What are hormones?
Hormones are the chemical substances in our body that act like messengers. They travel to different parts of the body through our bloodstream to control how cells and organs work. An important part of our endocrine system, hormones affect many of our body’s processes. The six primary functions of hormones are regulating the following:
- blood pressure
- emotions and mood
- fertility and sexual function
- growth and development
It’s important to balance our hormones because having too much or too little of a specific hormone can have serious effects on our body. Hormone balance is crucial to good health. Fortunately, our mighty fungal friends can help us do just that!
While all mushrooms can benefit overall hormone health, in this blog we’ll focus on a few medicinal mushrooms that can specifically help us balance hormones so we can prevent illness and operate at peak performance.
Cordyceps helps to balance estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for developing and regulating the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics, and libido in both men and women. Progesterone is a sex hormone involved in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis in women.
Cordyceps also supports the adrenal glands, which improve sleep, manage weight, and keep our immune systems strong. This mighty mushroom also stabilizes blood sugar and boosts energy, which is why we created Cordyceps Perform.
Lion’s Mane is another one of our favourite fungi, as it can support brain health and immunity. Like cordyceps, it can balance blood sugar levels, and reduce nerve pain and lower inflammation, which is a cause of many illnesses.
In animal studies, lion’s mane extract increased good gut bacteria and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. In one study involving menopausal women, consuming cookies containing lion’s mane mushrooms daily for one month reduced self-reported feelings of irritation and anxiety. While more research is needed, the conducted studies show much promise.
Jessica Duffin reported about her experience living with endometriosis, a gynecologic disorder characterized by endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity, commonly treated by hormone therapy. The disorder affected her cognitive abilities, with fatigue and lack of focus impairing her ability to work. After taking a teaspoon of lion’s mane daily over a year, she said, “I’ve had one of my best work years in a long time.” Lion’s mane restored her confidence and helped her counteract the “brain fog” she’d experienced. This powerful mushroom has been shown to improve cognitive function by regrowing brain neurons.
Lion’s mane also contains antioxidants, which can help reduce pelvic pain in people with endometriosis. Reducing inflammation reduces pain and can ease the mental challenges that come with the disorder.
We love this mushroom so much, we named one of our products after it!
Besides helping with brain health, reishi can bring the body back to homeostasis and regulate the immune system. Research shows that reishi protects and regulates various cellular functions and systems, including the endocrine system.
Hormonal issues, including high stress and thyroid disorders, can sometimes cause high blood pressure and cholesterol. Reishi mushrooms can help to restore optimal hormonal levels to strengthen the cardiovascular system.
Although research is limited to studies on animals, some studies indicate reishi mushroom extract could help normalize certain receptor hormone levels, which could be beneficial in cancer prevention and treatment. Reishi can support liver function and remove harmful synthetic toxins, to which women dealing with symptoms of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are extra sensitive. In addition, reishi extract shows estrogen-like activity, which studies have shown may be useful in regulating hormone levels to treat related diseases like osteoporosis.
Reishi extract can also help to combat restlessness when you’re overstimulated.
For these reasons and others, we created Reishi Recharge.
Aside from these powerful mushrooms and good mental health practices, many other adaptogenic herbs can also help you balance hormones.
Whether it’s your physical, mental, or emotional health you need to work on, minding our mushroom intake is one way we can increase the potential to keep our hormones balanced.