Herbs for Menopause
Most women don’t look forward to the symptoms of menopause, which can be both physically uncomfortable and mentally frustrating. A few common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, depression and loss of memory. While the primary cause of these symptoms is the loss of estrogen in a woman’s body, these symptoms can be alleviated with the help of some herbal remedies.
Herbs that can counteract the symptoms of menopause generally fall into two categories: phytoestrogenic herbs and non-estrogenic herbs. The difference between these two types of herbs is that phytoestrogenic herbs contain phytohormones, which affect the estrogen levels in the body, whereas non-estrogenic herbs stimulate the body’s natural hormone production system.
Both types of herbs have benefits in treating symptoms of menopause, however proper use and dosage are vital in avoiding irritating and sometimes harmful side-effects.
Phytoestrogenic Herbs for Menopause
Black Cohosh (Latin Name: Actea Racemosa):
The root of this plant produces an herb remedy that can help menopausal women overcome symptoms of night sweats, hot flashes and depression. The anti-fungal and antibacterial properties found in this herb are known to reduce menstrual problems caused by infection and inflammation. Black cohosh is available in tablet form, and doses are typically around 40 mg per day.
Dong Quai (Latin Name: Angelica Sinensis):
This natural wonder can help equalize the hormone levels in a woman. Not only does it help relieve stress, but dong quai also can thin the blood and act as an anti-inflammatory. Dong quai comes in many forms including leaves, powder, liquid, tea, topical and tablet or pill form. One important note about this herb is that it should not be used in combination with other herbs, as this could lead to complications.
Ginkgo (Latin Name: Ginkgo Biloba):
One symptom of menopause is the loss of memory. Ginkgo is an herb that comes from the skinny and tall ginkgo biloba tree, and it is known to help improve concentration and memory. This herb can also help with mood swings and increase a woman’s libido. Ginkgo biloba is available in teas, powders, pills and topical forms.
Ginseng (Latin Name: Panax Ginseng):
For menopausal women who are looking for more energy and stamina, ginseng is an herb that can be of assistance. Not only is ginseng another herb that can increase and stabilize a woman’s estrogen levels, but it also can be used to treat vaginal dryness, another symptom of menopause.
Red Clover (Latin Name: Trifolium Pratense):
To ease hot flashes and night sweats, consider the use of red clover. This herb can help balance estrogen levels and decrease or slow the loss of minerals in bones. Perhaps the slowing of mineral loss is caused by the fact that red clover is an herb that is packed with minerals itself, including calcium, chromium, magnesium and potassium. Prescriptions are available in capsules or tablets, but the herb is also available in dried form.
Soy (Latin Name: Glycine Max):
Soy is perhaps one of the most readily available herbs, and is found in many products ranging from food to clothing. Soy milk, cheese and butter are basic examples of foods containing this herb. Soy is also found in capsules or tablet form. One to two servings of soy daily can alleviate menopause symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes.
Chasteberry (Latin Name: Vitex Agnus-castus):
Chasteberry comes from a tall plant that produces a purple flower. It is used to balance hormones in women, alleviate breast pain and reduce vaginal dryness. In small doses, Chasteberry can increase the libido, but don’t get too carried away. Consuming large amounts of the herb can result in a decreased libido. Chasteberry is available in cider, juice or tablet form.
Non-Estrogenic Herbs for Menopause
One benefit of using non-estrogenic herbs to reduce the symptoms of menopause is that these herbs do not contain estrogen. Instead of adding estrogen to the body, non-estrogenic herbs stimulate the body into producing estrogen itself. As a result, women often do not experience side effects from the use of non-estrogenic herbs.
Macafem (Latin Name: Lepidium Meyenii):
Macafem is known to be a sex stimulator and stress reliever. This herb also improves energy levels and stamina while stimulating the body to produced balanced estrogen levels. Macafem is similar in shape to a radish, although the color of this herb ranges from yellow to purple. Many cultures still cook and consume Macafem regularly, although this herb is also available in supplement or pill form.
Hopefully, one or more of these herbs will help you cope with this changing period of your life. I wish you good luck, and please let us know how you get on.
Thank you for reading!