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Herbs for Menopause

Herbs that are used to treat the symptoms associated with menopause.
Menopause is the stage in a woman's life where the body goes through changes. For some, it is a time of jubilation, which foretells freedom from monthly periods, while for others, menopause brings with it emotional and physical upheaval.

Every woman at some time or another will seek relief from the symptoms of menopause, which include insomnia, depression, bloating, stiff joints, vaginal dryness, sore breasts, depression and hot flashes. Women usually find hot flashes the most uncomfortable among all these symptoms. Hot flashes are characterized by sweating, a sudden increase in heart rate and peripheral blood flow.

Hot flashes have been associated with a decline in estrogen levels. For the past several years, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) has been used to treat hot flashes and menopausal discomfort. Since women with a history of cancer are not able to use ERT, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used instead. Hormone retail therapy (HRT) combines estrogen with synthetic progesterone.

Why herbal remedy?

Women all over the world prefer to use natural medicines to effectively assist in the transition from the reproductive to the post- productive phase of life. This is preferred because women do not want to take the potential increased risk of cancer associated with ERT, or dislike the bleeding sometimes caused by HRT, or they do not want to consume pills.

Herbalists and naturopaths use remedies and supplements to help the person, who is going through the symptoms of menopause.

A few single herb preparations are available on the shelves of most health food shops, these can be easily recommended to women as a starting point. The most popular over the counter preparations include black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and both these herbs have been used to treat menopause effectively.

Here are the names of herbs that have been found useful in dealing with menopause:
  • Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
  • Chaste tree (Vilex agnus- castus)
  • Damiana (Turnera diffuse)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
  • False unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus, Panax quinquefolius)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Liferoot (Senecio Bursas)
  • Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
  • Red clover (Tritolium pretense)
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis)
  • St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis)
  • Saw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata)
  • Shepherd's purse (CapseIla bursapastoris)
  • True unicorn root (Aletris farinosa)
  • Wild yam (Dioscarea villosa)
By Rachna Gupta
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