Ashwagandha is a potent Ayurvedic herb that has been used for several thousand years as a way to promote healing. As a component of many new herbal supplements, women are starting to rely on ashwagandha to address their unique health concerns.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (which is Sanskrit for “horse smell”) is an adaptogenic herb that comes from the nightshade family. As it is used to benefit both physical and mental health, it is referred to as a “rasayana” in Ayurvedic medicine. Its numerous benefits include reducing adrenal fatigue, boosting thyroid performance, protecting the brain from cellular damage, and easing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, ashwagandha is known for its ability to reduce chronic inflammation in individuals with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
How Does Ashwagandha Benefit Women?
Since it relieves stress, ashwagandha protects women from premature aging due to the toll stress can take on the body. It also is known to balance out hormone production, which certainly can benefit women who are going through menopause.
Additionally, since it impacts the hormones and blood flow through the body, sexual health and fertility tend to improve in women who take ashwagandha.
On the cognitive side, ashwaganda protects against the neurological degeneration women face as they age and can even improve visual memory processing. With its role in evening out hormone levels, ashwagandha also acts as a mood stabilizer, which can benefit women who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
Also, since it provides an extra boost of energy, women who struggle with chronic fatigue can start to feel rejuvenated. This could be especially beneficial to women in their 40’s and 50’s, which is when chronic fatigue symptoms tend to be most prevalent.
Black cohosh has been used to assist in women’s healthcare for centuries. This powerful herb can be effective, but it is also associated with strong effects. To get the benefits of black cohosh, it is important to understand what it is and how to use it.
Where Does Black Cohosh Come From?
Black cohosh is a species of plant that is found in eastern North America. The plant has fluffy white flowers, and its flowers, leaves, and roots are all used to create black cohosh extracts. For women’s healthcare, the root of the plant is the most effective part because it seems to have an estrogen like effect.
What Issues Can Black Cohosh Treat?
Over the years, black cohosh has been used for a variety of illnesses, ranging from inducing labor to soothing rheumatism. The herb has strong anti-inflammatory and sedative properties, along with its ability to provide effects like taking estrogen in women. Due to these properties, black cohosh is most frequently used to soothe menopause symptoms, reduce PMS, induce labor, and reduce menstrual cramps.
How Do You Use Black Cohosh?
Black cohosh is generally taken in doses between 20 to 80 milligrams once or twice a day when it is being used to treat female issues. The herb is typically ingested as a pill, but it can occasionally be found as a tincture. Due to its ability to start labor, black cohosh should never be used by pregnant women, and it is not recommended for those with cancer, liver disease, organ transplants, or protein S deficiency.
Dong quai, a herb known in Latin as Angelica sinensis, is a root that has had been used for centuries in the East because of its medicinal properties. It is a great herb for women and is known as the ‘female ginseng’ of eastern medicine. It has numerous health benefits for women.
Symptoms of Menopause
Dong quai has the ability to relieve the symptoms of menopause. A component of dong quai, ligustilide, has shown to have antispasmodic activity and relax the uterine muscles.
Makes Bones Stronger
Osteoporosis is a leading problem for women in older age. Menopause causes the levels of estrogen to decline and this effects bone density since estrogen regulates bone formation and breakdown.
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels lead to weight loss, increased thirst, and frequent urinating. Dong quai lowers the levels of blood sugar.
Strengthens the Heart
Dong quai decreases cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is the leading cause of heart disease. Dong quai also relieves high blood pressure.
When the body is injured or inflamed for a long time major diseases can spring up. Dong quai reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of more serious health conditions.
Improves Mood and Depression
Dong quai is great for the mental and emotional condition. Dong quai alters the brain processes that are linked to depression and minimizes the risks of it.
Toxins are harmful substances that cause damage to the body. Dong quai achieves the hard task of cleaning out the blood of toxins which reduces overall toxicity of the organism.
Balances the Hormones
Dong quai regulates the levels of estrogen in the female organism. This promotes the health of women. It regulates irregular periods and prevents hormonal disturbances. This improves the way a woman looks and feels.
In this day and age, it seems as though herbal supplements are everywhere. They all promise natural health benefits and it can be hard to decipher what ones are important. One herb that has been gaining popularity for its proven health benefits is fenugreek.
What It Is
Fenugreek is a type of plant that can be used for both cooking and medicinal purposes. In cooking, the leaves are most commonly used; the seeds are ground and used as a health supplement.
One of the main groups that will benefit from taking fenugreek regularly is women. This is true because this herb is labeled as a galactagogue. This means that it will help stimulate milk production in lactating women. It can be used as an aide to help bring on lactation or as something to encourage a larger milk supply.
