Herbal Remedies for Menopause

By: James Pendergraft

Menopause is a condition in which the menstruation of a woman ceases for one year and ends her reproductive cycle. This is just a natural event in a womanís life. It occurs in every woman when she reaches her late thirties to early fifties (average 48 to 52 years old). Menopause happens under the influence of hormonal changes in the body. When a woman reaches this stage, there are physical and chemical changes that happen and many women experience mood swings, depression, anger, hot flashes, cold sweats, vaginal dryness, urinary changes such as dribbling or frequent urination and burning, and changes in both menstruation and sex drive. If this happens, the woman must take good care of her health and nutrition. Those who nourish themselves well make it through this stage in a good manner.

There are many herbal products for sale in the market. They all claim to provide remedies for menopause. If you are thinking of using them, it would be better to consult the help and advice of your doctors initially. The government does not regulate most of these products, so there is little research that can back up their claims. However, there are some products that help menopausal women get through this difficult stage of their life. These are the products that have high concentration of phytoestrogens, which possess an estrogenic activity that has the same effect as the hormones itself.

The Herbal Alternatives to Medicine

The following are herbal alternatives that women can use as medicines when they are in their menopausal stage already:

* Soy and isoflavones. These can help relieve hot flashes and night sweats, and when taken over a long term, it can have a beneficial effect on cholesterol level and bones.

* St. Johnís wort. It can help treat mild to moderate depression in women when it is given in doses of less than 1.2 milligrams each day but it can increase skin sensitivity to the sun.

* Black cohosh. It seems to be extremely safe and it can treat hot flashes and night sweats.

* Chasteberry. This is also known as Indian spice or monk pepper. It can inhibit prolactin, the natural hormone that acts on the breast. This can also help improve mood, anger management skills, and breast fullness.

* Evening primrose. They are taken for breast pain, bladder symptoms, and menopausal symptoms.

* Dong quai. It claims to relieve hot flashes but it is proven to be potentially toxic to the health. It has compounds that can thin the blood, cause excessive bleeding, and make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

* Valerian root. This is traditionally used as a tranquilizer and sleeping aid for menopausal women who suffer depression and mood swings. But there have been reports of problems and complications in the heart and delirium when the use of this herb is stopped.

* Ginseng. This can relieve stress and boost the health of the immune system. It is claimed that this can relieve hot flashes but further research found out that this is not true. However, this can improve a womanís sense of well-being.

* Wild and Mexican yam. This is commonly marketed as an aid supplement for menopause but research shows that products with these ingredients do not help in relieving menopausal symptoms. They are not expected to help women with menopausal symptoms because they donít naturally contain estrogenic or progestational properties.

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