Herbs and other natural health food supplements
Menopause natural remedies and the best studied herbs for menopausal symptoms.
The following list of herbs for menopause relief is far from comprehensive. Many others, such as peony, hops, motherwort, and false unicorn root should be considered.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
Dong quai has been called the female ginseng because of its ability to enhance energy and a sense of well-being. Also known as angelica, dang gui, and tang kuei, dong quai is used for amenorrhea, irregular periods, and excessive uterine bleeding. Dong quai is widely used in China and many women take it throughout their reproductive and perimenopausal years.
Dong quai is the foundation of almost all menopausal formulations and is widely available over the counter with menopause natural remedies.
Dong quai has excellent phytoestrogen activity, analgesic and antiallergy effects, is antibacterial, is a smooth muscle relaxant, and can stabilize blood vessels. In Asia, the raw dried herb is simmered with chicken to make a soup or stew.
Angelica root can be found in many herb shops or health food stores. It's also processed into capsules, tablets, and tinctures.
Don't take dong quai if there's a chance you're pregnant. The over the counter dose is about 4.5 grams a day, this may be too low to be helpful, so it's always best to be under the supervision of a certified herbalist or practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Chasteberry comes from the chaste tree in the Mediterranean. In health food stores it's vitex. Chasteberry has had profound effects on the pituitary function, which in turn shifts the production of hormones more toward progesterone and less estrogen. This is the main reason Chasteberry is thought to help balance irregular periods that result from hormonal swings of perimenopause.
You can see why women experiencing irregular periods and PMS like symptoms benefit from Chasteberry. Chasteberry has also been shown to suppress appetite, relieve symptoms of menopause and depression, and improve sleep. Chasteberry has also been known to cause rashes in susceptible individuals.
Black cohosh is a popular Chinese herb that's been used in the United States for hundreds of years. Often used in formulations for perimenopausal symptoms and menopause natural remedies, black cohosh has an estrogenic effect that decreases hot flashes, night sweats, and emotional stress.
Clinical studies show that black cohosh relieves menopausal symptoms such as depression, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and menstrual cramps. It also helps PMS symptoms.
Remifemin is the trade name you'll find in health shops and some women take it alone to relieve menopausal symptoms.
It's important to note black cohosh may result in excessively low blood pressure in some women.
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice root is one of the most extensively used and most scientifically investigated herbal medicines. Licorice contains both isoflavones and lignans.
Licorice has many pharmacological actions such as antiallergy, anti-inflammatory, estrogenic, antibacterial, and anticancer effects. Licorice helps regulate estrogen/progesterone ratios. Licorice also helps replenish adrenal function and fightadrenal fatigue.
Important to note, blood pressure should be monitored to be sure that it stays stable. Licorice can help balance low blood pressure. Also, the cortisol like activity of this herb may cause a problem in those who are prone to hypertension.
The herbs for menopause listed above, either alone or in combination, often help relieve a wide variety of menopause symptoms including vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings.
Soy, fresh ground flaxeed, and foods containing bioflavonoids provide menopause natural remedies that are helpful foods because they contain vitamins, minerals, and phytoestrogens healthful for the perimenopausal transition.
The following are some superfoods you might consider supplementing your diet.
A diet rich in soy and other phytoestrogens may allow you to decrease the total dose of hormones you're on and still maintain all the benefits.
Mainstream medical research confirms soy protein lessens both the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms.
Soy provides natural help with menopause by improving mood swings, PMS symptoms, migraine headaches, irregular periods, and weight gain, and has been shown to decrease calcium loss through the kidneys.
Studies also show that soy protein helps decrease fat and increase lean tissue in menopausal women.
Soy has also been shown to decrease the risk of breast and endometrial cancer because of its antiproliferative effects.
Flaxseed, a super source of lignans, fiber, and omega-3 fats
Flaxseed is the best available source of anticancer and phytoestrogenic compounds known as lignans. Lignans are plant substances that get broken down by intestinal bacteria into two chemicals, enterodiol and enterolactone.
There are many reasons lignans should be a part of your diet. Lignans have potent anticancer effects and potent phytoestrogens. Also, lignans are a good source of antioxidants and help protect the cardiovascular system.
Flaxseed is also an excellent source of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats should be consumed with menopause natural remedies because these fats are essential for the health of every cell in our bodies, especially the cells in our brain and heart.
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