Herbal supplements for menopause

Women have been going through menopause ever since the first woman stood up right and walked. And you can bet that, since that time, women have suffered all the side effects, ailments and complaints associated with that great change of life. Also since that time, women – often the traditional healers among our ancient ancestors – have been striving to come up with remedies and cures for symptoms related to menopause. And because, back then, there were, of course, no processed medicines or pharmacies, women had to go straight to the source to get menopause relief – straight to wild herbs.

Luckily, women – through their millions of years of trial and error – were able to find what we would now term herbal supplements for menopause. Women used these herbal supplements for menopause for many years, but during the last century, with our increasing modern reliance on factory and mass produced medicines, we have gradually forgot which plants herbs can be used as herbal supplements for menopause.

If you are suffering menopause, or know someone who is, the following is some very general information about herbal supplements for menopause. But if you decide to use an herbal supplement for menopause, be sure to contact your primary care physician before starting any self-treatment, because any radical change to your dietary habits can significantly alter your health for worse as well as for better, and menopause is a delicate time in a woman’s life to begin with.

Black cohosh is one natural herbal supplement for menopause. This flowering plant is found in eastern North American, meaning that if you like to find, identify and gather your own herbs, this is one that is quite accessible to the average person. This herb, black cohosh, is thought to relieve the symptoms of menopause with a chemical it contains called phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens supposedly bind to the estrogen receptors in the female body, helping that estrogen work more strongly and functionally. Estrogen does things like lubricate the vagina, regulate temperature, and strengthen bones. Further, black cohosh is said to be able to relieve some of the toughest and most uncomfortable menopause symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, and the dual edged sword of anxiety and depression. If you are not a trained herbalist, you can find black cohosh in your local nutrition store in pill supplement form.

Another herbal supplement for menopause is the dong quai. This is an herb native to China, so for you Western herbalists, a little travel will be in order to harvest and prepare your own herbal supplement for menopause out of this plant. Like black cohosh, dong quai contains phytoestrogens that bind to the estrogen naturally produced by a woman’s body. Dong quai is thought to dilate a menopausal woman’s blood vessels and increase her blood flow, which helps relieve menopause symptoms such as those ever present hot flashes and uncomfortable dryness in the vagina. Dong quai has another useful effect beyond its use as a herbal supplement for menopause. It is also thought to prevent heart disease, the number one killer of women.

Black cohosh and dong quai are just two of many herbal supplements for menopause on the market. Check with your local herbalist or at your local nutrition store for more information on the supplement that is right for you as well as any health information you may know before starting a supplement regimen.

As always, if you plan to radically alter your diet, be sure to do so safety and healthily. Unnecessarily playing with your body’s health and chemistry can be dangerous at any point in your life, and especially so in a time of great change such as menopause.


Last updated on Aug 11th, 2011 and filed under Women's Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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