The natural cycle of life for women includes the inevitable journey through menopause. Navigate the ups and downs with natural menopause remedies and herbs.
The natural cycle of life for women includes the inevitable journey through menopause. Neither a curse nor a disease, menopause may feel like a major health issue for some women.
How to help the body ease through this transition with as little discomfort as possible is easier when we understand the process. Reduction of estrogen production and secretion is at the root of menopause symptoms that include
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Anxiety and mood change
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Lowered libido
While menopausal symptoms may be inevitable, there are methods to reduce their severity. As with so many other aspects of health, the way to a healthy and relatively symptom-free menopause lies in early preparation.
Ease into menopause
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Consult a naturopath or herbalist to outline a natural menopause program
There has been, and continues to be, much scientific interest in the ability of phytochemicals and botanicals to offer safe relief from many of the symptoms associated with menopause.
Soybean Extract and Red Clover
Phytochemicals called isoflavones, including daidzein and genistein, which are found in soybeans and red clover (Trifolium pratense), may be effective for overall reduction of menopausal symptoms through attachment of isoflavones to estrogen receptors on cells throughout the body.
By adhering to these receptors, estrogenic effects occur in people with low estrogen levels; however, where there is abundant estrogen, isoflavones may tend to block real estrogen from attaching to estrogen receptors, reducing the risk of estrogen-driven disease such as cervical and uterine cancer.
While it doesn’t have estrogenic properties as commonly thought, dong quai, the root of the Angelica sinesis plant, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for several thousand years to treat different female reproductive conditions such as painful periods.
It is still most often used in combination with other herbs as an adaptogenic herb, regulating hormonal function, and is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world.
Traditionally used to relieve common symptoms of menopause, black cohosh (Cimicifugaracemosa) has shown a positive effect on menopausal symptoms in recent studies. Those that paired black cohosh with St. John’s wort also showed improvements in depression as well as lowered cholesterol profiles.
Modern research has shown that chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), used since ancient Greek times for assistance in birth and hormonal regulation, regulates pituitary action specifically through regulation of lutenizing hormone (LH). Since menopausal hot flashes are the result of hormonal changes controlled by the pituitary gland, chasteberry may be helpful in relieving this symptom.
Though traditional uses of many herbals have helped women through this natural progression of life for thousands of years, current science is corroborating their efficacy–providing modern women with proven results.