Remedies for Menopause

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Information on Remedies for Menopause

Some of the distressing, but by no means universal, symptoms of menopause can be ameliorated by Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).  Whether women choose HRT or not, they should be aware of the range of lifestyle changes and alternative or complementary therapies capable of lessening menopausal symtoms and enhancing long-term health.


Dong quai or Chinese angelica, a type of Chinese medicinal herbs known throughout Asia as the 'female remedy', and Vitex agnus-castus are herbs often used for hot flushes.  Prized in the East for thousands of years, modern research has confirmed they they reduce sweating and help the body adapt to heat stress, enhancing energy and stamina in trying conditions.  Dong quai contains plant oestrogenic substances, called phytoestrogens which is being used for centuries for conditions such as those common in menopause, which are now treated with synthetic oestrogens, especially hot flushes.  Dong quai has also been found to lower blood pressure (a common condition for women after menopause) and has demonstrated pain-relieving and tranquillizing effects combined with a smooth muscle relaxing activity.  Dong quai is used for menstrual cramps, migraine headaches which are often associated with the menstrual cycle and arthritis.


Vitamin E and Evening primrose oil have strong advocates among some women with severe flushes. Natural dietary sources of vitamin E are oils made from corn, soybeans, coconut, peanuts and olives plus alfalfa, sesame seeds, barley, rolled oats, cabbage, spinach and asparagus.


Calcium seems to overcome sleeplessness, as do the popular herbal sedatives Valerian and Chamomile tea.  Calcium and vitamin D (which helps metabolize calcium) are also important for maintaining the integrity of the skeleton.  Foods rich in calcium include tofu, yoghurt, leafy green vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts and oily deep-sea fish.  Large amounts of wheat bran, coffee and alcohol all reduce the absorption of calcium, and in the case of wheat bran, zinc absorption is also reduced.  Vitamin D is produced in the skin in the presence of sunlight.  Small, regular exposure to early morning or late afternoon sun will improve calcium absorption.


Dry vagina and bladder irritability are treated by many naturopaths with vitamin A.  Calendula ointment has been recommended for irritated vaginal tissues.  This herb has been credited with oestrogen-like properties and an ability to treat and prevent vaginal infections.


Light work or chores, outdoor exercise, plenty of sleep, wholesome diet and tonic treatments such as daily cold mitten frictions usually improve the general health and make the menopausal symptoms less severe.


Hormones taken under a physician's direction are often helpful in relieving headaches, nervousness and hot flushes.


More Articles on Menopause


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