9 Hormone Balance Supplements you Should be Taking
Here's the best hormone balance supplements, backed by research and expert medical opinion.
When you have a hormone imbalance, you’ll feel major changes in your body.
You’re likely experiencing weight gain, fatigue, acne, mood swings, or more.
Hormone balance supplements can fix several of these conditions. Though diet and other lifestyle factors are key to addressing your hormone fluctuations, the supplements in this post provide a proven boost to your treatment plan.
How do you bring your hormones into balance?
Hormone balancing treatment comes in different forms. You can regulate your hormones with conventional medication, like prescription pills or shots. Eating a balanced diet, reducing stress, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep also produce a hormone balancing effect. In addition to these lifestyle changes, hormone balance supplements provide a natural alternative to prescription medications and have been shown to regulate hormone levels.
Honestly, when I first heard of hormone balancing supplements, I was skeptical. Up until then, I was using the pill to manage my skin problems and irregular periods. At some level, I knew this wasn’t getting to the root cause.
I consulted with an aesthetic doctor to deal with my hormonal acne. By then, I was getting regular outbreaks. The pigmentation and scarring made my skin look worse. My self-esteem was shot, and I dreaded leaving the house without makeup. Plus, my BMI was 24.6. That made me close to a BMI of 25, the start of the overweight range.
My doctor helped me treat the underlying cause of my weight and skin problems: PCOS. Though I’d been diagnosed years earlier, I didn’t connect the dots. I started using hormone supplements, including magnesium, turmeric, reishi mushroom, sulforaphane, and saw palmetto.
During that time, I saw dramatic results. My periods were regular for the first time in my life. I also dropped 28 pounds. Suddenly, my breakouts stopped. Over time, my skin cleared and my complexion evened out.
As with most PCOS remedies, hormone supplements aren’t a quick fix. I followed an insulin-resistance diet, practiced intermittent fasting, and started a regular exercise routine. I walked every day and practiced yoga regularly. (Yoga has been shown to increase estrogen levels in post-menopausal women, and the benefits of Yoga for PCOS are also widely studied.) My skincare routine also flourished: I stuck to a morning and evening regimine without fail.
Medical experts on Endocrine Web also recommend sleep and diet to fix a hormone imbalance. Sleep Coach Bailey Guilloud recommends getting between seven and nine hours to balance your hormones. On diet, Barry Sears, MD, tells the publication:
“Diet is the most potent agent you have to balance your hormones. This is because it allows you to directly change the levels of hormones (insulin, glucagon, and eicosanoids) depending on the balance of macronutrients consumed at every meal.”
That’s all to say that while hormone balance supplements won’t magically fix your hormone imbalance on their own, the right ones will help balance your hormones naturally.
9 top supplements to balance hormones
Below, you’ll see the top supplements to regulate hormones, based on decades of research and medical recommendations.
Check in with your doctor before you get started with any of these. Everyone is different. What works for you might be as effective for the next person.
Magnesium is a mineral that occurs naturally in food, and there’s a lot of evidence that it’s an effective hormone balancing supplement.
According to a study published in the Biological Trace Element Research journal, magnesium was shown to reduce excess body hair, also known as hirsutism. In this trial, 60 women took a combination of magnesium and Vitamin E.
The NFS Journal reviewed the impact of magnesium on women’s health throughout the different stages of life. A team of researchers analyzed the results of clinical trials over the past decade, and their findings make a strong case for magnesium as a hormone balance supplement.
Here’s an overview:
- Women with PMS have lower levels of magnesium
- Magnesium can help reduce inflammation during perimenopause
- After menopause, women with higher rates of depression also had lower levels of magnesium
Another research paper in the Nutrients journal explores the link between magnesium levels and mental health. Researchers write:
“...stress could increase magnesium loss, causing a deficiency; and in turn, magnesium deficiency could enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress, resulting in a magnesium and stress vicious circle.”
During periods when I struggle with sleeplessness and stress, I’ve taken a magnesium supplement. It works wonders, and I have none of the side effects I usually experience with prescription medication for insomnia or stress. Not that I’m discounting those pharmaceutical interventions. They’ve helped me through hard times. But for longer-term support, I prefer natural supplements like magnesium and therapy.
Turmeric is a popular spice that’s often hailed as a natural cure for many ailments. It’s also a well-known hormone balance supplement.
