Herb & Supplement Guide For Menopause
Menopause is a natural transition every woman will go through in her life, but it doesn’t mean the journey has to be uncomfortable and miserable. During Menopause women generally experience hormonal shifts that come and go or occur daily. However, simple shifts can be integrated which support this process, making it an ease-full transition with few to no symptoms.
There are many herbs and supplements which are highly effective in treating symptoms of menopause. You can also look for a women's blend for your age group that contains the following:
Rhodiola– rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb with estrogen-mimicking qualities in the body. It can help reduce symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood changes and increase sex drive.
Shatavari – this root is traditionally used in Ayurveda medicine and acts on the female reproductive system. It contains phytoestrogenic properties and can be helpful in treating hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Try: supplementing with shatavari in capsule form, following indications on the package or as recommended by your holistic practitioner.
Dong Quai – a herb used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine, dong quai is helpful in reducing symptoms of menopause, improving bone health, reducing inflammation and improving mood.
Try: supplementing with dong quai capsules, liquid extract or making a decoction of the root. *Avoid if you are on blood thinning medication as it may increase this effect on the body.
Black Cohosh– helpful for relief of hot flashes and other menopause symptoms as it contains phytoestrogens and anti-inflammatory properties.
Try: taking a daily a black cohosh supplement.
Ashwagandha– ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that is excellent for helping the body adapt to stress, reduces anxiety and promotes restfulness.
Try: a daily supplement to support a graceful transition through hormonal changes.
Red Raspberry Leaf– contains B vitamins and plenty of antioxidants which are helpful in combating stress in the body. Its soothing properties can also help to reduce inflammation and support adequate adrenal function.
Try: a soothing cup of red raspberry leaf tea daily.
Red Clover– is a nutritive herb that contains phytoestrogens and acts on the female reproductive system. It can be effective in treating and preventing symptoms of menopause.
Try: brewing a relaxing red clover tea.
Chaste Tree Berry (aka Vitex) – another herb that is excellent for women’s conditions. Acting to reduce symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, and migraines.
Try: a vitex supplement from your local health food store and follow indications on the package.
Motherwort– has traditionally been used to relieve hot flashes, anxiety, and nervousness, sleep problems, vaginal dryness and increase sex drive.
Try: 10-15 drops of extract daily or as indicated on the product or by your natural health practitioner.
Evening Primrose Oil - may help to reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats and also provides the body with healthy fatty acids.
Try: an evening primrose oil supplement and follow indications.
Maca - has been used for millennia to promote vigor and vitality. It can reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, improve energy levels, decrease restlessness and restore a healthy libido.
Try: Start with 1 tsp daily in a smoothie, and work up to 3-6 tsp daily. Continue for 3-6 months and take a 1-2 week long break before resuming. Alternatively, consume 2,000mg a day in capsule form.
Wild Yam Natural Progesterone Cream– a form of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), wild yams contain a phytoestrogen called diosgenin which can be converted to progesterone through chemical processes. This cream is applied to the skin, where the body readily absorbs the progesterone, countering the effects of menopause and hormonal changes. This cream may be a safer alternative for those who wish to avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
Try: a good quality natural progesterone cream from your local natural health store. Follow product indications.
Calcium – as we hit menopause, bone begins to break down at a faster rate in women. As a result, supplementing with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D becomes essential. Calcium supports and maintains healthy bones, joints, nails, skin and hair as we age.
Try: 1000-2000 mg daily
Magnesium – is a counterpart to calcium. While calcium helps contract our muscles, magnesium helps relax them. It can be useful in menopause not only in helping with bone development, but it also promotes a restful sleep, can reduce hot flashes, calm the nervous system, and is important for heart health.
Try: 1000 mg daily
Vitamin D – vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium, not to mention, most North Americans are deficient in vitamin D which is also an essential antioxidant, protecting cells against free radical damage.
Try: taking 1000-3000 IU of vitamin D drops daily.
Flaxseed Oil – flaxseeds are a great source of phytoestrogens (mimicking estrogen in the body), soothing to the digestive system and very high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Fats are the building blocks of hormones in the body. Fatty acids also help to improve skin quality, bringing moisture to the skin and soothing inflammation.
Try: supplementing with 1-2 tbsp of flaxseed oil daily.
Probiotic Supplement – probiotics help to support the beneficial bacteria of the gut and vagina.
Try: a daily probiotic supplement of 10-20 billion CFUs.
Vitamin E – vitamin E is an important antioxidant, good for the skin and can help reduce hot flashes.
Try: a supplement of 200 IU daily in the d-alpha-tocopherol form
Vitamin C – vitamin C is an important antioxidant, good for heart health and can reduce hot flashes.
Try: 3000mg daily up to 10,000 mg daily (caution of bowel tolerance)
Fish Oil– is a source of essential fatty acids, which are necessary building blocks for hormones. Fatty acids also help to improve skin quality, bringing moisture to the skin and soothe inflammation.
Try: supplementing with at least 1200 mg of EPA and DHA daily.