Menopause can be quite a difficult time in a woman’s life. Along with professional medical treatment, there are some additional alternative treatments and herbal remedies that you can try in order to deal with menopause the natural way.
Simply put, menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having her menstrual periods, signaling an end to her ability to reproduce. Doctors term it menopause when there are no menstrual periods for a duration of 12 years, and this is the time when the functioning of your ovaries cease. Usually, menopause occurs in women around the ages of 48-55 years; the average age of women in the United States hitting menopause is 51 years. Sometimes, women may also experience premature menopause, which means the condition may occur in women who are younger than 40 years old.
Menopause is not something that happens overnight, but it is a gradual process that might vary for every woman. Similarly, the treatment options for menopause are customized for every woman. There are various symptoms that accompany menopause, and the most common ones include hot flashes, mood changes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, weight gain, and loss of hair. However, menopause is a natural biological process for women, and you can stay healthy by dealing with your symptoms in an appropriate manner. If you notice any of the menopausal symptoms happening to you, visit a doctor and seek guidance to deal with the symptoms that are specific to you. In addition, there are some alternative treatments and herbal remedies that can be quite effective in managing the symptoms. Here are some ways that you can try to get relief from your menopause symptoms.
Black cohosh: Black cohosh is a herb whose root is used for medicinal purposes, and it is quite popular with women dealing with hot flashes as a symptom of menopause. In fact, this plant, which comes from the buttercup family, is one of the longest-studied natural remedies for this symptom. Black cohosh contains various chemicals that are considered to work in a manner that is similar to the serotonin chemical in the brain, which eases feelings of depression and regulates your body temperature. This root also has been found to have effects similar to the female hormone, estrogen. You can take black cohosh in the form of tablets, capsules, or just by mixing it in water.
Soy: Phytoestrogens or plant estrogens are often used to combat menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. And one of the forms in which you can consume phytoestrogens is soy. Although there are opposing views of researchers regarding the effectiveness of soy in handling menopausal symptoms, many women have found it to reduce hot flashes and bring some relief from the symptoms of menopause. However, the best way is to consult with your doctor before you start consuming soy products so as to eliminate any risks.
Tofu: Similar to soy, tofu is another food that is high in phytoestrogens, and can help you deal with your menopausal symptoms. There are certain kinds of phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which are found in tofu and other soy products, that can help reduce hot flashes as well as vaginal dryness—common problems that women face during menopause. Eating 200-250g of tofu every day will help you consume the recommended amount of isoflavones amount i.e. 60mg a day.
Ginseng: A herb used by the native Americans, Chinese, and Koreans for over 5,000 year, Ginseng is known for its therapeutic health benefits. It has been widely used for relief from health issues faced by women such as PMS and menopause. It was primarily used to boost brain function and memory, but has also been used by women to get relief from common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and anxiety. Ginseng can be found in most grocery stores, and you can take it as a powder, extract, or tea.
St. John’s Wort: Another one of the herbs that is popular in the U.S., St. John’s Wort has been used as a herbal remedy to treat mood swings, depression, and anxiety in menopausal women. This herb also helps in improving sleep and relaxing women during that difficult time. St. John’s Wort is derived from Hypericum perforatum, a wild flowering plant, the leaves and flowers of which are harvested and dried. You can use this herb in the form of a liquid, pill, or by brewing the dried leaves in your tea.
Flaxseed (ground or oil): Another source of phytoestrogens, flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lignans and may help reduce hot flashes during menopause. In addition, flaxseeds have many other health benefits, including the ability to lower cholesterol. However, avoid consuming whole flaxseeds as they may be difficult to digest; instead, you can use it as an oil or grind them and add a few spoonfuls to yogurt or cereal.
Vitamin D: During menopause, it is also important for you to intake sufficient quantities of Vitamin D. This helps in hormone balance, bone renewal, and normal cell growth and the lack of this essential vitamin can put you at a risk of bone density loss. Incorporate foods in your diet that are rich in Vitamin D, some of which include eggs, fortified dairy products, sardines, and tuna.
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