Herbs for Women’s Health and Well-being

By Steve Goodman

The value of herbal supplementation is being increasingly validated by scientific research. Herbal supplements such as Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Ginkgo, Bromelain, and many others have been proven time and again in published studies to have measurable therapeutic benefits. Herbs can be used to promote heath and well-being in any individual, but also, there are specific herbal formulations that are particularly conducive to boosting a woman’s health, and dealing with common health issues unique to women.. There are multi-formula herbal supplements that combine many ingredients that are specifically tailored to a woman’s metabolism.

Cranberry juice, and cranberry extracts have been widely used by many women for the treatment of cystitis, urinary tract infection, (UTI) and other bladder conditions.

With the recent controversy over Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), more and more women are turning toward herbal medications for relief of the symptoms of menopause. Such formulas abound on the internet and drug store shelves, but a careful examination of the ingredients will reveal that they are usually a combination of the same botanical derivatives.

Soybeans, yams, and related plants are natural sources of estrogen, and estrogen-like compounds. These will be common ingredients in herbal supplements for women that are intended to ease the symptoms of menopause.

Kava Kava and Valerian root are also commonly found in women’s herbal formulas, as they can help with sleep, relaxation, and restoring emotional balance.  

Black Cohosh has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to provide relief from hot flashes. Black Cohosh is also indicated for the relief of menstrual cramps and period pain, as are, Evening Primrose Oil, Dong Quai, and Red raspberry, Chamomile and Ginger Root teas.  

Women dealing with sexual, or fertility issues can also find help in the garden, rather then the medicine cabinet. Low libido or decreased sex drive in women can be treated botanically with Damiana Leaf, which has been found in studies to increase sexual desire and pleasure, and stimulate arousal in women. Muira Puama has also been shown to increase libido and aide in sexual hormone production. Again, estrogen-mimicking herbs such as Black Cohosh can help improve a woman’s sex drive, in pre or postmenopausal women. While not specifically prescribed for female sexual dysfunction, herbs that are known to improve blood flow and stimulate the nervous system can also help alleviate this condition. Ginger Root, Aloe Vera, Gingko Biloba, Guarana, Black Walnut, and Passion Flower, are some such herbs.   

Women dealing with fertility issues may stimulate egg production with many of the same hormone replacing, or hormone mimicking herbs that relieve the symptoms of menopause. Dong Quia, Red Clover, Wild Yam and Soy extract have all also been found to increase fertility in women.  

Both men and women can benefit from herbal supplements to look and feel their best. Yet women do have certain unique metabolic needs, which fortunately can be fulfilled with some safe, proven effective, and readily available herbs and botanical supplements.

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