What I Drink Every Day To Help Support Hormone Balance
When I talk about hormonal health, I usually get deep into discussions around leafy greens, root veggies, healthy fats, and other wholesome foods. In my experience with functional nutrition, eating healthy foods can help manage hormonal issues ranging from amenorrhea to fibroids to PCOS. But in addition to reaping hormonal rewards through food, I also recommend that women drink their way to health with some easy, potent beverages that can have a big impact on the endocrine system. These recipes are simple, affordable, and—yes—totally tasty.
Here are my favorite potentially hormone-balancing teas and beverages:
1. Warm Lemon Water
Sure, this one is simple, but I’ve been recommending warm lemon water for years and many clients tell me it’s made a big difference in their skin, boosted their energy, and helped keep them feeling satisfied between meals.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, which has been shown to benefit the skin and improve immunity.
Adding this powerful citrus fruit to warm water is also a tasty way to stay hydrated—an important component of overall health—and keeping your digestion in motion.
Instructions: I recommend women start their day with a big glass of warm water and a few squeezes of lemon first thing in the morning. Cheers!
2. "Woman Balance Tea": Red Raspberry Leaf, Dong Quai, and Nettle Tea
Raspberry leaf has historically been used to strengthen uterine muscles, and there’s some scientific evidence to back the claim that the herb can have a powerful effect on hormones. According to a study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, women who drank raspberry leaf tea actually had shorter second stages of labor1 and fewer of their babies were delivered by forceps. Another study, published in The Australian College of Midwives Incorporated Journal, found that among the 108 female subjects, women who drank the tea were less likely to require C-sections.
I believe the powerhouse ingredient in this brew is dong quai. An ancient root often used in Chinese medicine, dong quai has traditionally been used to address reproductive problems like dysmenorrhea and painful periods, according to Mount Sinai. One study published in Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology even found that among a group of 55 women, a supplement containing the root was effective in treating menopausal symptoms without side effects. (That said, Mount Sinai specifies that anyone at risk of hormone-related cancers, including breast, ovarian, and uterine, should not take dong quai, since researchers aren't sure if it acts like estrogen in the body.)
Instructions: Just combine 1 bag each of dried red raspberry leaf with dried nettle leaf and dong quai to brew a tea and drink as often as you like.
3. Golden Milk
Golden Milk may be a great hormone-balancing concoction, and it’s also warming, soothing, and delicious. The combination of turmeric, coconut oil, coconut milk, sweeteners, and spices is warming and rejuvenating, and it’s something I personally recommend to clients with all kinds of endocrine issues.
Turmeric, the powerful, potent spice that plays a big role in Ayurvedic medicine, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In Ayurveda, turmeric is considered an important tool in combating everything from amenorrhea and endometriosis to fibroids and cysts, and the other ingredients, including coconut milk, are wonderful sources of healthy fats.
Anecdotally, I’ve found Golden Milk to be a great supplement for women trying to combat bad cramps, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), or super-cold hands and feet. And—bonus—the recipe is easy!
Instructions: To get the most out of your milk, it’s best to first cook a golden paste by blending 5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder, 1 cup water, and 1.5 teaspoons black pepper in a pot and simmer for about 10 minutes. Once this cools, you can keep it in the refrigerator in a jar for about two weeks and just take a dollop every time you make the milk.
To make the milk, warm 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of the golden paste in a pot, and whisk until fully mixed. Then add cinnamon, honey, and maple syrup to taste. For an added kick, you can also add cayenne pepper!
So, how do I make sure I fit all three drinks into my day? I recommend lemon water in the morning before breakfast, Woman Balance Tea in the late afternoon, and the Golden Milk before bed.
Alisa Vitti is a women's hormone and functional nutrition expert and pioneer in female biohacking. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Vitti has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Lifetime, and has been a regular contributor for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Health. She is the founder of The FLO Living Hormone Center, the world's first menstrual healthcare platform that has helped hundreds of thousands of women around the world put their period issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and PMS into remission naturally using her highly effective FLO Protocol and the FLO Balance Period Supplements, and the creator the MyFLO period app—the first and only functional medicine period tracker. She is also the author of the best-selling book WomenCode. She has presented at SXSW, TEDx, Talks@Google, Summit Series Outside, and SHE Summit and regularly trains women in the workplace on how to use her Cycle Syncing Method for greater creativity, productivity, and wellbeing at work.