Mother Earth Living

Menopause and Black Cohosh: Menopause Tincture

By Christopher Hobbs, L.A.C.
March/April 1998
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The herbs in this formula have been shown to reduce hot flashes and cravings for sweets, as well as restore emotional balance. Vitex berry stimulates the production of progesterone (progesterone levels decrease during menopause, contributing to hot flashes, dizziness, and vaginal dryness). Ginseng reduces fatigue, and licorice contains compounds that apparently help reduce estrogen levels when they’re too high and increase them when they’re too low. Herbalists use dong quai to fortify female organs. Motherwort is traditionally used to remove stagnation and reduce pain, and orange peel provides flavor.

Like many herbal formulas, the Menopause Tincture won’t have an immediate effect. It may take several weeks before the first effects are felt, and up to two months before the full effects are realized.

One fluid ounce is the amount a standard herbal tincture bottle holds; it’s approximately equal to 30 droppersful or 30 milliliters.

• 1 fluid ounce black cohosh root tincture
• 1 fluid ounce vitex berry tincture
• 1 fluid ounce orange peel tincture
• 1/2 fluid ounce ginseng root tincture
• 1/2 fluid ounce licorice root tincture
• 1/2 fluid ounce dong quai root tincture
• 1/2 fluid ounce motherwort leaves tincture

1. In a clean glass jar, blend the black cohosh, vitex berry, and orange peel tinctures. Add the ginseng root, licorice root, dong quai root, and motherwort leaves tinctures.

2. Take 1 teaspoon in a little water or in nettle leaf or ginger tea in the morning and evening for six months, if needed, with three-day breaks every month during the week before ovulation. Store away from heat and direct sunlight.

Optional Additions

• 1 teaspoon dandelion leaf tincture to quell water retention
• 1 teaspoon hawthorn leaves, flowers, or berries to support the heart and ­cardiovascular system; hawthorn provides a mild relaxing effect
• 1 teaspoon St.-John’s-wort tops tincture to enhance mood

If you choose to add one of these tinctures to the main formula, you’ll need to reduce the black cohosh root, vitex berry, and orange peel tincture measurements by one-fourth each (about 8 droppersful each) and the ginseng root, licorice root, and dong quai tinctures by one-half (also about 8 droppersful each).

If You Prefer Tea

To make the tea version of this formula, use dried herbs instead of tinctures. Mix 1 tablespoon each black cohosh, vitex berry, and orange peel and 1/2 tablespoon each ginseng root, licorice root, dong quai root, and motherwort leaves. Lightly simmer in a quart of boiling water for about 10 minutes, then let steep another 15 minutes. This amount of tea should last two days if you drink 3/4 of a cup, morning and evening. The tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Dried herbs can be purchased in bulk at natural food stores.

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