Herbal Menopause Support
Since menopause is a natural stage of life, it makes intuitively sense to treat it naturally. With recent studies showing a link between hormone replacement therapy and increased risk for cancer, many woman are looking for an alternative approach to easing the sometimes bothersome symptoms of menopause. We suggest women read several books by herbal authorities that address use of herbs in menopause, including “Menopausal Years” by Susan Weed, “Herbal Healing for Women” by Rosemary
Gladstar, and The Herbal Menopause Book” by Amanda McQuade Crawford. The books are informative, offer different approaches to using herbs, and can be kept as reference guides. Below, we will present just a few herbs that can be used to promote health during the peri-menopause and menopausal years.
Building and Maintaining Strong and Healthy Bones: Osteoporosis is a risk for menopausal women as bone mass decreases in menopause. You can reduce your risk by getting regular exercise and eating calcium rich foods. Green sources of calcium are premium, but white sources are necessary too. Eat calcium rich yogurt, raw milk cheese, seaweeds, and salmon. Increasing your stomach hydrochloric acid production through consumption of lemon juice, dandelion tincture or herbal vinegars will aid your absorption of calcium. Herbal sources of calcium include horsetail, valerian, kelp, nettle, peppermint dock, chickweed, red clover, red raspberry, plantain, dandelion leaf, and lamb’s quarters. Avoid substances that deplete calcium, including caffeine, sugar, salt, antacids, fluoride (in toothpastes and drinking water), steroid medications, greens rich in oxalis acid (chard, beet greens, rhubarb), excessive phosphorus (food additives) and fermented soy products.
Emotional Moods swings: As hormonal changes occur, often mood changes accompany these changes. Motherwort tincture, chaste berry tincture, and black cohosh tincture can help to ease mood swings.
Hormone Balancing: Hormone balancing herbs that help to promote estrogen include alfalfa and red clover, hops, black cohosh, sage, licorice, and dong quai. Progesterone promoting herbs include chaste tree berry, yarrow, sarsaparilla root and wild yam root.
Hot Flashes: Herbs to decrease hot flashes include Motherwort and black cohosh. Tonify with infusions of red clover and oatstraw. Avoid stimulants that may trigger hot flashes, including spices, acidic foods, hot drinks, caffeine, alcohol, white sugar, stress, hot weather, hot tubs and saunas, tobacco and marijuana, intense exercise and intense anger.
Sleep Problems: Tonify with oatsraw and nettle infusions. Induce sleep with hops, skullcap, passion flower or valerian tinctures.
Headache/Migraine: Feverfew is the herb of choice for treating and preventing migraine. For headache, try vervain or lady’s mantle tincture, skullcap or St. John’s Wort.
Vaginal Complaints: Demulcent comfrey root sitz bath and comfrey or plantain ointment applied externally eases vaginal dryness. Internally, vaginal lubrication can be increased with Motherwort tincture and/or freshly ground flax seeds. Yeast infections can be avoided and reduced with eating yogurt and use of acidophilus powder. A sitz bath of apple cider vinegar will help to ease to discomfort of a yeast overgrowth.
Maintaining a Healthy Heart: Tonify your cardiac functions with garlic and seaweeds in your diet, lemon balm and nettle tea and infusion, and tinctures of Motherwort, hawthorn berry and dandelion root.
Susan Weed’s “Bonny Boney Brew” (from “Menopausal Years”)
1 once dried nettle (substitute red clover, oatstraw or red raspberry for nettle)
1 tablespoon dried horsetail
1 tablespoon dried sage
Place herbs in quart canning jar and cover with boiling water. Cap and let brew for at least four hours or overnight. Strain, sweeten with honey as desired. Each cup is a calcium rich tea.
*This article does not constitute medical advise. Please see your healthcare provider for medical advise.
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