Fenugreek is also beneficial in treating hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in women. A compound that is found in fenugreek acts similar to how estrogen normally does in the body. Instead of experiencing the effects of this hormone dropping during menopause, women are able to have diminished symptoms that are much more tolerable.
Treatment of Eating Disorders
Women are the largest population of having reported eating disorders, and research suggests that fenugreek can play a role in the treatment of these diseases. While the herb does not prevent issues from anorexia nervosa from occurring, it does help patients by increasing their appetite and motivation to eat.
Foods that are straight from the earth are healthy. Most people know this, but did you know that some foods that don’t smell so good are very good for you.
Garlic is one of them. There are fewer foods that are more potent for women’s health than garlic. Let’s discuss three ways that it is beneficial for the female body.
Increases Vaginal Health
Got a yeast infection? Eat some garlic. Although you can chop it up and cook it to lessen the natural taste that it has, garlic is more potent when eaten raw.
However, if you want to fend off vaginal yeast infections, consume it daily. Eat it religiously to keep your v healthy and infection-free. The good thing about this method is that it is perfectly fine to cook it before consuming it because there is no infection to fight off; you are just doing a bit of preventative maintenance!
Helps You to Grow Long Locks
Garlic is packed with allicin, which helps treat hair loss. Rubbing slices of garlic cloves on your scalp can help you to retain your hair.
Not only that, garlic is also effective at ridding your scalp of dandruff, so this small food has multiple benefits for your hair and packs a mighty punch.
No woman wants breast cancer. As it turns out, garlic has what it takes to help women prevent it.
Garlic prevents the formation of cancer-causing substances and has been shown to prevent stomach and colon cancer as well.
Just ensure that you consume raw garlic because it is not yet clear as to whether or not garlic capsules are potent enough to stave off cancer.
In addition to being a tasty spice popularly used in cooking, ginger has a wide variety of health benefits. Its array of nutrients and healthy compounds provide many positive benefits for women, and its versatility ensures that these benefits can be harnessed in a variety of manners that you don’t want to miss out on.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is a flowering plant whose root is commonly used for cooking and medicinal purposes. The thick root has a bark-like covering that can be peeled away to reveal the light interior that is best for use. This root has been used for centuries, and it has been adapted into various forms for use, including powder and paste, and can even be used for beverages.
Ginger can be eaten fresh, added to food and drinks for flavor, cooked as a sweet candy, made into oils and creams, and much more.
Benefits of Ginger for Women’s Health
Specifically for women, ginger provides a wide array of health benefits. Consuming ginger can help with mood swings or lack of energy associated with menstruation and pregnancy because it increases alertness, relieves cramps, and boosts overall energy.
For pregnant women or women who simply experience nausea, ginger can reduce dizziness and morning sickness.
This versatile root can also reduce risk of heart disease, the flu, and other similar sicknesses. Consuming this spice reduces cholesterol and risk of forming blood clots. It can also boost metabolism, which can lead to weight loss, reducing the risk for heart-related issues.
Ginger cough drops and drinking ginger tea are popular in fighting colds because they strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Ginger can be used outside of consumption as well. Adding ginger to hair products or face masks can result in thicker and shinier hair and skin that is smoother, brighter, and less prone to breakouts. Ginger creams, oils, compresses, and other products can be used to relieve muscle soreness, arthritis pain, fungal infections, menstrual cramps, and inflammation.
Maca is a very powerful root that can have many great benefits, especially for hormones. Maca root is safe to take daily but it is very potent and can have powerful effects.
Maintains Bone Density
Maca is widely known for its power to balance hormones as well as symptoms of menopause in women. Due to its positive effects on menopause and the hormones involved in this process, it is also associated with improved bone density. During menopause, bone density is a big issue for women, especially those with a family history of osteoporosis.
Enhances Energy and Mood
Since Maca is known to be full of vitamins and essential fatty acids, it is commonly taken to support athletic performance, energy, and mood. The nutrients in maca, such as zinc, other minerals, and protein are known to support energy levels and brain health. Maca can be taken to help alleviate symptoms that come along with depression and stress.
Recently it has become more common for people to resort to natural alternatives for infertility and Maca is one of them. It has a positive effect on the pituitary gland, which releases serum luteinizing hormone. This hormone plays a big role in fertility.
Enhances Sexual Function
Maca is known to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Women taking the highest dose of Maca root daily, which is three grams, can expect to see improvements in sexual function. With consistent use, the root can have a positive effect on desire and satisfaction. Women with sexual dysfunction can have great benefits from taking Maca.
