Using herbs to treat menopausal symptoms
Menopause is a natural condition of the female body that marks the end of childbearing years – usually around the age of fifty. Menopause occurs after a gradual reduction in the production of estrogen by the ovaries and results in a final cessation of monthly menstruation cycles. To put it simply – menopausal women do not have monthly periods.
Most women in today’s society experience at least one and possibly many symptoms during menopause. Symptoms range from mildly irritating to life threatening and include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, decreased libido, poor circulation, irritability, calcium imbalances, mood swings, depression, headaches, heart palpitations, dryness, urine leakage when coughing or sneezing, appearance of male characteristics such as facial hair, and body shape changes.
The best way to avoid unpleasant menopausal symptoms is with diet. Good nutrition is a key to maintaining youthful vigor and energy. Foods that contain baron can be especially helpful and include leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and legumes. The same goes for calcium. Eat plenty of corn, seeds, tofu, broccoli, and low-fat dairy.
Herbs are a menopausal woman’s best friend. Evening primrose oil, milk thistle seed, ginseng, wild yam, licorice root, black cohosh, and alfalfa are all excellent choices for overall benefits during menopause. Ginseng and chasteberry (vitex) are proven to bring quick and lasting relief from hot flashes. Skullcap is known to halt mood swings. Black cohosh contains natural estrogen-like compounds that ease many menopausal complaints. A great herbal blend for treating menopausal symptoms is equal parts chasteberry, black cohosh, ginseng, and licorice root. These four herbs balance and complement each other. Combine and use in tea or tincture form.
Some food supplements offer special benefits to menopausal women. Royal jelly, kelp, iodine and potassium, B complex, flax oil, vitamin E, and vitamin C are excellent choices. Try one at a time for a week or two or until improvements are noticed.
Exercise and stretching are also extremely important to maintaining health and vitality during menopause. Weight training is recommended as the best way to keep tissue and skin from sagging. Muscle and skin tone can also be greatly improved by gentle massage. Use good carrier oil with geranium and ylang-ylang essential oils for best results.
Sometimes menopausal symptoms are aggravated by smoking, pollution, and stress. Get plenty of fresh, clean air, and find ways to relax on a daily basis. Menopausal women should try aromatherapy and warm baths. Both can work wonders.
*Always consult with a health care professional before using any herbal remedy. Licorice should not be used for over four weeks without medical supervision. People with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or kidney, heart, or liver conditions should avoid licorice. This herb should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding women or by men with sexual dysfunctions. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin which can cause serious side effects such as headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks when mixed with certain drugs or taken in high doses. It may also cause water retention, which can lead to leg swelling and other problems.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedy.