Natural Plant Hormones Can Provide Menopause Relief – Fact or Fiction?

Not so long ago menopause was talked about in hushed tones, if at all. Going through menopause meant that you were getting old, and that your life was practically over. But that is changing. Today, new generations of health conscious women are asking questions about natural menopause relief. The good news is that these unpleasant symptoms are not an inevitable part of menopause. The natural approach is a healthy, balanced lifestyle with herbal remedies that offers a safe and gentle alternative for hormonal balance. The natural approach will open up a new world of hope and healing that will not only help you deal with current menopausal symptoms, but also help reduce your risk of future serious age related diseases such as, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. To use natural healing methods effectively requires modifying our habits and developing a good deal of discipline.

The interest in natural herbal medicine among physicians especially the younger generation is growing by leaps and bounds. The National Institutes of Health, which recently opened its office of Alternative Medicine, is funding a study at Columbia University on the influence of diet and plant medicines on women at midlife. More and more M.D.’s are taking the time to learn about herbal medicine, which can lead to greater acceptance of traditional herbal medicine and less reliance on pharmaceutical companies for information on how to treat their patients. The American public at large is showing greater interest in herbal remedies outside the boundaries of heavily advertised proprietary products.

The plant world provides us both food and medicine. Herbs come in many forms, from teas to capsules and everything in between, and can be used for almost every menopause symptoms. The list of plants with estrogen-receptor activity are damiana, blessed thistle, saw palmetto, dong quai, alfalfa, black cohosh, fennel, anise, flaxseed, yellow dock, hops, sesame, garlic and many of the fresh dried beans, cabbage, and olives. Herbal progesterone-like qualities are found in sarsaparilla, ginseng, licorice root, bloodroot, red clover, nettle leaf, nutmeg, damiana, turmeric, sage, oregano, thyme, and unicorn root.

Some of the herbs like damiana, dong quai and fennel have active progestogenic as well as estrogenic substances. Motherwort, chamomile, and chaste berry are good for relaxing the nervous system and reducing hot flashes, night sweats, and heart palpitations. For muscular spasms or cramps, lack of energy, or mild depression, skullcap is recommended. To relieve vaginal dryness you could include licorice, wild yam, and goldenseal. Black cohosh functions in a similar way to human estriol. This herb is also thought by some to be able to balance one’s own estrogen. If hot flashes or vaginal dryness persist, the use of maca root supplements, rather than the use of those of an estrogenic nature, often provides a valuable partner to progesterone.

There has been research, documentation, and testimonials showing how rebalancing our hormone levels with herbal medicine will aid in relieving women of many uncomfortable PMS and menopausal symptoms. The time has come for us to educate ourselves about all our available options, and that includes alternative medicine, which offers a gentler approach to dealing with menopause symptoms.