Menopause Symptoms & Treatment
How to Use Herbs For Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is a normal part of the aging process for women. While many signs and symptoms are experienced similarly by women, each woman experiences it differently. Many women choose to make changes to their lifestyle or take medications to reduce the severity or stop the symptoms of menopause. The use of herbal remedies is on the rise.
Identifying Menopause and Menopause Symptoms
Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.If you are over 40 and you feel like you might be beginning menopause, talk to your doctor.
- Review your medical and family history. Diagnosing menopause can be difficult, and your health history as well as the way other women in your family respond to menopause might provide good clues.
Look for symptoms that are new and not related to other health issues.
- Take note of hot flashes. One of the most common menopause symptoms, hot flashes can cause women to sweat uncontrollably or feel uncomfortably warm indoors and outside.
- Track irregular periods. Most women are not considered menopausal until their periods stop, but there might be some spotting or irregular bleeding.
- Look for vaginal dryness, as well as changes in sexual desire and sleeping patterns. Night sweats and insomnia are often common.
- Pay attention to mood swings and irritability. Depression and anxiety that you do not normally feel could be due to menopause.
Review treatment options.Your doctor might recommend hormone replacement therapy, as well as alternative remedies such as yoga.
- Discuss how herbs and herbal supplements might help you. Be sure to mention any medications you are taking so your doctor can warn you about potential reactions and side affects.
Herbs that Treat Menopause Symptoms
Use ginseng to fight fatigue and balance your hormones.The energizing properties in this tan, spindly root herb can help you feel more like yourself when you are going through menopause.
- Look for products that contain ginseng. You can take it in a capsule or in a powder that you add to your drink. You can also buy products such as teas and energy drinks that contain ginseng.
- Eat or chew raw ginseng root. You can also add sliced ginseng root to soups and stews.
- Grow your own ginseng if you want. It is found all over the United States, and many home gardeners grow it themselves.
Take advantage black cohosh, which has properties similar to estrogen.The ability of this herb to balance your hormone levels can reduce many symptoms of menopause. This member of the buttercup family grows wild in North America and looks like a flowering bush.
- Look for black cohosh in capsules or teas. You can take it daily to alleviate symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, and vaginal dryness.
- Use black cohosh throughout menopause to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Monitor your other medications when you take black cohosh. It can interfere with other medicines.
Try dong quai to treat your symptoms.Like ginseng and black cohosh, it has properties similar to estrogen and has been used to treat gynecological problems as well as menopause.
- Identify dong quai by it's light brown color, spindly roots and the white flowers that grow out of it. It is native to China and Asian areas, but it is becoming more popular in the west.
- Find dong quai in a powder or a capsule. This is not the type of herb you would consume raw, or add to food.
- Talk to your doctor before taking dong quai, especially if you regularly take aspirin or other anticoagulant medications. This herb can thin your blood, which might cause problems for women with certain medical conditions.
Use Macafem to stimulate the production of estrogen in your body.This herb comes in a supplement form and can help you fight off menopause symptoms.
Try red clover to treat hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood swings.It may interfere with birth control, so talk to your doctor before you take it.
QuestionWhere can I buy these herbs to plant?
Naturopathic DoctorNaturopathic DoctorExpert AnswerSome of the herbs used can be found in local nurseries, depending on where you live. Black cohosh and ginger root are very common. You can also, for example, buy fresh ginger root at a grocery store and let it root by placing it in a warm area of a room. Herbs like dong quai and maca root may be easier to start as seeds. Many of these herbs can be found as seeds from larger seed producers or from smaller herbal stores. In some areas, if you can identify the plants, you may be able to dig them up and replant them.Thanks!
- Consider using other alternative medicine remedies in additional to your herbs. Many women find acupuncture, yoga and homeopathy to be beneficial in managing the symptoms of menopause.
- Use these herbs as often as necessary to feel more comfortable, but do not exceed the dosage recommended by your healthcare practitioner or listed by any packaging on supplements, powders or teas that you use. For example, you can drink ginseng tea all day long, but products containing dong quai should be used less frequently.
- Consider other treatments if you are at a high risk for developing breast cancer. The hormonal properties in many herbs can increase a woman's chances of getting breast cancer and other cancers related to hormone levels. Talk to you doctor about your risk.
- Remember that herbs and herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, they have not been tested by the government for safety or effectiveness.
Video: How to Relieve Menopause With Herbal Remedies
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