Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Menopause Herbs

Before considering taking menopause herbs, it is important to understand this condition in its entirety, and approach herbal menopause treatment wisely.

What is Menopause?

Menopause typically occurs in women aged 45-60 and signals the end of their reproductive cycles. The cause of menopause is the natural reduction of estrogen. Though not a disease or sickness, menopause is accompanied uncomfortable side effects which include hot flashes, mood swings, irregular sleep, peevishness, vaginal dryness and unforeseen fluctuations in the monthly cycle. These complications often cause women to dread the menopausal cycle, an apprehension which, unfortunately, only further compounds the extremity of any discomfort or pain.

Modern doctors have tried to lessen the symptoms of menopause by treating it like a disease and implementing hormone transplants in an effort to boost estrogen levels and normalize moods. Though effective, these treatments serve also to aggravate and lengthen menopause. Hormone transplants have also been linked to breast cancer. The hormones themselves are derived from horse’s urine. Fortunately there are natural herbal remedies which, when applied over time, can diminish the more negative effects of menopause.

Herbs for Menopause's Symptoms

There are a host of herbs available to treat the symptoms of menopause, some of them with more acute results than others. In most cases the herb in question is very potent for reducing a few choice symptoms, and patients are advised to concentrate on whichever symptoms are causing the most discomfort.

Soy intake of about 50 grams a day has been reported to relieve hot flashes, one of menopause's more notorious symptoms. It also demonstrates positive long term support of bone strength and cholesterol regulation. However, physicians often advise taking the minimum dosage. St. John's Wort has shown to improve minor depression in small doses but ineffective in terms of severe depression. Chasteberry, available under the retail name Vitex, supports estrogen levels and helps to eliminate hot flashes and mood swings. Chasteberry can be administered as a pill or a liquid but takes several months to take effect. The Chinese herb dong quai has been shown to normalize the drop in estrogen over a twelve week regimen.

Limitations of Herbal Solutions

Though most of the above mentioned herbs have demonstrated positive results, the circumstances under which they were tested were usually brief. For women whose menopause lasts longer than two years, these herbs may not prove consistently helpful. In excess, some of them can prove harmful. Heavy soy intake can complicate matters for women with estrogen problems. Since it takes diligent use for some of the benefits to manifest, the cost of such remedies can build to high amounts.


Those suffering from menopausal symptoms should consider trying herbal and dietary remedies. The process of menopause takes years and a patient, calm approach is as important as a positive attitude in minimizing the negative side effects of a perfectly natural process.
The Menopause Herbs