Herbal remedies for menopause

Herbal remedies for menopause

 Hormone replacement used to be the norm for women seeking relief from menopausal symptoms, but some women are put off by possible contraindications and published studies suggesting hormone replacement therapy isn’t the best route to take. Other women may prefer a more holistic approach in everything they do, and menopause is no different for them. For women looking to alleviate some of their uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, there are plenty of herbal remedies available on the market.

Herbal remedies for menopause

There hasn’t been a lot of research conducted regarding the effects of herbal remedies on menopausal symptoms, and the majority of studies that have been done involved women who had breast cancer. This can make it difficult for a woman trying to make an informed decision about herbal remedies to find accurate data. Furthermore, it is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration does not hold herbal remedies to the same standard as traditional medications, and in fact the FDA considers herbal supplements to be in the same category as food. So while there are regulations in place, they are nowhere near as strict as the regulations set forth for over-the-counter and prescription medicines. This is why it is so incredibly important to discuss with your doctor any herbal remedies you are considering taking. Herbal remedies can have side effects and contraindications just like traditional medicines, and your doctor is the best resource to find out what is best for your particular situation.

As far as what little research has been done, there are indeed certain herbal remedies that appear to give relief for menopausal symptoms. For hot flashes, soy isoflavones, black cohosh, and red clover all seem to help some women, although the results of the studies sometimes yielded inconsistent results. Other herbal remedies, such as Dong Quai, evening primrose oil, ginseng, vitamin E, and wild yam were recognized in the studies as being commonly used for hot flashes, but with not much data available to support their effectiveness.

Herbal supplement suppliers assure that their products can ease menopausal discomforts just as effectively, if not more so, than traditional medicinal methods. One site goes so far to proudly proclaim that their product, a derivative of the maca herb, can offer balance to a menopausal woman with regards to hot flashes, loss of sexual desire, and other symptoms of menopause. In a somewhat perplexing statement, though, they also claim that the maca herb raises levels of fertility in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women…and here we thought postmenopausal women were done with worrying about fertility! The lesson learned here is to not put your trust in the people advertising the product, but rather to do your own research and consult with a health care professional.

It is certainly not unheard of for a woman to compliment her hormone replacement therapy with some herbal remedies as well. Some women find that traditional hormone replacement therapy simply does not do an effective enough job in treating menopausal symptoms, and consequently, these women supplement the hormone replacement with herbal remedies. As long as no contraindications exist then this can work quite well.

If herbal remedies appeal to you and you are interested in more non-medicinal remedies, there was a study done that may be of interest to you. Indiana University did a review of studies to see what the effects of certain alternative remedies would be for menopausal symptoms. They found that acupuncture and homeopathy provided relief in some women, but this relief came on a somewhat inconsistent basis. The use of magnets and reflexology did not prove beneficial in easing symptoms. More research is needed in these areas. There are also clinics whose main purpose it is to assist menopausal women in feeling better without the use of hormone replacement therapy. These clinics offer personalized programs to give a woman’s body a sort of detoxification and claim to assist women to feel great well into old age.

Whether you intend to complement a hormone replacement therapy program or to completely avoid one altogether, herbal remedies can offer some relief for menopausal symptoms. Since everyone’s specific needs are different women must make informed decisions with the help of their doctor.

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