We talk a lot about the impact of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in midlife. But our body is actually home to over 100 hormones.
And, when looking to build our resilience to stress, we can all benefit from understanding more about cortisol…and how botanicals can play a part in gently calming our bodies and minds.
We need cortisol to thrive. It gives us our ‘get up and go’. It should naturally bracket our day -and follow our circadian rhythms, giving us our drive in the morning and receding to allow us to achieve rest and sleep at night. But when our cortisol level is consistently heightened it can have a significant impact on our health, particularly in menopause.
Why? We know now that cortisol spikes lead to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (often shortened to HPA) axis dysfunction, disrupting our ability to produce our sex hormones. It has metabolic implications too - with dysregulated HPA function linked to weight gain, insomnia, fatigue and cardiovascular disease.
So where can botanicals help?
Adaptogens are plant substances that have been found to help our bodies manage stress and maintain balance, or homeostasis. MPowder’s naturopathic formulations often incorporate adaptogens for their wide-ranging benefits. And one of our favourites is Ashwagandha, which you’ll find in both Meno-Boost and Mood-Food. Research has shown that Ashwagandha has the potential to:
- Reduce cortisol levels
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce stress-related food cravings
- Relieve mild to moderate climacteric symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats)
- Improve sleep quality
- Improve cognitive function
Nootropics are substances that are known to boost brain function - and are best used blended with other herbs for maximum benefit. One of our favourites is Bacopa, which you can find in Mood-Food.
This powerful perennial plant has been shown to:
- Support cognitive function, mental resilience and reduce anxiety
- Improve working memory and attention in healthy adults
- Modulate our dopamine and serotonin systems.
Remember, nature packs a powerful punch. Before introducing any herbs to your daily routine, consult with your medical practitioner, particularly if you have an underlying health condition or are on medication.
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