Herbs have been cherished for generations as natural remedies to support women's health and overall well-being. These botanical wonders offer a holistic approach to addressing various health concerns, making them a popular choice among women seeking natural alternatives to modern pharmaceuticals.
Though there are many plants that offer astounding benefits for both men and women, there are a select few herbs that offer exceptional aid to the female body. These are some of the best herbs for women’s health.
Known as the "female ginseng," dong quai (Angelica sinensis) has a long, storied history in Traditional Chinese Medicine—also known as TCM—due to the fact that the plant is indigenous to China. Dong quai is lauded for its ability to regulate menstrual cycles, relieve pain from menstrual cramps, and balance hormones that are imperative to a woman’s body, such as estrogen and progesterone.
A naturally bitter herb, dong quai is often taken as a capsule supplement.
Black Cohosh Root
Also charmingly referred to as a fairy candle, the root of the black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is an herb that has been trusted by generations of women to help relieve symptoms that occur near the menstrual cycle and menopause. It is thought to restore hormonal balance—especially during transitional periods like perimenopause—as well as offer some reprieve from hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.
Despite being a lovely plant, black cohosh flowers have a rather unpleasant smell. Fortunately, black cohosh root supplements are usually taken in the form of a capsule pill.
Despite its name, this herb is not regular basil that has been blessed by a priest. Instead, holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) gets its name due to the fact that it is considered a sacred plant by Hindus. It is also known as tulsi, which roughly translates to “the incomparable one” in Hindu.
Holy basil is considered to be an adaptogen, which are herbs that can help assist the body in adapting to stress. Stress can manifest in numerous types of physical and mental ailments, making holy basil an effective herb for women’s health.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Raspberries are delicious, but the rest of the raspberry plant (Rubus idaeus) offers benefits, as well! Women often turn to red raspberry leaf during pregnancy, as it is thought to strengthen the walls of the uterus in preparation to give birth, easing post-birth pains. Additionally, it's used to alleviate menstrual cramps and promote a regular menstrual cycle.
Red raspberry leaf supplements come in many forms, with the most popular way to enjoy this herb for women’s health by brewing a sweet, warm cup of red raspberry leaf tea.
As its name suggests, chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), which is also vitex. This herb for women’s health has been traditionally used to regulate the menstrual cycle, as well as ease premenstrual symptoms like breast tenderness, bloating, and irritability.
Though chasteberries are perfectly edible, they don’t taste like typical berries—they taste like pepper! For this reason, chasteberry supplements typically come in capsule or tincture form.
Derived from the delicate flowering evening primrose plant (Oenothera biennis), this herb for women’s health is rich in an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which helps to boost the metabolism and women’s reproductive health.
Unlike some of the other herbs on this list, evening primrose is pressed into an oil. This oil can be taken in a capsule or tincture, but can also be rubbed into the skin. As a soothing moisturizing agent, evening primrose oil can help relieve dry, itchy skin by offering much-needed hydration.
St. John's Wort
Despite its unappealing name, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been used in natural and holistic medicine for centuries, dating as far back to Ancient Greece. St. John’s wort is a popular herb for women’s health due to the benefits it offers both the body and mind. With well-known antidepressant effects, St. John’s wort can help ease anxiety and mood swings related to menopause and the menstrual cycle.
As a flowering plant, St. John’s wort is not particularly tasty, so most supplements are taken in pill or capsule form.
Ancient Medicine for a Modern World
Just like we do now, generations of women that came before us used natural herbs to support their health and overall well-being. As women, it’s important to focus on the things your body needs. Though the herbs on this list can help, ensuring that you have a healthy diet, regular sleep schedule, and are exercising to the best of your abilities is essential to your health, too. All these herbs are available in our herbal supplements store.