Flushed, frustrated and shedding clothes again…

Such are the joys of reaching the menopausal years, but there are some natural herbs to ease the process naturally. Generally women experience hot flushes during both pre and perimenopause. Hot flashes usually start to occur at the same time that the menstrual cycle becomes increasingly irregular. Fortunately they will stop, but only once you are menopausal – which means that you will not have menstruated typically for at least a year.

Mostly the flush is experienced in the face and upper body, and may be accompanied by sweating and chills. Unfortunately hot flushes do occur at any time during the day or night. It is suspected that they are caused by the hypothalamus reacting to the declining oestrogen levels. The hot flushes are generally accompanied by some of the following symptoms: insomnia, vaginal dryness, shortness of temper, irritability, depression, mood swings and headaches.

Please understand that menopause is not a disease. It was treated like a disease for many years, and the symptoms were masked by hormonal treatments, but often this just delayed the process and when the hormonal treatments were stopped the symptoms arose again. Menopause is a natural slowing down process in the body and part of aging.  It should not affect either you r interest in sex or the enjoyment there of. Vaginal dryness is often present during menopause, so stock up on the lubricant.

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One of the best studied supplements for menopause is Black cohosh, from the root of the North American black cohosh plant.  I mention it as it has proved very popular, but I have had better success with other herbal treatments when helping clients. Please be very cautious about taking black cohosh, especially long term (any treatment longer than 6 weeks) and do NOT take it at all if you have liver problems. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

Red clover proved by far one of the most popular supplements for menopause. It is important to look for a standardised Red Clover supplement with at least 2.5 mg of the active biochanins. Red clover isoflavones contain 4 key ‘phytoestrogens’.  Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring in some plants and mimic the oestrogen in the human body. During menopause as the oestrogen and progesterone decline the intake of these natural isoflavones may help offset the body’s declining oestrogen levels. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

I have seen some of the best result when treating hot flushes specifically with Sage, also known as Salvia officinalis. It has traditionally been used as more than just a culinary herb and has a long-standing use as a herb to help combat excessive sweating during the menopause.  Sage capsules are well known and widely used for their ability to help relieve the symptoms of menopause and the tincture and the tea are widely used to help at the onset of sweats and hot flushes. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

Unlike many other sources I do not recommend unfermented soy. The forms which I feel are safer for consumption are tofu, miso and other fermented forms of soy. The best supplemental form is soy isoflavones; these are extracts of soy and have been used for many years to support women through the menopause. Soy isoflavones can be used at all stages of the menopause. They have proven useful treating a range of menopausal symptoms, including tiredness, irritability, poor memory and so forth. The reason I recommend sticking to sources and supplements made from fermented soya beans is because they contain isoflavones which are absorbed better by the body and therefore work better. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

I have had some success with a few clients, with topical creams made from wild yam. Wild yam creams are popular alternatives to hormone therapy for menopause. Wild yam appears to contain a number of compounds similar to oestrogen and progesterone. Unfortunately there has not been much promise from the clinical studies on the wild yam so far. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

The Chinese know what they are doing when it comes to menopause. Eat fermented soy and use Dong quai. Dong quai has been used in Chinese medicine as treatment for women's health for thousands of years.  Dong quai is sometimes called the "female ginseng." Dong quai has long been used for a number of female complaints including: to relieve cramps, ease irregular menstrual cycles and or infrequent periods, relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopausal symptoms. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

One of the most important factors to be aware of during menopause is bone loss. Bone may become a serious issue during and after menopause. Make sure you are getting enough calcium. Women under 51 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Women 51 and older need 1,200 milligrams a day. Supplement with a calcium complex that contains all the co-factors for absorption, such as magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, zinc and potassium. It is important to remember that calcium is best absorbed at night so take it just before going to bed. Please make sure that taking at night will not clash with any medications, if it will take it after your evening meal. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

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Lastly if you are really struggling with mood swings, depression and irritably then St. John's wort is a well-known treatment for mild depression. Please just be aware that it does clash with birth control. Please consult your GP or your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any treatment.

I sincerely hope some of the above advice may prove helpful, but please do not start any supplementation without a qualified practitioners advice!

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About The Author:
After eight years in the retail side of the health industry, much accumulation of knowledge and information I changed industries completely and gone back to my graphic design roots. I still wish to help inform people on natural alternatives, as well as help people when they are choosing to use natural alternatives to treat disorders, diseases and distresses.
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Posted in: Health by on January 21, 2015 @ 7:19 pm

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