Menopause is an important phase in a woman’s life. It is a transition from a stage where she enters the non-reproductive state from a reproductive one. During this phase, the ovaries age and the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Unfortunately for some women, these changes can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, depression, anxiety, vaginal dryness, irritability and mood swings. Let us study some of the effective home remedies and herbal remedies to alleviate these symptoms.
Women often place the needs of their families before their own. During this phase, it is important to love yourself and take care of yourself. Put your needs first. Set aside time daily for meditation and exercise.
Regular exercise is the most important way to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which are common symptoms seen in post-menopausal women. A 2014 study published in Menopause Review states that moderate intensity, aerobic exercise may not reduce hot flashes, but it can improve sleep quality, insomnia, and depression in women. A 2016 study in Menopause Review also showed that a 12-week exercise regime showed increased vitality and a more positive outlook in menopausal women.
Studies have shown that deep breathing can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which are some of the major post-menopausal symptoms. Begin your day with deep breathing exercises as follows:
Not all fats are bad. Many healthy fats like Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids can alleviate menopausal symptoms by reducing inflammation and pain. A reason why many women in their 50s and 60s report joint aches and pains is due to a deficiency of healthy fats in their bodies. So eat plenty of walnuts, linseed, flaxseeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, evening primrose oil, and borage oil. These oils are good for heart health and most of them also contain GLA or gamma-linoleic acid. GLA helps reduce symptoms like breast soreness or tenderness, joint aches, and muscles pain. So go ahead and sprinkle a handful of nuts and seeds on your cereals, smoothies, salads, or simply as a pick-me-up snack throughout the day.
Vitamin E is one of the best supplements for menopause. It has estrogenic properties that reduce or prevent the severity of hot flashes in post-menopausal women. A 2007 study has also proven the efficacy of Vitamin E in reducing hot flashes. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking supplements. One needs to take at least 400 IU of vitamin E per day in divided doses. Vitamin E is also found in nuts, green leafy vegetables, seeds, avocado, wheat germ, etc. Caution: Very large doses of vitamin E can increase bleeding.
Korean red ginseng can increase sexual arousal and also reduce the severity of hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and irritability. Ginseng also improves the mood, alleviates problems like fuzzy thinking, brain fog, and memory loss, and can protect heart health in post-menopausal women. Talk to an experienced herbalist about the right dosage. Ginseng is available in the form of tea, tinctures, extracts, powders, root, and supplements. Do not take ginseng if you take blood thinners, diabetes or heart-related medication, etc.
This herb has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and provides a tranquilizing and sedative effect. The Harmala alkaloids in passionflower soothe the lining of the uterus and relax the muscles to stop cramps and pain.
The alkaloids, saponins, and tannins in Motherwort act as a nervine and antispasmodic. Motherwort, along with other herbs can help with insomnia and other issues.
This is a great remedy for headaches and body aches which are common in menopause. Thankfully, peppermint is available in many forms. You can drink peppermint tea to relax the nerves and stop the pain. Diffuse the essential oil of peppermint to curb inflammation and headaches and boost your mood. You can also perform a self-massage with peppermint oil for stopping cramps and hot flashes.
In Chinese medicine, Dong Quai is the traditional medicine for menopause and can help prevent symptoms like nervousness, anxiety, hot flashes, and mental fog.
Chasteberry is a hormone regulator which can be taken long-term to fight anxiety associated with PMS or menopause.
Red clover is an effective herb for managing menopause. It is known to contain isoflavones which have estrogen-like properties that can relieve hot flashes. A 2005 study showed that red clover has a significant reduction in menopausal symptoms and a positive effect on vaginal cytology and triglyceride levels. A 2012 study showed that red clover tea has an uplifting effect on menopausal women’s quality of life. Here is the recipe for red clover tea:
ACV or apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy to fight menopausal symptoms. It is known to detoxify the body and reduce the intensity of hot flashes and night sweats. Apple cider vinegar can also alleviate headaches and other menopausal symptoms. Drink raw and organic apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water and a few teaspoons of honey twice a day until symptoms subside.
BSM or blackstrap molasses is an effective remedy for hot flashes. It contains calcium and magnesium and helps maintain uterine health. B-vitamins in blackstrap molasses also promote proper functioning of brain health and the nervous system. B vitamins also promote relaxation and help fight stress and fatigue. The Iron in BSM helps prevent anemia or iron deficiency.
What remedies have you used to overcome menopausal symptoms?
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