Reader Question: Do Hormonal Teas Work?
Investigating the claims made by "Hormonal Teas". Do they help with PMS symptoms?
I was honored that one of my readers asked for my assistance in evaluating the health claims made by products referred to as “Hormonal Teas”. The specific advertisement she referenced was from a company called “Avery Apothecary” and the product is “Goddess Tea Blend.”
The product makes several claims on their website:
“Ladies, enjoy a cup of this tea every day and the synergy of the plants help to restore and keep balance in your cycle. Regular health and hormone upkeep can help prevent issues in the future, can help to ease symptoms of PMS and any pain associated with your period. When you experience symptoms related to your cycle is not the time to fix the issues, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Enjoy this blend daily to support your hormones all cycle long.” (link)
The website does have a pretty large disclaimer on the page. Which on one hand, is reassuring that they are being transparent and honest about the limitations of the data supporting the claims. But on the other hand, doesn’t demonstrate a high level of confidence that the claims are supported by research. Here is the disclaimer:
“Disclaimer: These products have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information we provide is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to represent or replace the advice of a medical professional or to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is the responsibility of the customer to test products for allergies before use of products. The ingredients are listed on each product and we do our best to eliminate cross contamination between products. Some people will have allergies to certain plants or botanicals so please test before use to ensure you do not have an allergy. Stop using immediately if an allergic reaction, redness or irritation occurs. We are not responsible for the misuse or reactions to our products. Usage is always at the buyer’s own risk. Please reach out to a professional for any possible contraindications and/or interactions with medications and be sure to inform your doctor about all herbal remedies or supplements you are taking.”
Let’s take a look at each of the claims independently and evaluate the research. The claims are pretty impressive:
Helps to restore and maintain balance in the menstrual cycle.
Supports regular health and hormone upkeep to prevent future issues.
Aids in easing symptoms of PMS. Provides relief from any pain associated with menstruation.
Continuous hormonal support throughout the menstrual cycle.
Let’s look at each claim independently.
Helps to restore and maintain balance in the menstrual cycle:
Marjoram tea showed beneficial effects on the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing levels of adrenal androgens (Haj-Husein, Tukan, & Alkazaleh, 2016).
However, this study was very small (25 individuals), it was only looking at patients with PCOS, and it was only a Pilot Study which requires further research.
Chinese herbal medicine was found to improve menstrual rates in women with PCOS, suggesting potential benefits in menstrual cycle regulation (Lai et al., 2017).
However, this is a small study (40) and once again it was only looking at patients with an existing medical condition. This was also a pilot study which requires further research.
Supports regular health and hormone upkeep to prevent future issues.:
This claim is too vague to be evaluated accurately with randomized controlled trials.
Aids in easing symptoms of PMS. Provides relief from any pain associated with menstruation:
Chamomile tea was effective in relieving pain related to primary dysmenorrhea (cramps or painful period) and its consequent psycho-social problems (Jenabi & Ebrahimzadeh, 2010).
However, this was a very small (80) experimental study, that only asked participants to drink 2 cups of chamomile tea and report their PMS symptoms after 1 month.
Ginger tea significantly reduced heavy menstrual bleeding among high school girls, providing relief from dysmenorrhea (Kashefi et al., 2015).
This was probably the strongest of the studies that I found. It was well designed and it seemed to show a reduction in the menstrual bleeding of high school students. The participants were instructed to take 3 - 250mg tablets of ginger compared to the control group that was given a lactose pill. It did provide an improvement.
Concerns: The participants were not exactly given a “hormonal tea” they were given a high dose pill amounting to about 750mg of ginger each day. Would you be able to ingest 750 mg of ginger to match this amount by drinking this hormonal tea? I’m not really sure but I’m a bit skeptical on that.
Continuous hormonal support throughout the menstrual cycle:
I wasn’t able to find any RCT' studies that examined this claim specifically.
Conclusion & Results
Do “Hormonal Teas” work? Maybe. There is some evidence that the individual ingredients contained in some hormonal teas could alleviate some of the pains, cramping, and heavy bleeding associated with PMS. However, the studies are small, many are pilot studies, and none of the studies evaluate the effectiveness of Hormonal Teas specifically. In most cases, they just look at the individual ingredients and they are often tested on individuals that already have a medical condition.
In my layman’s view, the jury is still out. If I was advising my wife or loved one on Hormonal Teas', I’d probably say:
“There is some evidence that the individual ingredients contained in some “Hormonal Teas'“ may help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS, however there aren’t any studies that I could find that evaluate the claims of Hormonal Tea blends specifically. Since the products seem to be safe, if you enjoy drinking them, there doesn’t appear to be any harm in consuming them. However, I would stay away from any high priced premium products that make grandiose medical claims and I would try to buy the highest quality ingredients directly like ginger and chamomile. These ingredients were the ones specifically tested and they are fairly generic, fairly cheap, and did show some effectiveness in these limited studies. In summary, I would only drink these if you find some personal enjoyment and benefit from them. Not solely as a medical product.”
I was so incredibly honored that one of my readers trusted my research enough to ask me to evaluate these claims. Of course, as I always say, I’m not a doctor so don’t trust anything I say. Always check with your own research and your medical professionals.
If you have anything that you’d like me to research. Please reply to this email, comment below, text me, shoot me a phone call, or message me on Twitter.