All food is medicine. You may be well versed in which vegetables boost vitamin C, or which food has the most fiber, but teas, herbs, and spices also have a role to play in our health. Many can help address hormonal imbalances, enrich your body with antioxidants, and provide relief from many common ailments like headaches and indigestion.
Hormones and Hunger
If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your fitness levels, you need to learn a little more about hormones. Our hunger levels are controlled by hormones, and when our stomachs become full, hormones are released to tell our brains we can stop eating. Our blood sugar levels also impact our hormones; when our blood sugar is balanced, so are we.
Cinnamon is a spice that can help balance blood sugar levels and hunger hormones. The effect it has on our blood sugar levels inhibits the release of the hunger hormones that can make us want to snack between meals or overeat at dinner time. It is great in tea, or as an addition to smoothies, and can be dusted over some fresh fruit and yoghurt.
Tackling Low Testosterone
Essential oils made from herbs and plants such as lavender and chamomile can help boost testosterone levels in men. Testosterone levels naturally begin to decrease as men get older, but levels are decreasing in younger and middle-aged men too. This is thought to be from a combination of environmental factors and poor diet. Men can get a natural boost to their testosterone levels by using these essential oils.
Lavender oil can also be beneficial to women experiencing a decrease in their estrogen levels caused by menopause. Geranium oil, basil oil, and ylang-ylang oil can also help the body naturally increase its estrogen levels. Basil oil in particular is becoming a popular way to treat the effects of menopause, as it has a component similar to estrogen that can ease discomfort and other symptoms.
The Science of Sleep
Our hormones play a big part in our sleep. They help set us up for rest and have a big impact on the quality of the sleep we enjoy at night. Do you ever wake up feeling tired? Your hormones may be out of whack before you go to bed at night, giving you restless and light sleep that leaves you feeling tired throughout the day. This is an area where herbal teas excel.
Lavender and chamomile can be beneficial here too, and teas made with these herbs can help your body get the hormonal balance it needs for restful, deep sleep. Lemon balm and passionflower are another two teas that can help you get set up for rest. Drinking one of these teas before you go to bed at night will help you feel energized the next day.
The Remedy for Stress
The hormone most closely associated with stress is called cortisol, and its levels can be managed with herbal remedies like teas very effectively. Stress is a common cause of underlying health problems, including high blood pressure and anxiety. High cortisol levels can also inhibit the production of insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and obesity.
Ashwagandha, Ginseng, and Rhodiola are three herbs known to be adaptogens, which reduce the production of cortisol in the adrenal glands. This helps reduce stress levels and aid relaxation, which has many positive benefits to the mind, body, and soul. Manage stress with teas and essential oils containing these three relaxing herbs.
There are many common health issues, and even problems like a lack of sleep or excess stress, that can be addressed with herbs and spices in teas or taken as supplements. Knowing more about these hormone-controlling herbs can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals, as well as many other important benefits. Next time you want to reduce stress or hunger, think about drinking herbal teas or using essential oils.