Maca is widely available in many health stores and markets. It can be found alone or combined with other supplements. It is commonly sold in a powder form, which can be easily sprinkled in many foods and beverages.
Red clover is a plant that grows commonly in pastures and grassy meadows across the United States. It gets its name from the dark pink flower that grows in the center of its cluster of leaves that all have three sections. But it is actually more closely related to the legume family of plants.
For many years, red clover was regarded as nothing more than cattle fodder, since cows and horses seem to enjoy grazing on it so much. Recent attention to its special compounds that aid in women’s health issues has started to change this though. Just a few of the benefits that it has to offer include:
Red clover contains isoflavones that act in a similar way to estrogen. So it is can help women who are struggling with the uncomfortable symptoms from lower hormone levels due to aging, such as hot flashes and insomnia.
Women who are not yet menopausal can take red clover when they are struggling to conceive a child. It seems to work by balancing hormone levels and improving blood circulation to the reproductive organs.
Some women have said that it has even helped them get pregnant after a tubal ligation was done since it promotes the healing of old scar tissue. But, doctors say that this shouldn’t be attempted because it could lead to a dangerous ectopic pregnancy.
When taken in the proper dose, this flower helps flush out waste and excess water that is causing uncomfortable bloating. So many herbalists recommend its use with other natural diuretics, such as dandelion leaves. Taking too much of it can lead to the opposite effect occurring though.
Increased Bone Density
Women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis as they age because they no longer produce enough estrogen to keep their bones strong. So when they take red clover, this may aid in less bone loss over time.
Dubbed the “golden herb,” turmeric is a yellow-orange plant that’s native to Southeast Asia. It’s become increasing popular in recent years thanks to the health benefits it offers. While everyone can benefit from taking turmeric supplements, it’s particularly beneficial for women.
Affecting up to 10 percent of all women, endometriosis is a common condition that’s characterized by tissue growth outside of the uterus. It has also been shown to help stop endometrial cells from growing.
Women who experience painful, long menstrual cycles should consider taking a turmeric supplement. This natural herb has been shown to ease menstrual pains, cramps, inflammation and general discomfort.
By taking turmeric, women can often reduce or eliminate their use of over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which can damage internal organs. And, because it stimulates blood flow, the herb also helps to normalize cycles.
The average woman will go through menopause around the age of 45 to 50, during which she’ll experience a wide range of unpleasant symptoms like fatigue, hot flashes, sweating, trouble sleeping, anxiety and irritability. While there’s no way to prevent this female biochemical process, turmeric may offer relief of its symptoms.
Research has shown that menopausal and post-menopausal hot flashes are linked to low antioxidant levels in the body. With its antioxidant properties, turmeric restores these levels and reduces the severity of hot flashes and other symptoms.
Finally, turmeric promotes healthy, youthful skin while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. Again, this is because turmeric has antioxidant properties that fight and neutralize free radicals. When left unchecked, harmful compounds known as free radicals stimulate skin aging and wrinkling. Women can protect their skin from damage, however, by taking a turmeric supplement.
Its scientific name is vitex agnus-castus, but most women know it as the incredible herb contained in the chasteberry fruit from the lilac chaste tree. Vitex has a spicy medicinal scent, and many view it as a lifesaver.
Vitex for Regaining Monthly Control
Vitex has a long history of use by women when it comes to balancing their periods. Studies have shown that the herb from the mint family has a natural progesterone-like effect, which may account for its popular use in the support of women’s reproductive health.
Chasteberry supplements are often recommended for a range of menstrual issues that include PMS, period acne, breast tenderness, bloating, insomnia and moodiness.
Although vitex does not contain hormones, experts believe the unique herb is able to affect a woman’s hormonal activity by stimulating the pituitary gland. More luteinizing hormone is then produced, and the ovaries begin increasing their production of progesterone. The cycle starts operating again in its normal monthly routine.
Much More than a Menstrual Adjuster
Vitex is also seen as an exceptional healthy herb to use for menopausal symptoms. In addition, the chasteberry herb is beneficial when it comes to relieving the common cold, inflammation and swelling, migraines, headaches and joint problems.
The herb also seems to have a calming effect on the digestive system, the spleen, liver and uterus. When applied topically as an oil, the herb promotes a gentle, relaxing state of being.
Vitex Versatility for Non-Pregnant Women
Herbal experts recommend that chasteberry oil should be avoided by pregnant or nursing mothers as well as children.
Most women do not develop side effects, but vitex can cause dizziness, dry mouth and nausea in some.
Vitex is available as a liquid extract in capsules or pills and as chasteberry tea.