Many women experience side effect from menopause for years. Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, bloating, weight gain and mood swings are things that most women have to look forward to when they hit their 40′s. Modern medicine can offer hormone replacement therapy in the form of synthetic hormones however they are not without their own issue or side effects. This makes many women become very hesitant about taking them. Instead they are turning to more natural methods to find relief from their symptoms without the side effects or causing issues to their health in the future.
Many physicians are coming on board and recommending natural therapies instead of hormone replacement therapy now. Women are demanding that they have more choices so medicine has to adjust in order to allow them those choices.
There are many different herbal menopause remedies that can be used for the symptoms that women experience. The first herb that we will discuss today will be black cohosh. It has probably been studied more than most of the herbal preparations that are phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. Black cohosh has some biological components that are very similar to the estrogen that a female produces naturally. Researchers feel now that the Black Cohosh binds itself to the estrogen receptors that are in the body. They also feel that performing this function it can reduce the amount of luteinizing hormone that is produced. This hormone is felt responsible for most of the temperature fluctuations that a woman feels during her menopausal years.
Due to this, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has endorsed the use of Black Cohosh for these symptoms for short term use. They announced this in 2002. Black cohosh is not recommended to be used over six months time. Long term usage may cause some concerns as far as its ability to cause some liver toxicity and due to the fact that it may increase a woman’s risk of having blood clots in the future. There have not been any long term studies on Black Cohosh to date that can show its ability to be safe or not. Therefore the NIH has commissioned a 12 month study on this herb that is going on presently. Hopefully this study will give us more information as to its efficacy and its safety long term once it is completed.
Other herbal preparations that are widely used for menopause would be the Progesterone preparations. These creams usually come from two different sources. There is the Wild Mexican Yam and then there are soy products. The wild yam root can be used in a capsule form or in a transdermal cream. The wild yam has been used for hundreds of years for many ailments including menstrual cramps, nausea, vomiting, inflammation, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal cramps and distress, and gallbladder discomfort.
This product can be used for the long term. There have been no severe side effects noted with this product.
Soy products work in the same manner. Both of these herbal remedies are phytoprogesterones or plant progesterones. Soy has also been shown to be able to improve bone health and reduce cholesterol levels. Osteoporosis and heart disease are major concerns for women who are over the age of 40. Soy can be added to the diet in order to give optimum dietary amounts of this product to help in other areas, however concentrated amounts are needed for menopausal symptoms. The recommended amount of progesterone cream is as follows: The cream is used in amounts from ¼ to ¾ teaspoon of the cream rubbed into either the forearms, thighs, or abdomen on a daily basis. The sites do need to be alternated to make sure that it is absorbed properly.
A physician or naturopath should be consulted and hormone levels drawn prior to starting even herbal supplements for relief from menopausal symptoms. Even though these preparations may seem very safe, it is better to be under the care of a medical professional when using preparations such as these.