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10 Herbs for The Endocrine System

10 Herbs for The Endocrine System

The endocrine system is a labyrinthine network of glands that releases hormones into the bloodstream, orchestrating vital cellular actions throughout the body. This system plays a role in every aspect of health including growth, development, metabolism, reproduction, circadian rhythms and homeostasis. Hormones create the underlying rhythms of the body that allow all systems to operate in a smooth and coordinated manner. You can read more about how the endocrine system works in our blog Endocrine System Anatomy and Physiology. 

As you might imagine it can be easy to disturb this intricate interplay of hormones in the body. In this article we share some common causes and symptoms of hormone imbalance, strategies for supporting healthy hormone levels, and finally ten herbs that we love for supporting this amazing system.  

Hormone Imbalance 

There are many times in our lives when we could use hormonal support. The most notable being puberty, pregnancy, stress, menopause and andropause. Hormone imbalance can show up as difficulty sleeping, weight gain or loss, trouble regulating body temperature, severe PMS, irregular cycles, low sex drive, mood swings, skin issues, fatigue, and hair loss. Hormonal fluctuations, both high and low, can be more pronounced, and challenging when we do not take proper care of ourselves.  

Some lifestyle choices that can help support the endocrine system are regular exercise, quality sleep, detoxification of eliminatory organs, gut health, stress reduction, and a balanced diet rich in amino acids, fiber, and healthy fats (when not cleansing) 

Herbs are another wonderful way to support healthy hormone levels. Herbs can help support all endocrine glands through various mechanisms. The main herbs we use are adaptogens, but we also want to highlight herbs for reproductive and thyroid health since these can be common areas of imbalance. *  

Primary Endocrine System Herbs: Adaptogens 

Adaptogenic herbs contain unique phytochemistry that has been shown to support a healthy and balanced response to occasional stress. The mechanism of action is different for each herb. Some act on the HPA axis through potentially inhibiting the release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), thereby reducing the initial trigger of the stress response. Others seem to interact with neurotransmitter receptors in the brain to promote a sense of calm. * 

Adaptogens are nourishing, tonic herbs that are best incorporated into your daily routine. Many of them come in powdered form and can be added to smoothies, hot beverages, and – when not fasting - batter and granola recipes. They often have a mild flavor that is pleasant and enjoyable. 

Eleuthero, once misclassified as Siberian ginseng based on the region where it grows and its similar action to ginseng (they are also both in the Araliaceae plant family), was heavily researched by Soviet scientists during the Space Race era. In fact, by 1976, it was estimated that over 3 million people in Russia were using eleuthero regularly, including Olympic athletes and astronauts. Eleuthero promotes a natural energy boost without being overly stimulating. It is a great adaptogen for the young and old and everyone in between (Winston & Maimes, 2007). Find eleuthero in Endocrine Daily, Adrenal Support, Pituitary Support, Thyroid Support, Superfood Explosion, Muscles by Nature, Happy Caps and Male Reproductive Tonic.* 

He Shou Wu, also known as Fo-ti, is a traditional Chinese herb that is believed to be one of the most powerful extractors of earthbound Qi. Pronounced “chee,” qi is the TCM word for life force or vital energy. Once he shou wu root is harvested it is boiled with black beans to release its mechanism of action and makes it more digestible. He shou wu is said to conserve Jing, which is often referred to as the "vital essence" or the "primordial energy" that we inherited from our parents at the time of conception. It is believed to be the foundation for growth, development, and reproduction and plays a vital role in our overall health and longevity. According to TCM theory, when Jing is depleted due to factors like stress, aging, or excessive lifestyles, it can lead to various health issues, such as fatigue, feeble bones, and premature aging. Therefore, herbs like Fo-ti are considered valuable for their potential to support and conserve Jing. He shou wu is included in Endocrine Daily, Adrenal Support, Pituitary Support, Thyroid Support, Happy Caps, Muscles by Nature and Male Reproductive Tonic.*  

Schisandra was covered in our Nervous System blog for supporting general balance in nervous system health. One of the key phytochemicals in Schisandra is schisandrin, which belongs to the group of lignans. Schisandrin is believed to have adaptogenic properties, helping the body adapt to various stressors and maintain balance. Schisandrin is thought to interact with neurotransmitter systems in the brain, including the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, supporting a calmer state of mind and enhanced stress management. Schisandra is rich in organic acids, including citric acid and malic acid, which may play a role in promoting energy production and enhancing physical endurance. Schisandra berry is included in Endocrine Daily, Pituitary Support, Thyroid Support, Male Reproductive Tonic, Happy Caps and High Energy by Nature.* 

