Herbs for menopause

Are there any natural treatments that work if you don’t want to take HRT or it’s simply not an option for you? Some women find their menopausal symptoms are relieved by taking herbal medicine. Herbs used in the menopause are aimed at achieving hormonal balance rather than artificially raising oestrogen levels.

Sage has been shown in a number of studies to decrease the severity and frequency of hot flushes and night sweats and it’s certainly one that I wouldn’t do without in my personal arsenal of herbs. Black cohosh and Maca root may also reduce hot flushes as well as helping with anxiety and mood swings, there are even some reports that they can increase libido! Another herb reputed to do this is Ayurvedic herb and female reproductive tonic Shatavari, a type of asparagus, it’s name means “woman with a hundred husbands” – that’s probably due to its myriad of root clusters, but it makes you think……

Rosemary is a herb that I’ve come to increasingly love as my memory sometimes takes a downward turn. There’s been a lot of interesting research recently around the benefits of rosemary on cognitive function and memory loss especially in Alzheimer’s and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t help in menopausal related memory loss too. It’s not a fail safe though as yesterday I forgot to feed the kids in the evening and didn’t remember I was supposed to be giving my daughter a lift in the afternoon.

Some women find phytoestrogens in herbs such as red clover help them during the menopause. I have also seen the benefits of turmeric, rhodiola and valerian on calming down higher levels of anxiety and lifting low mood.

These are just a few examples of the herbs we can use at this time and many other herbs may be prescribed as our approach is holistic instead of just treating a set of symptoms. In addition just because these are natural remedies doesn’t mean they are safe for everyone to use and side effects can occur, so if you want to go down this route it is advisable to consult a trained practitioner. At the end of the day there is no one magic formula that universally helps, we are all different and need to find what works for us.