Many women treat menopause symptoms with conventional medicine, however since the menopause itself is not a medical condition, but a natural transition to new hormone levels, it is highly recommended to try natural remedies first, alongside lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, following a balanced plant-rich diet, practicing relaxation techniques, and taking up physical activity such as yoga.
Below are a few descriptions of a herb or supplement to give you a better idea of what it helps. If you are currently taking any prescribed drugs, please be cautious by consulting with your doctor about using any herbal remedy alongside it.
Agnus castus is great for reducing symptoms such as menstrual cramping, irregular bleeding, breast soreness, gut bloating, anxiety and mood swings, because they all indicate that progesterone is fluctuating and falling in the body, whilst oestrogen levels stay elevated.
Agnus castus works to produce extra progesterone to help restore any hormonal imbalances in the menopause. It is not recommended to take agnus castus if you are on any contraceptives or if your periods have naturally stopped.
Milk thistle is a herb that has shown to help the liver processes unwanted toxins that we ingest from the food we eat and the environment we live in. When our liver is cleansed, it plays a huge part in significantly reducing our experience of intense and frequent hot flushes and night sweats, since a healthy liver is able to break down the excess hormones that congest and block the body in the menopause, which helps to bring our body temperature back into a natural balance.
Red clover has oestrogen-like properties, so it is used to balance hormones and reduce the ‘symptoms of ageing’ such as strengthening bone density, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, it has also been used to treat itchy and dry skin, improve hair growth, increase sex drive and can help with sleep patterns and boosting energy levels, in the menopause. Red clover is known to work very quickly, and can bring many great changes in a matter of months.
Sage is great for lowering the intensity and frequency of night sweats and hot flushes as it works to regulate the hypothalamus, which is responsible for our body temperature. In the menopause, it is very common for our hypothalamus to be disturbed by hormonal changes and as an effect, we tend to experience hot flushes and extreme chills. Women report seeing positive change to their experience of night sweats and hot flushes within a few days and without any side effects. It can also be taken even if you are on any sort of hormone replacement therapy or contraceptives.
Kava kava works as a natural sedative that has an ‘anti-anxiety’ effect on the body, this helps to provide pain relief, lower muscular tension, heighten memory, curb urinary issues and overall contribute to a greater sense of wellbeing for women in the menopause.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil (EPO) is one of the more commonly used natural remedies for the menopause as it contains essential fatty acids that work to effectively bring relief from hormonal changes, which helps with the severity of symptoms such as hot flushes, joint pain, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness and weight gain. EPO can also help regulate sleep patterns, lower anxiety and stabilise mood. EPO should be be taken with medications such as blood thinners, blood pressure medication and antidepressants.
Black Cohosh is a very popular herbal remedy that has positive effect on hormone levels in the menopause because it contains a natural form of oestrogen, called phytoestrogens, which is weaker than the oestrogen that the body creates itself however it is known to help with hot flushes, racing heartbeat, and irregular sleep patterns. It also helps to increase bone density and helps to protect against osteoporosis. It is also a great support for women who have undergone a hysterectomy and had part of their ovaries removed, and need hormonal support.
Dong quai is a great supplement for boosting oestrogen levels because it contains phytoestrogens which treat symptoms such as hot flushes, menstrual cramping, irregular sleep patterns, nerve problems and osteoporosis. Dong Quai is a common ingredient in many of today's leading menopause supplement brands and is usually combined with herbs such as black cohosh and red clover, as an effective treatment. It is not recommended to take dong quai alongside medication, so please consult with your doctor before use.
Ginkgo biloba works to improve blood flow to the brain, which helps with brain fog, memory loss, lack of concentration, in the menopause. Gingko biloba also contains properties that help with symptoms such as with hot flushes, racing heart beat, irregular sleep patterns, because it contains phytoestrogens that can raise hormone levels and help to slow down the ageing process.
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