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has been used by native peoples in North America for centuries and is believed to be the chief of health supporting herbs. It is considered an adaptogen due to the presence of bioactive compounds known as ginsenosides which interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, regulating stress hormone levels and supporting a balanced stress response. American ginseng is often referred to as a "cooling" ginseng, meaning it has a calming and nourishing effect on the body, and it is believed to have a milder stimulatory effect compared to Korean ginseng. American ginseng is often recommended for individuals who are more sensitive to stimulants or those looking for a more balanced energy boost without feeling overstimulated or anxious. It is also a good option for individuals with adrenal sluggishness, characterized by dark circles under the eyes, fatigue, and elevated cortisol (Winston & Maimes, 2007). Enjoy American ginseng in Muscles by Nature, Male Reproductive Tonic and Ultimate Immune Tonic.* 

Rhodiola, commonly referred to as rose root, has a rosy, bitter dryness (tannins) and makes a deep red liquid extract. It is a high-altitude perennial flowering plant with succulent leaves that grows naturally in wild Arctic regions of Europe (including Britain), Asia, and North America. On the northeastern coast of Canada in Nunatsiavut, Labrador indigenous Inuit have traditionally used rhodiola for food and medicine. Salidrosides (rhodiolosides) found in rhodiola are thought to contribute to the root’s adaptogenic action. Research suggests that salidrosides can support the sensitivity of serotonin and dopamine receptors, two crucial neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation and emotional well-being. This therapeutic phytochemical may also help regulate the release of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) as well as increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays a crucial role in promoting the growth, maintenance, and connectivity of neurons, making rhodiola an excellent neurotrophic. Rhodiola is included in Adrenal Support and Happy Caps.* 

Licorice has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries and has some very interesting phytochemistry that makes it well known among athletes for helping to target exercise-induced inflammation. The glycyrrhizin found in the roots of this plant is about 50 times sweeter than sucrose, making it wonderful at harmonizing the overall taste of a formula without affecting blood sugar levels. Try licorice as a single herb tincture or in High Energy by Nature.*  

Ashwagandha is what's known as a Rasayana in Ayurveda, which is described as an “herbal or metallic preparation that promotes a youthful state of physical and mental health and expands happiness.” “The smell of the horse” is the English translation of the Hindu word Ashwagandha, as the root has a horse-like odor. The analogy endures as the root, used for centuries in traditional Ayurveda, is said to give one the strength and stamina of a stallion. Called the king of adaptogens, ashwagandha contains withanolides, particularly withaferin A, which have been shown to enhance the activity of GABA receptors, supporting better sleep and a more balanced and calm response to stress. It is also said to support healthy serotonin levels in the brain. Try ashwagandha in our single herb extract Ashwagandha Tincture (coming soon).* 

Sex Hormone Support* 

Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus castus) is traditionally used as a female reproductive tonic that’s specific method of action seems to regulate progesterone levels. It is believed to have a regulatory effect on hormone levels, particularly in relation to progesterone. It contains phytochemicals such as iridoids, flavonoids, and essential oils that are thought to interact with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, indirectly supporting the balance of sex hormones. Vitex is believed to promote the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) while suppressing the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This action can lead to an increase in progesterone production during the second half of the menstrual cycle, potentially helping to maintain hormonal balance and support overall reproductive health. Doctor Morse loves this herb, formulating it into Endocrine Daily, Adrenal Support, Thyroid Support, Pituitary Support, Happy Caps, Female Reproductive Tonic, Male Reproductive Tonic, High Energy by Nature, and Bone & Connective Tissue Support.* 

Saw Palmetto Berry is endemic to peninsular Florida, the region of the United States where Doctor Morse is based. This palm family member has serrated, saw-like palm fronds and produces a berry with an aromatic, sweet, soapy taste. Its active compounds, including fatty acids, phytosterols, and flavonoids, are believed to support the inhibition of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By reducing DHT levels, saw palmetto may help maintain a healthy balance of testosterone, supporting prostate health and addressing conditions related to male hormone imbalances. Find this herb in Adrenal Support, Happy Caps, High Energy by Nature, Superfood Explosion, Endocrine Daily, Pituitary Support, Thyroid Support, and Bone & Connective Tissue Support.* 

Thyroid Support* 

Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) is used in our Thyroid Support formula as it is a North Atlantic brown algae (seaweed) that is a close cousin to Fucus vesiculosus, aka bladderwrack. Kelp contains a variety of beneficial compounds, including iodine, which is essential for proper thyroid function. Iodine is a crucial component in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, namely thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones play a vital role in regulating metabolism, energy production, and overall body homeostasis. Studies show that kelp’s iodine content can support optimal thyroid function by providing the necessary raw material for thyroid hormone production. Besides our Thyroid Support formula, Kelp is also included in Adrenal Support, Endocrine Daily, Happy Caps, Bone & Connective Tissue Support, Superfood Explosion, Muscles by Nature and High Energy by Nature.* 

Dr Morse Formulas for Endocrine System Health 

Endocrine Daily 

Ashwagandha Tincture 

Adrenal Support 

Licorice Tincture 

Pituitary Support 

Superfood Explosion 

Thyroid Support 

High Energy by Nature 

Female Reproductive Tonic 

Muscles by Nature 

Male Reproductive Tonic 

Bone & Connective Tissue Support 

Happy Caps 

 

 

*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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