There’s no doubt that menopause symptoms affect people in different ways. Some people experience severe symptoms, some experience mild symptoms, and some experience no symptoms. For those who experience mild to severe symptoms, the challenge is often finding the right treatments to alleviate their discomfort.
While some opt to go the plant-based route, others prefer the pharmaceutical options, and some do both—different strokes for different folks. There is no right or wrong, and to each his own. I have chosen the plant-based route because it’s what I prefer in my body, and my symptoms are mild. I believe in the power of plants through food and medicine
This is not to say I don’t believe in the power of pharmaceuticals. The fact is, I do as I, too, benefit from them when needed. So this is not about demonizing synthetics. Instead, it’s about providing information about options for the diverse needs of people.
These herbs I’m sharing have existed for centuries and are used by different cultures to alleviate unpleasant menopausal symptoms. However, before I go any further, I must disclaim. This is not medical advice. It is information. Consult your primary care partner before embarking on any herbal remedy regimen.
For the sake of transparancy, I think It’s important to mention that much ado has been made in the menopausal/scientific community about the safety of the Black Cohosh herb. The good thing is this herb is one of the most researched plant-based remedies and has been deemed safe to use. However, in very rare cases it has been associated with liver damage. Please note that it should not be taken long-term and you should be supporting your liver with this and any other medication.
Keep in mind, supplements are medications, and whatever the body doesn’t need is sent to the liver to be metabolized/broken down and then excreted. To avoid liver congestion, it’s particularly important to support your liver while taking any supplement; herbal or pharmaceutical. Milk Thistle and eating cruciferous veggies are great forms of liver support.
When taking herbs consider the following.
-All herbs are not made equally. The quality of herbs can differ significantly based on where you’re purchasing them.
-Herbs/supplements are also medicine and therefore should be used under the guidance of your primary care partner, a naturopath, or a qualified herbalist.
-And lastly, like any medication, herbs can interact with other medications you may be taking. So know your body, do your research and talk with your healthcare partner.
Though traditional herbal remedies have been around for centuries and time tested for their efficacy, Unfortunately, they have not been well researched as their HRT/MHT counterparts. That does not mean they do not work. But it does mean that there is less available data to support or refute their effectiveness.
21 Herbs Used To Treat Menopause Symptoms
*Always talk to your health care partner/MD/Naturopathic before taking any supplements.
WHAT IT TREATS
|Evening Primrose||Hot flashes|
|Maca||Hot flashes, depression symptoms, mood swings, vaginal dryness|
*maca increases estrogen. Be mindful if you have estrogen-sensitive conditions
|Don Quai||Hot flashes|
|Black Cohosh||Hot flashes|
|Milk Thistle||Hormonal balance |
It supports liver detoxification, which breaks down excess hormones
|Vitex||Balances hormones |
Decreases hot flashes, breast tenderness, mood swings, vaginal dryness, insomnia
|Red Clover||Menstrual cramps|
|Kava||Anxiety and possibly hot flashes|
FDA issued a warning as it can cause liver disease
|False Unicorn||Menstrual irregularities during|
|St. John’s Wort||Hot flashes, night sweats|
|Flaxseed||Mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats|
|Saw palmetto||Decrease androgens (male hormones)|
reduce overgrowth of facial hair and chest hair
|Black currant||Hot flashes, increase bone health|
|Carob||Blood sugar, improves cholesterol|
|Wild Yam||Natural progesterone prevents overstimulation of the uterine lining. Also used for mood swings, cramps|
|Sage||Hot flashes, night sweats|
|Yarrow||Menstrual health: cramps, irregular period|
|Hops||Hot flashes, bone loss, heart disease|
Taking supplements is not meant to cure menopause. Menopause is not a disease. Think of it more as optimizing your cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems so that they can support your body during the menopausal process. Do you take herbal remedies? I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment below.