Scientific articles

Natural herbs to improve hormonal regulation during menopause




Mid-life can bring about a number of changes for a woman's physiology. A growing number of women experience very drastic hormonal issues as they move into peri-menopause and menopause. Often they complain of low libido, hair loss, weight gain, sluggishness, anxiety, hot flashes and insomnia. Natural herbal compounds can help improve hormonal regulation and quality of life in menopausal women.

Both estrogen and progesterone decline naturally through the aging process. From the age of thirty-five to fifty years of age, there is a 75% reduction in the production of progesterone in the body. During that same age range, estrogen only drops by about 35% (1).

So by menopause, the body maintains about half the amount of estrogen but has around a quarter the amount of progesterone it once had. This reduction in progesterone creates a hormonal imbalance and a state of estrogen dominance. This is the common condition for women in peri-menopause (mid-forties) and menopause.

Symptoms of estrogen dominance during menopause:

Night sweats
Hot flashes
Decreased libido
Hair loss
Weight gain
Sleep difficulties
Inability to concentrate
Fibrocystic breasts
Cancer (Breast, Uterine & Ovarian)
Specific herbs and nutrients to support healthy hormonal balance

There are many natural herbal compounds that work to balance estrogen and progesterone levels. These herbal compounds are called sex hormone modulators as they have the ability to coordinate the release of major sex hormones based on the conditional needs.

Here are a few herbs that regulate the formation of bad estrogen metabolites and balance sex hormone production and utilization.

Korean ginseng

Ginseng has been given the Greek name, Panax, which means "all curing" as it has remarkable adaptogenic qualities that benefit individuals no matter their phase of life or what stressors they are encountering.

Research has shown that ginseng has the ability to stabilize blood sugar by improving fatty acid metabolism.(2) This reduces stress on the adrenals and improves stamina, energy and physical performance. The compounds in ginseng also improve oxygenation throughout the body and improve the immune system.(3)

Black cohosh

Black cohosh contains triterpene glycosides that have estrogen modulating impacts on metabolism (4). These components have been shown to improve estrogen deficient type symptoms without the adverse risks of estrogen replacement therapy.

Black cohosh has been shown to decrease hot flashes, increase blood flow to the pelvic area, relieve spasms and improve hormone related mood depression (5). This substance does not stimulate the uterine tissue and promote the formation of fibroids the way estrogen replacement does (6). This is a very safe and natural compound to use in support of estrogen balance.

Don Quai

This herb, otherwise known as Angelica Sinensis, has the ability to modulate the way the estrogen receptor functions. It is believed to have compounds that have estrogenic expression but in significantly reduced potency as human estrogens in the ratio of 1:400. This herb helps to ensure optimal estrogen expression in the body.

In estrogen deficient cases, it is able to bind and influence the estrogen receptor to improve estrogen interaction with the tissue cells. In estrogen dominant patterns it competes with estrogen receptor binding and lowers the potency of estrogen on the bodily tissues. This is because its potency is so much lower than human estrogen (7).

Dong Quai also improves iron absorption in anemic cases and has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities (8). It also improves cardiac function and increases vaginal lubrication (9)





Science Article