Herbs For Menopause
Natural herbs for menopause are very useful especially popular now with the controversy that has fallen over hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Herbs offer relief from a range of problems specific to women.
This article discusses some commonly used natural herbs for menopause that have some supportive scientific backing.
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
A well-known known natural herb for menopause is the chasteberry. It was used in the Middle Ages to supposedly suppress libido. It is a great remedy for women, and is especially useful in perimenopause with its tendency to help regulate menstruation and curb excessive bleeding. It also helps ease hot flashes and alleviates the symptoms of PMS.
Wild yam has commonly been used to produce progesterone creams, but the herb itself, even when prepared as a cream, has no progesterone properties. Wild yam is however commonly used for female problems.
Surprisingly, it is the herb’s steroidal saponins that seem to have oestrogenic effects by binding with the oestrogen receptor sites in the hypothalamus.
It must be taken orally to produce this effect. When used together with other herbs such as Chasteberry during the menopause it has a mild sedative effect and can alleviate PMS.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
A very popular herb used in China for over a thousand years, its main use is to treat painful menstruation in combination with other herbs. It may also reduce hot flushes during menopause. The Chinese practitioners believe that dong quai opens the channels when stagnation is present, making it a good choice for treating endometriosis and fibroids.
Gotu Kola is helpful for boosting memory, improving intelligence, easing anxiety and depression and helps alleviate fatigue. Research has shown that it may even be helpful for reversing some of the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease. In a study, 30 developmentally challenged children were found to have significantly better concentration and attention levels after taking gotu kola for 12 weeks.
Black cohosh is well known as an all-round helper for women's problems. Black cohosh differs from agnus-castus in that it has specific effects on the oestrogen phase of the menstrual cycle. It helps ease menstrual cramping as it is anti-spasmodic and contains phytoestrogens.
Black cohosh is especially useful for menopausal symptoms, where it has been shown to be as effective as conjugated and other oestrogens. There is some evidence that this herb may also reduce the pain of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions that often accompany the menopause. This has been another of its traditional uses.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage is excellent for helping to reduce sweating and is often added to menopausal formulas for women who complain of night sweats or hot flashes.
Fennel contains a variety of phytonutirents such as anethole This is the main component of fennel oil and seems to have natural hormone-like actions (phytoestrogen). For this reason it has been used through the ages in certain cultures as a tonics that support the female reproductive system.
It has been used for menstrual difficulties, bloating, ovarian disorders, and hot flashes. Many women use Fennel Tea as part of their natural remedies for menopause rather than synthetic or commercial estrogens. Care must be taken in the consumption of fennel oil. It is safe, as long as it is derived from the edible seed.
With its well-known adaptogenic tonic effects, this herb can be used successfully to treat the tiredness, insomnia, lack of sexual drive and depression that are often symptoms of menopause.
These are some of the most popular and frequently used natural herbs for menopause but there are many more that are also helpful. Herbs need to be combined in specific ways for individual effects so it is best to consult with a qualified health practitioner who has experience in administering herbs.
It is important to remember that pregnant women should be cautious in using any herb except under the supervision of someone with experience.Top of