss overlap, in which case, you can enjoy a variety of simultaneous benefits.
Committing to a healthy diet, regular exercise and making use of herbal remedies will provide you with everything you need for ultimate health and wellness.