Cycle Syncing with Herbs & Mushrooms
Have you heard of cycle syncing? With levels of stress and burnout on the rise, many people are facing hormonal imbalances that leave them feeling less than well. Cycle Syncing is the practice of aligning diet, lifestyle and exercise to the phases of the menstrual cycle, and herbs are a great place to start. This allows us to feel more in tune with our bodies, giving them exactly what they need to thrive. Read on to discover how cycle syncing with herbs and mushrooms can help soothe stress and anxiety, improve sleep, boost energy and cultivate balance within the body.
Disclaimer: Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine.
Herbs for the Menstrual Phase
Support yourself through this phase by staying warm and cozy, getting as much rest as possible, and prioritizing minerals like iron that tend to get depleted.
Also known as Female Ginseng, this herb has a very long and rich history of use. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Dong Quai is used to treat PMS symptoms, hormonal imbalances, infertility and low libido. For those who suffer from migraines, this herbal ally can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines associated with menstruation and hormone fluctuation (1).
Motherwort acts on the smooth muscle of the uterus, strengthening reproductive health. Its anti-spasmodic and calming properties soothe cramping and balance menstrual irregularities (2). Motherwort helps us shift into the rest and digest mode of our nervous system, making it a wonderful herbal ally for supporting restful sleep.
Feel the benefits of Dong Quai and Motherwort by adding our Female Harmony tincture to your moontime routine. This blend is packed with herbs that support a balanced menstrual cycle.
Also known as “Nori,” Purple Laver is a delicious seaweed that grows abundantly on the West Coast. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and iron, making it a great herb to add to your diet during menstruation (4). Find Purple Laver in our nourishing Sea-Veg Blend.
Herbs for the Follicular Phase
Adaptogenic and nutritive herbs help the body recover from the menstrual phase and prepare for ovulation. These herbs help to increase energy and vitality after a week of rest.
Moringa is known as the “Miracle Tree” due to its exceptional nutrient value. It’s packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, along with all of the essential amino acids (5). Moringa has a rich history of being used to boost mental clarity and energy. Our Matcha Mind Elixir is packed with Moringa, Lion’s Mane and full-bodied Matcha to help you cultivate focus, flow and mellow mindfulness.
Reishi is a nerve tonic and adaptogen. When our bodies are emotionally and mentally taxed, we release cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone) to cushion the impact of stress. Reishi can regulate our cortisol levels, creating a more balanced nervous system. This mushroom helps us build resilience to stress, get grounded and combat anxiety (6).
Commonly known as Siberian Ginseng, Eleuthero contains an active compound that stimulates the release of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps moderate motivation, attention and deep, restful sleep (7). This herb gently wakes us up and energizes our system while guiding us to feelings of clarity and vitality.
Find Reishi and Eleuthero in our Adapt Artisan Tea, a grounding blend of herbs that supports the nervous system and helps build resilience to stress.
Herbs for the Ovulation Phase
The following herbs work to maintain the energy gained during the follicular phase, support fertility and increase libido.
This superfood has been used for thousands of years for its high nutrient content and energizing effect. Maca is traditionally used by the Indigenous people of the Andes to treat fatigue, strengthen adrenal glands and build resilience to stress. For those trying to conceive, this is an excellent herb for supporting fertility (8). Find Maca in our antioxidant-rich Activate Elixir.
This functional mushroom has been used for thousands of years in TCM to improve strength, stamina and energy. Cordyceps can also increase libido and fertility, endurance and overall exercise performance (9). Easily add this mushroom to your routine in capsule, powder or tincture form.
Ashwagandha is unique in that it’s both a tonic and a sedative. It gives us energy while simultaneously calming us down. Over the course of history, Ashwagandha has been used to treat many different ailments. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend this adaptogen for building vitality, stamina, immunity, fertility and libido (10). Our Golden Mylk Elixir and Uplifted Spirits tincture are packed with Ashwagandha and other restorative herbs.
Herbs for the Luteal Phase
As pre-menstrual symptoms start to show up, fortifying your routine with herbs that soothe inflammation and support emotional balance can make this week feel more bearable.