Research shows that turmeric is an especially effective hormone balance supplement for PCOS. It works to lower androgens and may induce ovulation.
I’ve been taking a turmeric supplement for more than a year. My skin is healthier than ever and I’m less prone to acne. In fact, I’ve probably had one or two pimples over the past year. Usually, that happens when I start eating more processed foods, refined carbs, and dairy. I also established a skincare routine that includes a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
3. Licorice root
Licorice is an herb used for hormone balancing.
Licorice has anti-androgenic effects, according to McCulloch. However, she cautions that it can raise blood pressure. McCulloch advises using licorice in conjunction with white peony, another hormone balancing supplement:
“I use this combination quite often in my practice for women with PCOS and find it helpful in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and for the reduction of androgenic signs.”
I’ve generally always struggled to manage stress. Prescription medication provided short-term relief but usually came with side effects.
In 2021, I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Doing deeper research into the condition, a lot of my symptoms made sense. My cortisol levels were all over the place, peaking at night. My heart pounded and I rolled around in bed for hours before falling into a fitful sleep. My doctor prescribed a supplement that included licorice. A few weeks in, my heart rate no longer accelerated at night, and finally went back to feeling tired at bedtime. It was life-changing.
4.Vitex agnus-castus (VAC)
Vitex agnus-castus (VAC), also known as chasteberry, has been used as a natural hormone imbalance remedy for centuries.
Newer research backs up this ancient wisdom confirming chasteberry is a potent supplement to balance hormones. One animal study suggests vitex can balance estrogen and testosterone. Researchers shared the results in the Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction.
Vitex regulates prolactin, a hormone normally found in high levels among pregnant women. Decades of research show high levels of prolactin can interfere with ovulation. A 2020 study published in Crescent Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences found chasteberry was as effective for reducing prolactin levels as prescription medication.
Myo-inositol is one of the best female hormone balance supplements.
It reduces androgen levels, regulating periods and inducing ovulation, according to a paper published in the Reproductive Health Journal.
Another review of clinical trials in Endocrine Connections found this hormone balance supplement reduced androgen levels, specifically testosterone.
6. DIM supplements
DIM, diindolylmethane, is derived from cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower. An important effect of DIM is that it can influence estrogen levels.
According to WebMD:
“DIM supplements appear to help adjust the hormone estrogen. A few clinical trials have shown that it supports healthy estrogen levels, lowering the risk of certain cancers and diseases like lupus that are linked to estrogen.”
Men also benefit from DIM:
“Some of their testosterone changes into estrogen and is metabolized in the liver. Levels of a certain kind of estrogen may lead to higher risks of cancer in men, just as it can in women.”
Over on Reddit, women with severe PMS share their experiences using DIM. Many saw improvements in their hormonal acne and moods once they started using the supplement.
7. Saw palmetto extract
Saw palmetto extract is used to treat a host of conditions, including lowering androgens.
McCulloch writes that she often uses it to treat acne. Saw palmetto is also recommended for facial hair.
I used a supplement that included saw palmetto and my skin improved. Again, I made several changes at the time, including eating healthier and getting enough exercise.
8. Reishi mushroom
Reishi mushrooms have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. They’re effective in boosting immune systems and controlling blood sugar levels.
McCulloch said reishi mushroom is an anti-androgen. It appears to suppress the growth of cells that are stimulated by testosterone.
I used a supplement to manage my outbreaks. It was a combination of saw palmetto extract and reishi mushroom. When used alongside a low-carb diet, it did a great job of clearing up my skin.
A male and female hormone balancer, Maca regulates estrogen and progesterone levels, said natural doctor and nutritionist Melissa Gallagher on her YouTube channel.
Maca helped perimenopausal women who were starting to experience signs of progesterone dips and estrogen dominance, added Gallagher.
Signals of possible imbalance in your progesterone to estrogen ratio include:
- Mood swings
- Trouble losing weight
Apart from being a supplement for estrogen dominance, maca also minimizes stress impact on the body, said Gallagher.
Use the right hormone balancing supplements
When it comes to fixing a hormone imbalance, consulting with a medical health professional is the best place to start. You might need a blood sample to check your hormones. In addition, any plan to balance your hormones will likely include broader lifestyle changes.
Then, add these hormone balance supplements to bolster the effect of better diet, exercise, sleep, and skincare habits.