The Herb Stop Blog
Comfort Herbs for Menopause
It always amazes me that in our era menopause very often is considered a condition needing medical intervention. Menopause is neither a medical condition nor is it a disease. It is a time when a woman goes through great hormonal changes just as she did in her teenage years. Some women go through menopause without discomfort and others experience a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, poor concentration, acne, lymphatic congestion, water retention, weight gain and mood swings. Herbal remedies, as many menopausal women already have discovered, can offer great comfort in alleviating these problems. And, women who do take ERT (estrogen replacement) or HRT (hormone replacement) may be surprised to discover that herbal medicine has a lot to offer to counter side effects caused by these pharmaceutical hormones.
Herbs For Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Since 1992 Centered Women has been a reliable herbal formula in balancing and supporting women going through their menopausal years experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. Centered Women includes the following herbs:
- Chaste Berry balances hormones through the pituitary gland (master gland). It is frequently recommended as Vitex agnus-castus by European doctors to ease hot flashes.
- Wild Yam regulates hormone production. Whenever both the liver and the reproductive system are implicated as the cause of hormonal imbalances, wild yam has the capability of regulating hormone production. (Caffeine can cause hormonal imbalances). Plant steroids in wild yam provide building blocks needed in the production of progesterone, estrogen and cortisone. Wild yam is usually sold as a cream or lotion to be applied on the body (make sure it reads wild yam cream and NOT progesterone cream).
- Motherwort calms the heart, the physical and emotional heart. It reduces the severity of hot flashes, calms emotions and relieves heart palpitations (and strengthens the heart).
- Dandelion root supports the liver (helps metabolize hormones).
- Eleuthero is an adaptogen (aids the body in adapting to stress), supporting the endocrine system.
- Black Cohosh is high in phytosterols and can effectively relieve hot flashes. Estrogen pre-curser.
- Ginger allows for better digestion and absorption of nutrients
- American Ginseng gives energy without stimulating the body.
Cool Down is another popular formula for hot flashes and night sweats containing:
- Sage to reduce perspiration
- Motherwort for heart palpitations
- Wild Yam to regulate hormone production
- Black Cohosh as a hormone precursor
- Eleuthero to balance endocrine activity
- Korean Ginseng to increase energy levels, and to reduce discomfort caused by menopausal symptoms due to a drop in estrogen levels.
Another popular formula is our Keeping Cool Extract, which is appropriate for women whom are unable to work with herbs that stimulate hormone products (such as a cancer history). Keeping Cool contains:
- Rosehip increases oxygen in the body and suppresses free-radicals, which keeps the body cool. When estrogen levels are out of balance the body creates less oxygen flow in the system. Your body overcompensates and increases oxygen flow to the heart, your vital organ. A high oxygen level in the heart increases your heart beat, therefore your circulation, and this creates an increase in body temperature and you start perspiring (a hot flash)
- Black Walnut balances and suppresses hormones gone wild
- Turmeric is a blood cleanser - in a way it filters out and redirects the excess oxygen in the circulatory system into the organs of the body
- White Willow as an acid balancer for its salicylic acid
- Blueberry suppresses free radicals and regulates the reaction of adrenaline/insulin balances in the adrenals/pancreas
- American Ginseng allows better control and regulation of the body’s chemistry, which regulates temperature flow through pituitary, thymus and thyroid
Other herbs, such as hibiscus, sage and oatstraw have shown to be very effective in reducing hot flashes. You may be surprised to find useful herbs growing in your garden such as mints and mallows (your hollyhocks growing in your garden) to cool the body and relieve hot flashes.
If you are concerned about herbs interacting with your current medications, Homeopathy offers a wonderful solution. There are several remedies for combating the symptoms associated with Menopause, such as:
- Lachesis mutus for hot flashes associated with menopause
- Glonoinum for sudden hot flashes accompanied by headache
- Menopause Relief for hot flashes, night sweats, chills, headaches, uterine cramps, mood swings, sensitivity, irritability, fatigue and poor memory
Herbs For Strong Bones
Menopausal women are at greater risk for osteoporosis. An infusion of horserail (shavegrass), nettle, oatstraw or dandelion may keep the bones strong, strengthen the nerves, help reduce emotional distress, promote sound sleep and to strengthen libido. Our Bone Support Tea and Calcium Support Tea are wonderful tasting teas that contain many herbs which are well known for their bone building capabilities.
Herbs For A Healthy Heart
Women in their menopausal years experiencing heart problems have had a positive experience with hawthorn. This herb has long been celebrated for its protective effect on the heart. Hawthorn is absolutely amazing. Over the years I have known many people with serious and not so serious heart problems who have taken hawthorn and totally recovered in a short time. The “emotional heart” too can benefit from a cup of “heart warming” hawthorn tea to ease anxiety and panic attacks.
Can Herbs Replace ERT /HRT?
More than three-quarters of women in America over the age of fifty have refused ERT/HRT. If you want to join them, talk to your Doctor first and follow their instructions, which usually suggest to taper off your dosage slowly, while continuing to use nourishing and tonifying herbs such as dandelion, motherwort, red clover, oatstraw, and seaweed. To learn more, pick up a copy of New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way from Susun Weed.
Happy & Easy Change of Life!
Leilah & Natalie
**Consult your healthcare practitioner before using any herbs in this article if you take pharmaceutical drugs or have a medical condition.
***Consult your healthcare practitioner before discontinuing any medication - over the counter or prescription.