Women often ask about herbal remedies for menopause. They’re looking for relief from the difficult symptoms that come along with it. The hot flashes, the mood swings and insomnia. That’s not to mention irritations like vaginal dryness because of the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. This decrease in hormones also increases the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Herbal Remedies for Menopause
Some herbs contain compounds called phytoestrogens that bear a similarity to estrogen. They have proven to help control some of the symptoms of menopause.
1. Ginseng: This fleshy root has properties that are said to take the edge off mood swings.
2. Black Cohosh Extract: Another root, also known as black snakeroot or bugbane, that helps relieve menopausal symptoms. Younger women often find it helpful with pre-menstrual cramps. Take 80 milligrams of black cohosh per day
3. Licorice: Lots of folks love licorice as a sweet treat, but use it also to successfully combat menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and night sweats. It’s another natural food that has estrogenic properties.
4. Aloe vera: This “wonder plant” has so many uses, including the counteracting of vaginal dryness.
5. Chinese angelica: (Also known as Dong Quai) It balances postmenopausal hormones, and is said to reduce those hot flashes.
6. Chamomile and valerian root: Both of these are helpful for insomnia, especially when taken in the tea form.
Apart from herbal remedies for menopause, overall diet is also vitally important; one that is high in essential vitamins and nutrients.
Vitamins not only can help lessen the effects of menopausal symptoms, but also work to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease. These can be taken in capsule form, but the very best way is to seek out the nutritious natural foods that have them in abundance.
1. Vitamin A: Fights UTI’s and vaginal infections that occur because of a decrease in estrogen levels. SOURCES: sweet potato, carrots, dark leafy greens (eg. kale), squash, dried apricots, cantaloupe, mango, tuna fish.
2. Vitamin C: An antioxidant which, in addition to fighting off infections, is another thing that can actually reduce hot flashes. Vitamin C also helps boost collagen production that is reduced during menopause. SOURCES: peppers, guava, dark leafy greens, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas.
3. Vitamin D: This is so important as calcium for strengthening bones, because without vitamin D, the body is unable to absorb calcium. SOURCES: fatty fish (eg. tuna, mackerel, salmon), orange juice, eggs. And, of course … the sun! So, go enjoy some nice walks in the sunshine.
And most importantly …
Vitamin B complex
This complex is made up of vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12 and Folic acid. The B complex vitamins are essential for strong adrenal glands and a healthy nervous system.
- Vitamin B: Keeps the mucous membranes healthy, including those of the vagina. SOURCES: beans, potatoes, cereals, nuts.
- Vitamin B2: Releases various hormones in the body including estrogen, promoting the health of skin, nails and hair. SOURCES: natural yogurt, mushrooms, spinach, almonds, sundried tomatoes.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): As estrogen levels drop during menopause, this vitamin helps the body produce sex hormones. It also reduces blood cholesterol and dilates blood vessels thus preventing headaches, and helps reduce insomnia, depression, memory loss, and anxiety. SOURCES: yeast extract, rice, tuna, peanuts, sunflower seeds, avocado.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): This interacts with estrogen in the body promoting a calm mood and restful sleep. It helps with bloating, which is commonly associated with menopause, because it acts as a natural diuretic, decreasing water retention. SOURCES: seeds and nuts, tuna, dried prunes, bananas, avocados, spinach.
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): This reduces fatigue and anxiety and helps with mood swings. It is present in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. SOURCES: shellfish and crustaceans, soy milk, bran, eggs.
- Folic acid: Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folic acid is important to help prevention of precancerous changes in the cervix. It also helps reduce forgetfulness and insomnia. SOURCES: green leafy vegetables.
A nutritious and balanced diet is, of course, essential for women of all ages, promoting natural beauty, energy and joy. The above list of herbs and vitamins will help with the hormonal challenges of both pre-menstrual and menopausal women.