Herbal Remedies For Menopause – A Comprehensive Overview
Taking advantage of using herbal remedies for menopause is one of the most efficient methods to level the climacteric syndrome and undesired manifestations. Herbal treatment of severe menopause symptoms with the help of herbal medicine is not aiming at substituting the missing hormones, but at promoting the comfortable adaptation to their reduction. However, we are not going to discuss phytoestrogens, oftentimes prescribed during menopause as extremely powerful medications.
Choosing the best natural remedies for menopause
One of the most effective means of herbal medicine against fatigue and mood swings during menopause is black cohosh, a Ranunculaceae family plant.
Triterpenoids, the chemical components of black cohosh root, derivatives of cinnamic acid, have a favorable effect on the brain (particularly on hypothalamus), bones and vagina, reducing hot flushes, night sweats and irritability. A research with 304 women participants taking black cohosh extract (5 mg per day) revealed significant improvement in their condition, as compared with another group that was given placebo.
The study of remifemin (black cohosh-based preparation) safety showed that it does not increase the density of the breast, which is sometimes observed in women taking estrogens; moreover, it has a decent protective effect. Some countries, including Australia, UK, USA and Canada, now require products made from black cohosh featuring a warning sign about the possible adverse effects on the liver. However, the analysis of 78 cases where the liver suffered a negative impact, did not confirm a direct relationship.
Menopause herbal remedies – St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort (dry aboveground part) has been officially used for the treatment of climacteric neuroses since 1983. SJW extract solutions that contain hypericin, the active ingredient, have confirmed their unsurpassed effectiveness: thus, in 100 women the frequency of hot flushes decreased by 54%, and severity decreased by 60% after 8 weeks course.
Actually, a multitude of studies have confirmed the benefit of combining St. John’s wort and black cohosh in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Two tablets of Remifimin containing 0.25 of mg hypericin each and taken demonstrated truly impressive results. 179 women have reported of significantly decreased symptoms of menopause, such as anxiety, nervousness and irritability and poor concentration.
Chaste tree (also known as vitex) of the Verbenaceae family is another powerful medication when it comes to reducing hot flashes. Vitex contains essential oils, flavonoids, glycosides, and compounds called diterpenes. They improve mood and increase the production of melatonin, which helps to delay characteristic of menopausal changes in the endocrine system.
The preparation containing Vitex, fitofem, reduces the number of hot flushes after three months of active treatment in 73% of women; the medication boasts sleep enhancing capabilities. Nevertheless, the medication’s impact on the body still needs careful consideration, as scientists tend to share conflicting information.
The incredible saponin effect
The herbs that are oftentimes used for menopausal symptoms may also contain saponin; wild yam, false unicorn root and tribulus terrestris are among them. Mentioned below are the descriptions on dosage and application:
- The daily dose of tribulus leaf extract (500-750 mg) contains not less than 45% steroidal saponins. After menopause drug treatment 98% of women reported of an enhanced sleep and a decrease in the frequency of anxiety conditions. Not accidentally, tribulus leaf extract is considered to be one of the best herbal remedies for menopause symptoms relief options.
- Wild yam also contains steroidal saponins with diosgenin. The wild yam extract is a traditional Chinese medicine. A study carried out in 24 healthy postmenopausal women who replaced two-thirds of their basic foodstuffs with 390g of sweet potato within 30 days claims that a significant increase in the amount of hormones and antioxidants, which can potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases, has been achieved.
- False unicorn root is mainly used as a tea prepared from dried root; it provides a good effect on the ovaries, treating many of the symptoms of menopause.
Some more natural remedies for menopause
A good representative of adaptogen-type menopause herbal remedies with some estrogenic activity is Korean ginseng – one of the proven herbal remedies for menopause hot flushes eliminator. Its positive impact on the psychological symptoms of menopause was proven by the results of two studies. In Switzerland, 384 women at 16 weeks course of ginseng admitted an increase in the quality of life. A daily dose of 6 gm of dried red ginseng within a month improves the general condition and reduces fatigue. Scientists believe that this is mainly achieved due to a reduction of cortisol level (a stress hormone).
The plant finds itself comfortably among extremely effective herbal remedies for menopause, boasting outstanding medicinal properties. More commonly known as female ginseng, this plant comes from the traditional Chinese medicine, in which the root of this herb is used for treating female menstrual disorders (dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and any violation of the menstrual cycle), as well as in severe menopausal symptoms. Plant extract at a dose of 75 mg in combination with 30 mg of German chamomile (Asteraceae family) within 12 weeks significantly reduced the intensity of hot flushes and night sweats in 55 women. A marked improvement in sleep and fatigue decrease have also been observed.
The list of herbs for the treatment of hyperhidrosis can be replenished with sage, astragalus membranous and Jujube seeds. Jujube is traditionally used in Chinese medicine for treatment of insomnia caused by nervous exhaustion and excessive sweating, especially when accompanied by anxiety, irritability and heart palpitations.
Another research conducted in 30 menopausal women included taking an extract from the leaves of sage with the addition of alfalfa. After 12 weeks, hot flashes and night sweats disappeared completely in 20 women. The further improvement was observed in 4 women, while the remaining six reported of an unpleasant symptoms decrease.