If you’ve chosen to use natural remedies for menopause symptoms, congratulations! By choosing the natural approach to menopause you will be avoiding some potentially serious side effects of the modern medicine approach.
focuses on the cause of the symptoms and works
to correct or balance hormone imbalances with
natural sources like good nutrition and herbs.
Weight gain seems to be one of the most frequent complaints of menopause from women next to hot flashes. We will talk about both of those along with natural options for helping to eliminate those.
First, let’s take a look at the way today’s medical approach treats menopause symptoms. Then we will talk about the natural remedies for menopause symptoms.
Medical Approach to Menopause Symptoms:
Modern medicine has a couple of approaches to dealing with this natural feminine process. One of the most popular is HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
Researchers believe that HRT may be associated with an increased risk for:
- blood clots
- heart attack
- breast cancer
- upper body obesity
- insulin resistance
- high blood pressure
- and excessive insulin levels.
Not exactly what most of us are looking forward to in our later years, huh?
The modern approach is also symptom treatment. Once you begin to have symptoms of problems with your bones, heart, blood sugar, etc. more medications can be prescribed to try and help control the discomfort and dangers of these problems. Of course, many of these medications may come with additional side effects. When choosing this approach it may be best to weigh the pros and cons.
Why wait until you have symptoms? By then, you may already have some serious health problems in progress. There is no need in this.
If you are able to avoid or even minimize the discomforts and dangers of menopause without increasing your health risks for other issues; wouldn’t you rather at least consider the opportunity?
So let’s talk about the Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms…
Natural and healthy substitutes for synthetic hormone replacement are plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) found in soy products like soybeans, soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. You even get a bonus benefit if you choose this route instead of the synthetic hormone replacement (besides the fact that there are no toxic side effects). The plant estrogens will hinder development and maturation of cancer cells.
**It’s important to note that taking soy in supplement form is NOT recommended. The reason for this is that when the phytoestrogens are isolated and concentrated into supplement form, it changes chemically into a hormone that could possibly promote cancer. Quite the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish.
Help Relieve Hot Flashes Naturally With Hot Flash Remedies:
Choose foods rich in phytoestrogens. Examples are rye, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, soybeans, soy milk, oats, cashews, almonds, flaxseeds, apples, etc.
Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of magnesium in your diet by choosing soy foods, legumes, and whole grains.
Menopause and Diet:
We often forget how important our diet is to our health. What we eat very much affects our health…in fact, it directly affects our health!
Our diet is one of the most important parts of natural remedies for menopause symptoms.
You may be able to control those menopausal
symptoms just by altering what you are eating!
A diet for menopause should be rich with fiber rich whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables, and fruits. These foods contain the hormone balancing nutrients called phytosterols.
Ground flaxseeds contain phytonutrients that can help balance estrogen and lower cholesterol.
Drink plenty of water to flush toxins and replace fluids you have lost during hot flashes.
Avoid sodas that contain phosphates which deplete calcium.
Reduce consumption of red meat and saturated fats. This will help protect you against heart disease.
And did you know that red meat tends to draw the calcium out of your bones? Yes, it really does!
So do yourself a favor and cut back on eating red meat to protect your heart AND bones. There are healthier choices for your daily protein.
Include foods like salmon, cod, and tuna that are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids and pumpkin, sesame, safflower and flaxseed oils which contain the omega-6 fatty acids. These will not only help protect you against heart disease, they will promote smooth, radiant skin.
Choose hormone-free meats to help avoid a hormone imbalance.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They aggravate hot flashes.
Supplements That May be Helpful for Menopause
- Supplement with natural sources of vitamin E. This helps to:
- regulate estrogen production
- prevent hot flashes
- reduce vaginal dryness.
- Calcium supplements to help ward off osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D3 2,000 IU daily can also help prevent osteoporosis.
- Supplementing with magnesium can help with hot flashes.
- Natural DHEA to rejuvenate the body
- Omega 3’s may be helpful for mild depression.
- Progesterone cream is reported to help prevent fibrocystic conditions and breast cancer, prevent osteoporosis by replacing depleted calcium, and improve the effectiveness of thyroid hormones.
Herbs for Menopause
Black cohosh seems to be the most useful herb to ease menopausal symptoms. In fact, in The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, the author tells us that “black cohosh is highly effective at relieving symptoms of menopausal hot flashes in women.”
Ginseng is reported to be helpful with decreasing early menopausal hot flashes. Its effectiveness seems to diminish with age and also doesn’t seem to help women who have had their ovaries removed (Balch, 2002).
Sarsaparilla may be helpful to restore sexual desire.
Valerian has been reported to be helpful with the menopausal symptoms insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, headaches, and also may improve quality of sleep.
Dr. Weil recommends the three herbs dong quai, chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), and damiana (Turnera diffusa) to help with hot flashes (1998).
**Dong quai should not be taken if you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding.**
St. John’s Wort may be helpful with depression.
Evening primrose oil may be beneficial for general menopausal symptoms.
**It is always a good idea to consult your health practitioner before beginning herbal remedies as there are prescription medications that can interact with some herbs.**
In addition to everything else we’ve discussed here, exercise is an important factor in helping during this transition. Exercise will help with hot flashes, anxiety, weight loss, better sleep, as well as many other issues related to menopause.
Exercise is especially important in helping to ward off osteoporosis and heart disease. Weight bearing exercises strengthens bones therefore improves calcium metabolism. Strength training is helpful in many ways in addition to keeping osteoporosis and heart disease at bay. Aerobic exercises increases stamina and strengthens the heart.
These aren’t the only benefits that you’ll enjoy by exercising regularly. There are lots of other benefits. For instance:
- Helps keep extra pounds away
- Boosts your mood
- Releases endorphins which can help decrease pain
- Helps to control blood sugar
- Helps keep you mentally sharp
And the list goes on. So make sure you schedule your daily exercise time in!
Other Options for Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms
There are other natural remedies for menopause symptoms available to help with menopausal symptoms that you may also want to try such as yoga, acupuncture, meditation,
breathing exercises, etc. There have been numerous reports of women being successful in decreasing their menopausal symptoms using these natural remedies for menopause.
So before making that decision to use synthetic hormones to help with menopause symptoms do your research, educate, and arm yourself with information to help you make the best decision for you.
For more information:
Balch, P.A. (2002). Prescription for herbal healing. New York: Avery. Chen, C.Y., & Blumberg, J.B. (2008). Phytochemical composition of nuts. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17(S1), 329-332.
Goswami, D., & Conway, G. (2005). Premature ovarian failure. Oxford Journals, 11(4), 391-410.
Haas, E. M. (1992). Staying healthy with nutrition. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.
Mattison, D. R., Evans, M. I., Schwimmer, W. B., White, B. J., & Jensen, B. (1984). Familial premature ovarian failure. Am J Hum Genet, 36(6), 1341-1348.
Null, G. (2005). The complete encyclopedia of natural healing. New York, NY: Kensington Books.
Page, L. (2003). Healthy healing: A guide to self-healing for everyone. United States of America: Traditional Wisdom, Inc.
Piironen, V., Toivo, J., Puupponen-Pimiä, R. and Lampi, A.-M. (2003), Plant sterols in vegetables, fruits and berries. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture,83: 330-337. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.1316
Smith, T.J. (2009). Magnesium supplements for menopausal hot flashes. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27(7), 1151-1152.
Tierra, M. (1998). The way of herbs. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
Weil, A. (1998). Natural health, natural medicine: A comprehensive manual for wellness and self-care. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
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