Many women going through menopause find that using herbal remedies helps to combat the symptoms of menopause. Many herbal supplements that are currently used to treat menopause symptoms have traditionally and historically employed by women to fight menopause symptoms. However, more scientific research needs to be done to show how effective the many herbal supplements available are when it comes to menopause.
It's always advised that women consult their doctor before taking herbal remedies. Your doctor will be able to go over your personal medical history and will know how any potential herb will interact with any preexisting health condition or medication you are taking. It is also important to remember that just because herbal supplements are natural does not mean they do not have side effects.
What Are Menopause Herbal Remedies?
Herbal remedies for menopause can be divided into phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbs. Phytoestrogenic herbs include black cohosh, ginseng, soy, red clover, licorice root, and dong quai. The premise of these supplements is that these plants contain phytoestrogens, which may act like estrogen in the human body. This would help counteract the hormonal imbalance and decline in estrogen that happens to women during menopause.
Hormone-regulating herbs do not contain any plant estrogens, and are usually plants that have traditionally been used to treat problems with hormones. They help the hormonal glands.
Menopause herbal remedies are a very sought-after type of alternative treatment. They are often combined with therapies such as massage and hormone replacement therapy for maximum effect.
Herbal remedies can be bought over-the-counter as supplements or as herbal medicines. However, herbal supplements are not well-regulated, so it is important to know exactly what you are getting, the right dosage you should be taking, and any possible side effects the herb can have.
Menopause Herbal Remedies and Lifestyle Changes
Menopause herbal remedies combined with lifestyle changes can be even more effective. Steps to improve overall health include:
- More exercise. Regular physical activity improves sleep and mood, and can help to relieve night sweats in particular.
- Stress-reduction techniques. These include yoga, tai chi, and meditation, all of which can be used together with menopause herbal remedies to combat stress.
- Dietary changes. Research shows that consuming more healthy foods such as apples, asparagus, carrots, cherries, corn, fennel, oats, pears, peas, pomegranates, rice bran, rye, soy, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, squash, and wheat germ can help to relieve menopause symptoms.
Many vitamins found in healthy foods can also be used together with menopause herbal remedies to alleviate symptoms.
- Vitamin C. found in broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and tomatoes
- Vitamin E. found in asparagus, almonds, lamb, brown rice and mangoes
- Vitamin B. found in wheat germ or can be taken in supplements
- Omega fatty acids. such as omega 3-and omega-6
Herbal remedies have helped to relieve the menopausal symptoms of many women. Read more about herbal remedies during perimenopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.