Photo by Adobe Stock/Roboriginal
Menopause is the gradual decline of estrogen production as women age. Symptoms can include night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, aches and pains, anxiety, and mood swings.
Herbs can ease anxiety, liver tonics help balance hormones, and phytoestrogenic herbs help manage hormonal shifts.
Sage supports liver function. Avoid with epilepsy or a chance of pregnancy.
Motherwort eases palpitations and anxiety. Avoid with heavy menstruation, if there is a chance of pregnancy, or with heart conditions. Take 1-2 milliliters extract in a little water 3 times daily.
St. John’s wort lifts depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Avoid if there’s a chance of pregnancy and high doses in strong sunlight. If taken internally, interacts with many prescription medicines. Infuse with 1-2 teaspoon dried St. John’s wort in 6 fluid ounces (175 milliliters) boiling water and drink 3 times daily.
Fenugreek seed is mildly estrogenic to ease hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, and headache. Avoid with hypothyroidism or a chance of pregnancy. Take apart from other drugs as it may impede their absorption. Take a daily 100miligramscapsule.
What to Avoid
Alcohol and warming herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne can exacerbate hot flashes.
Uplifting or calming oils used in aromatherapy massage are comforting and nurturing for menopausal symptoms.
Rose helps to alleviate anxiety and helps regulate hormones.
Geranium can help to balance fluctuating hormones.
Clary sage helps regulate hormones. Add 10 drops of any one of the above to 2/3 fluid ounces (20 milliliters) base oil (jojoba for rose and geranium, almond oil for clary sage) and use in a full-body massage. Or mix 5 drops with a bath dispersant; add to a warm bath.
Cypress can be useful for hot flashes. Add 4 drops to a bowl of cold water, soak a washcloth, wring out, and apply to the forehead or back of the neck.
A Mediterranean-style diet, with plenty of fresh produce and healthy fats, is the basis of good health during menopause.
Nuts and seeds, especially flaxseeds, as well as tofu, pulses, and legumes, have plant estrogens to help regulate moods and combat vaginal dryness. Snack on a handful each day.
Celery, fennel, and dill have a compound anethole, which can calm hot flashes. Drink a glass of fresh organic vegetable juice twice daily.
Maca boosts libido, energy, and vitality. Add 1-2 teaspoon powder to hot or cold cereal each day.
Hormonal changes can affect how your body uses and absorbs certain nutrients. Supplements can remedy imbalances.
Omega-3 fatty acids, from fish or algal sources such as spirulina, help combat depression. Take 1 gram daily.
Vitamin E can relieve hot flashes. Take 600-1,200 iu daily.
Pine bark extract relieves hot flashes and night sweats and is energizing. Take 120 milligrams daily.
Weight loss may reduce or eliminate hot flashes and night sweats.
A regular bedtime in a cool, dark room helps manage symptoms.
Yoga can reduce stress and improve sleep in menopausal women.
Acupuncture can reduce hot flashes and night sweats.
Homeopathy supports the whole body during times of transition.
Hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and counseling may be helpful.
Flower essences can encourage a positive attitude to this life transition.
Infuse 1 teaspoon dried sage in 6 fluid ounces (175 milliliters) water, strain, cool, and add sliced lemon and ice. Drink 3-4 times daily.
More from Complete Wellness:
- Types of Healing Herbs
- Natural Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Natural Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Natural Treatments for Fibromyalgia
- Natural Treatments for PCOS
Cover courtesy DK
Excerpted from Complete Wellness, reprinted by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2018 by Neal’s Yard Remedies.