Due to the high degree of environmental pollution as well as the unhealthy diet we all consume, hormonal imbalances have become quite a common problem in recent times. The toxins from the environment are changing the way our body produces hormones, and the overworked liver rarely has the time to manage hormone breakdown and elimination.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are everywhere around us, even in our food and drinks. They can interfere with the endocrine system function by either mimicking or blocking hormones. The hormonal balance is important as they are a rapid-fire communication system the body needs to manage different organs and processes. When the system is disrupted, many systems are failing or falling apart, creating a state of emergency in our body.
The environmental toxins are mostly affecting the levels of these 5 hormones: cortisol, dihydrotestosterone, insulin, estrogen and thyroid hormone. Disrupting these hormones usually results in weight gain, acne, infertility, irregular periods and hair loss.
Estrogen, also known as the female hormone can cause bloating, breast tenderness and irregular periods if it exceeds the safe levels in the body. The toxins from the environment slow down the estrogen metabolism which results in numerous health problems.
2. InsulinInsulin is responsible for controlling your blood sugar levels. Too much of it can cause insulin resistance, a condition which results in sluggish metabolism and other imbalances. As insulin is one of the most important hormones in the body, the body can’t control all other hormones when insulin goes rogue.
This hormone is the main androgen hormone in the body and the most powerful version of testosterone. Too much of it can cause gynecomastia, male pattern baldness, male-pattern hair growth in females and prostate enlargement.
- Thyroid hormone
The thyroid hormone rules the metabolism – it controls your growth rate, how your body burns fuel and other important processes. Thyroid hormone deficiencies are very dangerous and may lead to fatigue, dry and brittle nails, bowel irregularity and weight gain.
Cortisol is also called the stress hormone and can cause many problems if there’s too much or too little of it. Excess cortisol can result in elevated blood sugar levels, fatigue, weight gain and fatty liver disease, while cortisol deficiency may weaken your immune system and cause cravings and exhaustion.
How stinging nettle can balance your hormones
Although a healthy diet and lifestyle is vital in order to regain hormonal balance, there’s a simple drink that can help as well. Stinging nettle is a herb which can restore your hormonal balance easily.
The herb has shown promising results in hormone support studies. It managed to slow down the enzymes that convert testosterone into estrogen and dihydrotestosterone, and has also shown to support all excess androgen related conditions.
While there’s still more research needed, stinging nettle also improved hair growth in the subjects, managed to reduce the blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in diabetics, and provided relief from water retention in many cases. The herb is rich in acetylcholine and serotonin, which can relieve the stress on the adrenal glands. The herb is a rich source of nutrients and can be easily prepared and consumed. Here’s how:
Hormone balancing drink
1 l. of water
Dry nettle leaves
Bring the water to a boil, the pour it over half a cup of dried leaves and let the tea infuse for 4-10 hours on room temperature. Drink 1 l. of the nettle tea every day – you can add some honey for a nicely flavored cold drink.
To avoid making a new batch of the tea every day, make 2-3 l. and keep the tea in the fridge.
Warning: avoid drinking the nettle tea if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.