The onset of menopause is a natural progression in the life of every woman. The use of medicinal herbs and herbal supplements to treat the symptoms of menopause is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
Herbal menopause treatment can be used to treat symptoms such as night sweats, hot flushes, vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, headaches and increased anxiety.
Heart disease and Osteoporosis are also more prevalent after menopause due to the change in the body’s biochemistry. Herbal menopause treatment from naturally occurring plants can dramatically reduce these symptoms and prevent diseases caused by the loss of estrogen in the body. Estrogen that occurs in plants is called phytoestrogen.
Medicinal herbs that are high in phytoestrogens alleviate menopause symptoms gently and are aimed primarily at balancing the body’s hormone levels naturally. History and science has shown the following herbs to be most effective in alleviating the symptoms of menopause.
Natural Herbs for Menopause Symptoms Relief
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
The constituents in black cohosh bind with oestrogen receptors to lower Lutenising Hormone(LH) which is a major cause of hot flushes. Particularly popular herb for menopause in Germany and it has been used to combat headache, fatigue, joint pain associated with menopause.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
For centuries dong quai has been prescribed for hormonal imbalance. Recent studies have shown women using dong quai have reduced symptoms of menopause. Known as the “Women’s Ginseng”, dong quai is considered to be an overall tonic for women’s sexual health.
Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus castus)
Chaste tree has multiple beneficial properties for pre-menopausal or post menopausal women by acting on the pituitary gland to stabilise hormonal imbalances. Chaste tree berries have been documented as treatments for PMS and menopause for hundreds of years; the berries contain progestins which relieve hot flushes and vaginal dryness in some women.
Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa)
This perennial vine produces tubers which are harvested and dried before use. The phytosterols found in wild yam help to reduce the uptake of cholesterol in the intestine, helping to reduce blood cholesterol levels. These phytosterols are also precursors to estrogen and progesterone in the body. One 2005 study revealed that a group of women including wild yam in their diet for thirty days significantly increased sex hormones, antioxidants and lipids in the blood; and in turn reducing the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease in post menopausal women. Wild yam is helpful in relieving joint pain associated with inflammation especially when combined with other gentle anti-inflammatory herbs like black cohosh and licorice root.
Licorice Root (Glcyrrhiza glabra)
Mildly oestrogenic for women in menopause; this herb is crucial to overall well-being by leveling the fluctuations of hormones. By supporting adrenal function, licorice helps improve energy levels and general well-being during times of stress. In addition, licorice is also a mild laxative that supports digestion. The added benefit of licorice is its sweet flavour makes it easier to swallow your herbal mixture!
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
The use of sage to assist with low estrogen levels in menopause is well documented. A recent trial in the United Kingdom showed women had a fifty percent reduction in hot flushes when used on its own.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
The small yellow flowers of this ancient herb reflect the mild action of this herbal antidepressant. St. John’s wort is also a gentle sedative that assists with moderate anxiety and insomnia. The St John’s wort’s flowers contain hypericin, and hyperforin both considered to be vital components in this herbs mood lifting action.
Other natural herbs that have been used for menopause relief.
- False Unicorn – (Chamaelirium luteum)
- Maca – (Lepidium meyenii)
- Alfalfa – (Medicago sativa)
- Yellow Dock – (Rumex crispus)
- Flaxseed – (Linum usitatissimum)
- Calendula – (Calendula officinalis)
- Carob – (Ceratonia siliqua)
- American Ginseng – (Panax quinquefolius)
- Blessed Thistle – (Cnicus benedictus)
- Chinese Rhubarb – (Rheum officinale)
The Use of Herbal Supplements for the Treatment of Menopause
Herbal menopause relief should be discussed with your natural health practitioner before you begin any treatment.
Using herbal menopause treatments as part of your overall well-being is an important first step towards better health.
Herbs for menopause can be included as part of your daily health plan, and when combined with a balanced diet that includes foods with phytoestrogens, can make life not only more comfortable but healthier too.