Ginger’s powerful properties can help prepare the body for a smoother menstrual phase. This herb reduces bloating, improves digestion and soothes inflammation. It can even reduce pain associated with menstrual cramps (11). This herbal ally can be found in our warming and restorative Golden Mylk Elixir.
Vitex, also known as Chaste, has been historically used to treat gynecological conditions for thousands of years. This herb can soothe PMS symptoms such as headache, breast tenderness and nervousness. It can also enhance mood and balance irregular menstrual cycles (12).
This versatile herb is rich in vitamins and bioflavonoids. We love Rose for its calming effects on the mind and body. It can soothe anxiety related to Pre-Menstrual Syndrome while helping to lower levels of cortisol within the body. (13).
Stress Support is Key
Reducing cortisol is imperative to balancing and regulating hormones. Mindful activities, such as journaling and meditation, allow us to acknowledge what’s taking up space in our minds and give us an opportunity to let it go. Cultivating moments of rest and ease in our day can help our nervous system relax, allowing our bodies to function optimally. Click here to check out our Stress Support Collection for more soothing herbal remedies.
- Burke, B. E., Olson, R. K., & Cusack, B. J. (2002). Randomized, controlled trial of phytoestrogen in the prophylactic treatment of menstrual migraine. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 56(6), 283–288. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0753-3322(02)00181-6
- Miao, L., Zhou, Q., Peng, C., Liu, Z., & Xiong, L. (2019). Leonurus japonicus (Chinese motherwort), an excellent traditional medicine for obstetrical and gynecological diseases: A comprehensive overview. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 117, 109060. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109060
- Evtushenko, T. I., Konovalenko, I. S., & Polovko, N. P. (2017). Development of the technological properties of motherwort dry extract for solid dosage form.
- Ito, K., & Hori, K. (1989). Seaweed: Chemical composition and potential food uses. Food Reviews International, 5(1), 101–144. https://doi.org/10.1080/87559128909540845
- Fisher, H. W., & Gauvin, C. (2019). A darkfield microscopic evaluation of the live blood effects caused by Moringa oleifera. Life Research, 2(3), 87–92. https://doi.org/10.12032/life2019-0725-002
- Zhao, H., Zhang, Q., Zhao, L., Huang, X., Wang, J., & Kang, X. (2012). Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012 , 1–8. doi: 10.1155/2012/809614
- Liu, Ko Yu, Yang-Chang Wu, I-Min Liu, Wen Chen Yu, and Juei-Tang Cheng. “Release of Acetylcholine by Syringin, an Active Principle of Eleutherococcus Senticosus, to Raise Insulin Secretion in Wistar Rats.” Neuroscience Letters 434, no. 2 (2008): 195–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2008.01.054.
- Sanchez, J. M. L., Serrano, Z. A., Durán, J. A., Morales, H. S. G., Álvarez, P. B. M., Mejía, R. M., Estrada, L. F. M. E., & Huerta, E. P. R. (2017). Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility. Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering, 6(5).
- Jiraungkoorskul, K., & Jiraungkoorskul, W. (2016). Review of naturopathy of medical mushroom,Ophiocordyceps sinensis, in sexual dysfunction. Pharmacognosy Reviews. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.176566
- Dongre, S., Langade, D., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study. BioMed Research International, 2015, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/284154
- Mashabela, M. N., & Otang-Mbeng, W. (2023). The Therapeutic and Phytopharmacological Potential of Ginger (Zingiber officinale). In IntechOpen eBooks. IntechOpen. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.105900
- Zamani, M., Neghab, N., & Torabian, S. (2012). Therapeutic effect of Vitex agnus castus in patients with premenstrual syndrome. Acta Medica Iranica, 50(2), 101–106.
- Fukada, M., Kano, E., Miyoshi, M., Komaki, R., & Watanabe, T. (2012). Effect of “Rose Essential Oil” Inhalation on Stress-Induced Skin-Barrier Disruption in Rats and Humans. Chemical Senses, 37(4), 347–356. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjr108