Along with changes in diet like including more of certain veggies and cutting out alcohol, sugar and refined carbs, losing weight and adopting different mind-body techniques, herbal supplements can be a potent way to target specific menopausal symptoms.
However, it is important to keep in mind that, although many women have great success with herbal remedies, we are all different. And because menopause is cause by a range of different factors, their is no one-size-fits-all herbal remedy that will work for everyone. Speak to an herbalist or integrative practitioner to help you work out a treatment plan for you.
Also remember that it’s okay to experiment with different herbs to figure out what works best for you and your symptoms.
If you you’re ready to give herbs a chance the next time you have menopause, read on and explore the herbs that can really make a difference according to the science.
7 HERBS FOR MENOPAUSE
1. Herbs for Menopause: Black Cohosh
Black cohosh has long been used by North American Indians and women in Europe for treating hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Researchers think black cohosh’s effectiveness comes from its ability to act on the opiate receptors in the brain which are responsible for helping to regulate body temperature.
Black cohosh root is also thought to reduce vaginal dryness and other symptoms of menopause due to its ability to modulate oestrogenic pathways in the body and may also mimic the actions of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
Black cohosh is often use and alternative to HRTs and can be taken in pill form. But a more popularly method is to be consumed as a tea since it can be combined with other herbs to tailor a formula for specific symptoms.
Caution: Women who are being treated for blood pressure or liver problems shouldn’t take black cohosh.
2. Herbs for Menopause: Red Clover
Red clover is one of the most widely researched herbs for helping treat the symptoms of menopause. Red clover contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones which are thought to help ease hot flushes and night sweats, particularly when combined with probiotics. Red clover is also used to treat high blood pressure, improve bone strength, and boost immunity but seems to be more helpful for women who are postmenopausal than perimenopausal.
Caution: The safety of red clover for patients with breast or endometrial cancer has not been established
3. Herbs for Menopause: Evening Primrose
As estrogen levels reduce during menopause, the risk for cardiovascular and heart disease increased in women. Evening primrose oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 acids, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acids which are known for its heart protecting properties. It is also recommended by health professional for treating hot flashes.
4. Herbs for Menopause: Ginseng
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb which may promote resistance to stress while improving physical and mental function. It is also used for relieving menopausal symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, and loss of stamina, and improve cardiovascular disease while heightening concentration and increasing sexual function and libido in menopausal women.
Ginseng has also been shown to help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal women.
Caution: Ginseng has been associated with postmenopausal vaginal bleeding which could be related to a blood-thinning or oestrogenic effect of the herb. It should therefore be used with caution in those on anticoagulant and/or hypertension medications, and stopped a week before any surgery. It should only be used over a short-term period of no more than 2–4 weeks.
5. Herbs for Menopause: Licorice Root
Licorice root is thought to have estrogen-like effects with may be the reason why it is known to help reduce not only the frequency of hot flashes in women entering menopause, but also how long they last. Licorice root may also be effective in reducing overall stress which can help reduce mood swings and feelings of anxiety in menopausal women.
Caution: Licorice can have adverse effects if mixed with certain prescription drugs, so consult with a doctor before consuming.
6. Herbs for Menopause: Dong quai
One of the most widely used herb for women’s health in traditional Chinese medicine dong quai is thought to be effective in reducing hot flushes by up to 96% in one particular study. This is due to its ability to help balance and regulate estrogen levels in women going into menopause, reducing or improving them depending on your hormonal imbalances.
Caution: Due to the potential for oestrogenic effects, some test-tube evidence suggests women with breast cancer should avoid dong quai. It should therefore be used with caution in those on anticoagulant and/or hypertension medications, and stopped a week before any surgery.
7. Herbs for Menopause: Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf is more commonly used to help lessen heavy menstrual flows in women suffering from PMS. But for many women, the onset of perimenopause also means heavy periods and red raspberry leaf is a safe herbal supplement to take during this time.
DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should always be sought before before embarking on any new treatment.