The Pill Versus Herbs, Minerals and Vitamins for Hormonal Imbalance
Oral contraceptives (the “Pill”) may contribute to hormonal imbalance. The Pill contains synthetic estrogens and progestins in varying amounts and they are prescribed not only for contraception, but for the treatment of acne, PMS and perimenopause. The birth control pills used today by 1 in 5 Canadian women contain much lower amounts of hormones compared to those used in the 1960s, however they still provide about four times higher estrogen levels than would naturally be produced by a woman’s body.
There are natural alternatives to the birth control pill including vitamins for hormonal imbalance for both PMS and perimenopause. For many women, the unpleasant symptoms of both PMS and perimenopause including: mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating and irritability are caused by fluctuating hormones. And although the pill is highly effective for contraception, its use is associated with many side effects including weight gain, migraine headaches, de creased libido, breast swelling and tenderness, nausea, vomiting, vaginal dryness, spotting, skin rashes, and depression. For many women the negative side effects of the pill when prescribed for PMS and perimenopause, outweigh the benefits. This is why more and more women are turning to vitamins for hormonal imbalance to help balance their hormones and address the symptoms of PMS and perimenopause.
Calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6 are some of the minerals and vitamins for hormonal imbalance that can be used as alternatives to the birth control pill for the management of symptoms associated with PMS and perimenopause. Herbs that have shown to be effective include: saw palmetto, red raspberry, chastetree berry and wild yam. These herbs works by addressing the most common symptoms of PMS and perimenopause. Wild yam is used in herbal medicine for treatment of rheumatic diseases, colic, inflammation of the colon, cramps, menstrual cramps, and ovarian and uterine pain. Red raspberry relaxes uterine muscle which may reduce physical cramping felt during PMS and pre- menopause. Saw Palmetto contains phytosterols that exhibit hormonal activity specifically anti- estrogenic activity, which could relieve cramping. Chastetree Berry has long been for the management of PMS and menopausal symptoms by reducing estrogen and prolactin levels.