Menopause is the stage of a woman’s life when she experiences absence of menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. This is a natural biological process and during this process of menopause and beyond, women can experience variety of unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, hair loss, mood swings, fatigue and vaginal dryness due to sudden drop in the level of estrogen.
For centuries, various herbs have been used to treat the symptoms of menopause. The popularity of herbal treatment to standard hormone replacement therapy in recent years has led to research and studies of popular herbs to determine there efficacy and safety. But not all of them have been supported by scientific studies yet. So they should be used with caution after consulting a licensed herbalist.
Though natural, yet herbal remedies for menopause can have side effects. According to the National Institute of Health, treating menopause with hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of heart diseases, stroke and breast cancer. So, many women today have turned towards herbal remedies and have found these herbs very effective in treating the menopausal symptoms. Following herbs have been found effective for treating menopausal symptoms.
6 Best Herbal Remedies For Menopause
Black Cohosh is a widely used herb for treating menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and night sweats. Though its result are promising, but they have not been fully proven. Black Cohosh can be taken in tablet, capsule tea form.
The recommended dose, according to National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, is 20 mg capsule twice or thrice a day for not more than 8 weeks. Drinking a cup of black Cohosh tea 3-4 times a day may also bring relief from symptoms. The possible side-effects of this herb include dizziness, headache and gastrointestinal disturbance.
Dong Quai, a Chinese herb, has been described as “female ginseng” by various women’s health websites and has been found effective in relieving menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Dong Quai is phytoestogonic herb that helps to balance rapidly fluctuating estrogen levels that triggers symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, sleeplessness and stress etc. Despite certain side-effects like dizziness, nausea and headache, many women have reported benefits after taking this herb during menopause. Combined with proper diet and exercise, this herb can be beneficial for menopausal women.
Red clover has been used for centuries to suppress the symptoms of menopause, particularly hot flashes and night sweats as they contains phytoestrogen and works similarly to estrogen, a property also found in soy foods. Some studies have shown positive results and found evidence that taking 40-80 mg of red clover can provide a woman relief from hot flashes.
Asian ginseng is a popular herb that is widely used to boost energy. However, it has been found effective in treating menopausal symptoms as well, particularly mood swings and insomnia, depression and anxiety.
This herb is recommended for controlling fluctuating hormones because it contains flavonoids that help to check the menopause symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance like depression and anxiety.
Life root is popular among Native Americans for centuries for getting relief from cramps and other discomforts associated with menopause. Only dried herbs should be used instead of fresh herbs. Recommended dose should be taken as some studies reveal that larger doses can cause toxicity.
Any women taking herbs must try to know the side effects associated with the herb they are taking and consume them only after consulting an herbal specialist.