Natural Remedies for The Menopause
Old wives tales or do they work?
A survey by Women’s Health Concern the sister charity of the British Menopause Society found that 95% of women said they would try alternative therapies before Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) because they think they are more natural and because they are worried about health risks of HRT.
So how do you feel about it? Have you tried natural remedies and therapies? Have you noticed an improvement in your symptoms?
I’ve selected some popular choices on the market and researched the claims.
A note about herbal treatments: Guidelines recommend that you look for the THR logo which means they have a Traditional Herbal Registration granted by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). These products have been approved and you can be sure that the product has the correct dosage, is of high quality and has suitable product information.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique. The acupuncturist inserts thin sterile needles through the skin at specific points on the body. This helps to increase blood flow, bring energy flow back to balance and help the body produce endorphins the body’s natural pain reliving chemicals.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to control pain and is offered by many medical professionals. It can reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and aches and pains. With very few reported side effects, it’s a safe option for you to try and studies have proven that it is effective in treating menopausal symptoms.
This herb is widely available in supplement form and has received quite a lot of attention recently due to the possible effects on hot flashes.
A 2010 review concluded menopausal women experienced a 26% reduction in night sweats and hot flashes. It has been used for centuries by Native Americans for the treatment of menstrual irregularities, menopause symptoms and to ease childbirth.
The British Medical Journal reported mixed results throughout trials however many women claim a reduction in hot flashes and night sweats, some even say that they have completely stopped.
Red clover contains “isoflavones” which are changed in the body to “phytoestrogens” that are similar to the hormone oestrogen.
Many women take Red Clover to help with bone density loss, hot flashes, night sweats, and high cholesterol. It is widely available in tablet form and as a tea.
A study reported in Gynecological Endocrinology found that Red clover isoflavone supplementation significantly decreased menopausal symptoms as well as cholesterol levels.
A well know herb which you’ve probably used whilst cooking, however using a tincture or adding sage leaves to hot water to make a tea can help reduce excess sweating and hot flashes caused by the menopause.
Research has shown that the oestrogenic properties of sage help to relieve the frequency and severity of menopausal symptoms and also help to regulate hormonal imbalances.
It is also used to improve cognitive performance and bone health, digestive problems, memory loss, depression and to strengthen the immune system. So it’s an all-round winner, especially as you can grow it in your garden!
It seems that in most cases the reduction of symptoms is anecdotal, however many women rely on natural herbs and therapies to reduce or eliminate their menopausal symptoms. So as long as you don’t have any underlying health issues then why not give them a go.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, reducing your alcohol consumption and stopping smoking has been proven to reduce most menopausal symptoms and is widely recommended by health professionals.