I remember staring at my professor’s presentation in awe, like WTH are these statistics true? are the numbers of black women with reproductive health dysfunctions really increasing? I was appalled, yet not surprised so many of my peers suffered from reproductive health issues. Matter of fact I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago, I wasn’t shock by my diagnosis because PCOS is prominent in my family; yet still I could not understand why our community was so affected.
At The Root:
We may not know the reasons why the female reproductive system may become dysfunctional but one thing that we know for sure is that we cannot mention reproductive health without mentioning hormones. Most of our reproductive health issues are hormonal issues, something in our environment is disrupting our hormones. Thus, dis-regulate the organism long enough and what you end up with is diseases.
My personal solution: Herbs
If you know me, you know how I feel about herbs! I swear by them 100%. Matter of fact, when I was diagnosed with PCOS I suffered from amenorrhea (the absence of my periods). My OBgyn at the time and I made a bet, she wanted to put me on the contraceptive pill, but I wasn’t about that life; so I told her “if I can’t bring my cycle back to normal naturally within a 1 year, I will come back and take her damn pill”. Needless to say I won lol.
So here is a list of herbs that I recommend to put an alt to the growing number of sisters diagnose each years with reproductive health issues.
Withania somnifera (Ashwagandah): with more than 80 types of phytochemical this herbs is one of my personal favorite. Ashwagandah decreases the effect of chemical toxins on both the male and female reproductive organs. It is also well known to improve the hormonal balance between our LH and FSH hormones (the hormones that control our menstrual cycles).
Vitex agnus cactus (chaste berry): beside ashwagandah chase berry is my absolute favorite, I even wrote a whole research paper about it. Its benefit for women reproductive health are endless, from alleviating PMS symptoms to helping your cycle get back to normal. It was definitely a key player in my PCOS journey, it helped restored my cycle in less than 2 months.
Taraxacum official (Dandelion): This one is interesting because it doesn’t target our hormone directly but its main ingredient Taraxasterol serves as a protective agent to our liver. The liver has many roles but a very important one is to remove excess hormones from our bloodstream. So if the liver isn’t working properly you can end up with an excess of either estrogen or androgens; a marker for PCOS.
Cinnamomum cassia (Cinnamon): a powerful blood sugar stabilizer, you know those terrible PMS cravings ? well they are usually due to blood sugar imbalance. Blood glucose imbalance is a good indicator that your hormones: insulin and glucagon may need a little help; welp cinnamon is here for that!
All of our hormones work together; if one of them is out of wack that inevitably means the others are affect too. I personally believe that blood sugar regulation is at the root of most hormonal issues. For instance PCOS is characterized by a term called insulin resistance; as in our cells are so overstimulated by sugar that they stop responding to insulin; but hey that’s just my opinion.
Berberine: this is actually not a plant but an active ingredient found in herbs likes European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread etc.. This chemical has the the same effect on blood sugar as cinnamon; so the information written above apply here as well. One thing to keep in mind however is to be careful when using berberine if you are diabetic.
So there you have it! 5 essential herbs that you can easily add to your regiment to help you in your healing journey. Be mindful that the more potent; and thus more effective herbs come in loose leaf form and should be organic. If you are interested in purchasing a hormone balancing tea to gently balance your hormone back to normal (helpful for people with PCOS,PMS or reproductive hormone imbalances in general) I am selling a blend of helpful womb love herbal tea available only via pre-orders.