is the period in a woman's life when menstruation permanently ceases.
This typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, although it may
occur as early as 35, and generally lasts from two to five years. The
symptoms themselves may begin years before the cessation of menstruation.
This is because the drop in hormones is gradual and actually begins
in the mid 20s.
women chose to go on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This involves
taking either synthetic hormones or hormones produced from other animals.
Several studies have shown that HRT results in an increased risk for
endometrial and breast cancers, circulatory disorders, stroke, fibroid
tumors, and fibrocystic breasts. HRT is not actually necessary. Unfortunately,
in our society menopause is considered to be a medical condition that
must be treated. In truth, it is a completely natural cycle in a woman's
life. In most cultures, menopause is associated with very few symptoms,
and sometimes none at all! Menopausal symptoms actually result from
the typical American lifestyle and cultural views. If a woman views
menopause not with dread but with a positive outlook and makes a few
lifestyle changes it is possible to go through menopause relatively
free from difficulty.
Adopting a low-fat, high-fiber diet low in animal products is perhaps
the best way to control menopausal symptoms. The typical American diet
(high-fat & meat) produces high estrogen levels and often results
in severe menopausal problems. A healthy, primarily vegetarian diet
keeps hormone levels steady therefore resulting in a significant decrease
in symptoms. It is also wise to avoid alcohol and coffee. Both worsen
most recommended foods are whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, seaweed,
miso, tofu, tempeh, seeds and nuts, especially sunflower seeds.
rich in phytoestrgens help prevent hot flashes and other symptoms. The
best choices are: tofu and other soy products, yams, carrots, apples,
and post-menopausal woman are at an increased risk of osteoporosis.
For this reason it is a good idea to eat more calcium-rich foods such
as: sesame seeds, almonds, low-fat yogurt, and dark leafy greens such
as kale, collards, and broccoli.
foods help balance the hormones. There are many choices making it easy
to add these foods to your diet: alfalfa, anise, apples, barley, carrots,
cherries, clover, fennel, garlic, green beans, hops, licorice, oats,
parsley, peas, pomegranates, potatoes, red beans, rice, rye, sage, sesame
seeds, soybeans, sprouts, wheat, and yeast.
E stabilizes blood vessels reducing the sudden dilation that causes
hot flashes. While it can be taken as a supplement, there are also several
foods that naturally contain Vitamin E: Wheat germ & wheat germ
oil, corn, safflower, sesame, soy, peanut oils, seeds, peanuts, Brazil
nuts, hazelnuts, cucumber, peas, asparagus, brown rice and millet.
symptoms, it is best to avoid these foods: animal foods, fat from fried
foods and dairy products, sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol,
the Santa Fe Health Education Project)
- 2 Tbsp alfalfa
seeds steeped for 10 minutes in boiling water. Take with lemon
three times a day.
- 1oz Wild
Marjoram in one pint hot, but not boiling, water. Allow to cool,
then strain and add one cup of port wine. Take 1 Tbsp three
times a day before meals.
- Two parts
each Motherwort and Red Sage to one part each Tansy, Pennyroyal,
and Skullcap. Take one teaspoonful (steeped for 10 minutes in
boiling water, then cooled to lukewarm) three times a day before
Drink 1 tsp. Dried sage steeped for 10 minutes in one cup of boiling
2 parts Chaste Tree berry
2 parts Wild Yam
1 part Black Cohosh
1 part Goldenseal
1 part Life Root
1 part Oats
1 part St. John's Wort
three times daily for several months until menopause symptoms
are no longer present. In cases of associated anxiety or depression,
Skullcap or Valerian may be added.
Use Motherwort in place of St. John's Wort if heart palpitations
or high blood pressure are present. Do not use if pregnant. If
Skullcap or Valerian is added, they may cause drowsiness.
300-500 mg Magnesium
1200 mg Calcium (1/2 in morning, ½ at night)
400 IU Vitamin E ~ for best results, combine with 50 mg Selenium
15 mg Beta-Carotene
100-500 mg Vitamin C
15 mg Zinc
Multivitamin with 100% of the following: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin,
B6, B12, Pantothenic Acid
Clary Sage Essential Oil may help ease hot flashes. It can be added
to a home diffuser or, for portable relief, add a few drops to a handkerchief
and inhale whenever a hot flash is coming on. Keep the handkerchief
in a Ziploc baggie to keep the scent from fading.
To reduce the severity of hot flashes swallow a teaspoon or two of aloe
vera juice before meals and before bed. BE SURE the aloe is specified
for internal use.
Cohosh reduces hot flashes and nervous tension. Pour a cup of
water onto ½ - 1 teaspoon of the dried root and bring to a
boil. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.
Berry helps balance the hormones. Take ½ tsp of tincture
3-4 times a day.
quai, Alfalfa, and Black Cohosh
all stimulate estrogen production. Take ½ tsp of tincture or
two capsules three times a day.
will relive heart palpitations. Take ½ tsp of tincture or two
capsule three times a day. Combine with sage to relieve hot flashes.
Ginseng strengthens the adrenal glands. Take 1.2 tsp of tincture
or two capsules twice a day.
Take if usually talkative & dizzy, have headache when you wake,
tight feeling around belly, hot flashes, unusually heavy menstrual flow
- Sepia: Take
if irritable, chilly, tearful, backache, periods of sweating, hot flashes,
unusually heavy menstrual flow
- Amyl nitrosum:
Take for hot flashes that develop suddenly
Take if hot flashes, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, prefer open air, often
weepy and chilled
- Sulphuric acidum:
Take if fatigued, hot flashes worse in evening or after exercise
- Kali carbionicum:
Take if hot flashes worse at 3 am, loss of appetite, backaches, heart
palpitations, and nervousness
Meditation, yoga, and slow, deep breathing have all been shown to significantly
reduce menopausal symptoms. Try deep breathing twice a day for about 15
minutes each time. You can also practice deep breathing whenever a hot
flash is coming on as a preventative.
also been found that menopausal symptoms often reduce immediately after
thing to remember is that this is an entirely natural process. It is not
a medical condition that must be treated and hidden away. Our bodies know
exactly what they are doing. Trust your body and yourself. Many women
find that they are entering a time of new freedom and wisdom. Don't ignore
this great change. Celebrate it!
Ilana and Penny Edwards, 1998, Homeopathy: An Illustrated Guide,
Element Books Limited: Boston MA.
+ Freeman, Sally, 1996, Everywoman's Guide to Natural Home Remedies,
Doubleday Direct, Inc: Garden City, New York.
+ Gottlieb, Bill (ed.), 1995, New Choices in Natural Healing, Rondale
Press, Inc: Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
+ Heinerman, John, 1996, Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs
and Spices, Prentice Hall: Paramus, NJ.
+ Hoffman, David, 1998, Holistic Herbal, Element Books Limited:
+ Lininger, Schuyler et al, 1999, The Natural Pharmacy, Prima Publishing:
+ Monte, Tom, 1997, The Complete Guide to Natural Healing, Perigee
Books: New York, NY.
contained herein is not intended to replace the services of trained health
professionals. You are advised to consult with your health care professional
with regard to matters relating to your health, and in particular regarding
matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
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+ basket of carrots, © Ian Britton, courtesy of FreeFoto.com