Menopause hits every woman at some point between her 40's and her 60's and signals the end of the fertile period. Along with it come many discomforts and problems that can make day to day living difficult until the process of ceasing menstruation has finished.
Symptoms of menopausal problems include irregular menstruation, hot flashes, lethargy, irritability, night sweats, headaches, weight gain, insomnia, frequent bladder infections, forgetfulness, depression, joint and muscle pain, palpitations, constipation, decreased sex drive, and mood swings.
This condition is a natural part of a woman's life cycle although not every woman will experience symptoms. Hormones fluctuate and change as a woman goes from a menstruating phase to a non-menstruating phase.
Some problems of menopause may become severe. Depression can be debilitating if it is not treated. Excessive bleeding may indicate thyroid or fibroid problems. As menopause progresses, osteoporosis and heart attacks become more likely.
Important: If you have a history of estrogen dependent tumors, only use herbs under guidance of your doctor or medical herbalist.
- Dong quai this herb, also known as angelica sinensis, is a good source of phytoestrogens and can be very useful in balancing the hormones. Dong quai is often used as a female tonic. It is effective for relieving hot flushes.
- Black cohosh this herb is a natural precursor to estrogen. In other words, the body uses the elements in this herb as raw materials to produce hormones in the amount needed. It is very effective in relieving menstrual cramps and the symptoms of menopause such as heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, sweating, vertigo, hot flashes, headache and nervous irritability. The recommended dose is 4 to 6 ml of tincture, 1 teaspoon of fluid extract, or 250 to 500 mg of powdered extract.
- Licorice this herb lowers estrogen levels while it raises progesterone levels. It is often used to balance hormones during menopause.
- Chasteberry this herb is used frequently in Europe to treat menopausal symptoms. Chaste berry contains compounds that are very similar to estrogen and progesterone and it is thought to be beneficial because it alters the LH and FSH secretion.
- Blessed thistle this herb is similar, yet more potent than black cohosh for menopausal symptoms.
- Burdock the root of this herb is a good tonic for the body and contains estrogen precursors. The benefits to menopausal symptoms are not yet proved.
- Damiana this herb helps balance the hormones and is supportive to the nerves and kidneys.
- Siberian ginseng this herb improves energy and stamina as well as balances the hormones. It contains progesterone and testosterone precursors.
- Kuzu - this herb is recommended for balancing hormones and the plant affects the hormonal system in a similar way to estrogen.
- Red Clover - may be useful in the treatment of hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause. Take in tablet form as advised by manufacturers instructions.
- Kelp this herb is helpful in balancing out the emotions as well as helpful for most menopausal problems.
- Oats add this herb to your diet or drink it as a tea to help balance the hormones.
- Stinging nettle take as a tea or eat cooked like a potherb to nourish the endocrine system. Full of many trace minerals and vitamins, stinging nettle will work wonders. Drink two cups per day.
- Sarsaparilla this herb contains progesterone and testosterone hormone precursors. It energizes, and when combined with Siberian ginseng, can relieve lethargy and fatigue.
- Red raspberry leaf this tea is a wonderful tonic to the reproductive system.
- Alfalfa this herb promotes estrogen production and contains many nutrients. Take as tablets or tea
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