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Menopausal Symptoms Can Be a Trial, But Herbs & Homeopathic Remedies May AssistFor more information on women's health issues, click here.
Menopause can be a capricious, and very distressing, time in the
life of some women and those close to them. Depending on who you
talk to, some medical professionals will prescribe vitamins, and
medications and HRT (hormone replacement therapy), and a number
of other options are available.
One such option is the use of herbs and homeopathic remedies to
alleviate menopausal symptoms. Symptom improvement is different
for each woman, however some women have a noticeable improvement
in symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia,
while others note no change or only experience relief for a
short period of time.
Some of the herbs which may alleviate menopausal symptoms are
Asian ginseng may be used by menopausal women to reduce stress,
improve general well-being, decrease feelings of depression, and
enhance memory. This herb is thought to have estrogen-like
activities, although not all studies support this assertion.
Black cohosh is used to relieve symptoms of menopause including
hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, and feelings of
depression. This herb is considered a safe and effective
alternative to estrogen when hormones cannot be used.
Dong quai, in combination with other herbs, has been used for
thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine to relieve
symptoms of menopause. While there continue to be reports of
improvement in symptoms using this herb, the effect of using
dong quai by itself varies from woman to woman. Clinical studies
comparing dong quai only to a placebo do not confirm a specific
benefit of this herb. In general, however, dong quai is thought
to be safe for relief of menopausal symptoms, particularly if
hormones cannot be used.
Red clover contains high quantities of plant-based estrogens
called isoflavones that may improve menopausal symptoms, reduce
the risk of bone loss, and lower the risk of heart disease by
improving blood pressure and possibly by increasing HDL
cholesterol (the "good" kind of cholesterol).
Many women claim that wild yam cream improves menopausal
symptoms, particularly vaginal dryness. While this extract has
been converted to progesterone in laboratory test tubes, the
value of wild yam for menopausal symptoms has not yet been fully
evaluated in people or even in animals.
Some women report that evening primrose oil diminishes the
frequency and intensity of their hot flashes, but these claims
have not been proven by scientific studies.
Additionally, the following herbs have not been investigated in
clinical studies; however, a professional herbalist can
vigilantly assess an individual woman and may consider
prescribing one or more of the following to alleviate symptoms
of menopause: Licorice, Stinging nettle, Saw palmetto, Uva ursi,
Valerian root, and Angelica root.
Further, although homeopathic remedies have not been studied
specifically for menopause, a licensed and certified homeopath
might consider one or more of the following remedies to help
ease symptoms: Venom of the bushmaster for hot flashes and
irritability; Cuttlefish for low energy, mood swings, vaginal
dryness, and irritability; Windflower for mood swings and
insomnia; Sulfur for hot flashes and irritability; Club moss to
help bloating, flatulence, and pain with intercourse, Silver
nitrate for anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and insomnia;
Calcium phosphate to improve bone density; and Belladonna for
hot flashes, especially if they begin abruptly.
A homeopathic doctor considers many different aspects of an
individual before a particular prescription is chosen. Women
considering using a homeopathic remedy should be evaluated and
treated by a well-trained homeopath. As with any herbs or
homeopathic remedies, please donít self medicate. More is not
always better. Too much of a particular remedy can be
For more information on women's health issues, click here.
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