Herb Treatments for Menopause
Herbs have long been used to treat medical conditions, including problems related to women's health. Certain herbs in particular are said to relieve many of the discomforting symptoms women experience during menopause. If you are looking for a natural alternative treatment to prescription drugs during menopause, you might want to consider the benefits of herbs.
How Herbs Work to Treat Menopause
Menopause occurs when a woman's body no longer produces previous levels of two essential hormones: estrogen and progesterone. This hormonal decrease can give rise to a number of symptoms that mark the menopausal experience for many women. These include irregular periods, PMS-like symptoms, hot flashes or sweats, bone loss, vaginal dryness, depression, and more.
Certain herbs are effective in treating menopause because they help regulate estrogen levels, thereby relieving common menopausal symptoms. These herbs fall into two categories: estrogenic herbs (that contain estrogen chemical structures) and non-estrogenic herbs (that don't contain estrogen).
Popular Herbs for Menopause
Herbs reported to alleviate the symptoms of menopause include: black cohosh, wild yam, dong quai, chaste tree, red clover, liquorice, gingko biloba, Siberian ginseng, red raspberry leaf, nettle leaves, and anise.
Among their various benefits, herbs may: balance hormones; reduce hot flashes, sweats, and cramps; decrease fatigue and depression; contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of menopausal arthritis; reduce blood clotting; help prevent osteoporosis by maintaining bone levels; remedy menstrual irregularity; help regulate mood swings; improve circulation.
Herbs have received mixed reviews regarding their efficacy in managing symptoms of menopause. Some women report high success rates in using herbs to alleviate their discomfort during this stage of life and in promoting their overall well being. Conversely, recent studies have suggested that herbs may have little help in treating menopausal symptoms.
As with any form of treatment, you are advised to discuss your options with your doctor or turn to a qualified herbalist for advice. While herbs tend to have significantly fewer risks and side-effects than prescription medications (such as Hormone Replacement Therapy), they can still give rise to unexpected or adverse consequences and should be taken with care.
How to Take Herbs
Some women prefer sipping herbal teas while others opt for capsule supplements. In general, teas are a more mild form of herbs than capsules, which contain more of the active ingredients. You can take herbs separately or one at a time to see if they relieve your menopausal symptoms, or you can buy a comprehensive product that combines effective herbs for you.
Benefits of a synergized product include: cheaper than buying multiple herb supplements; herbs have been safely mixed and matched by an expert in the field; increased and optimized therapeutic benefits of herbs working together.
Remember: Menopause is a natural part of the aging process, and herbal treatments may be a viable means of coping with this important stage of life.