The hormonal fluctuations in a women’s body as she goes through menopause can pave the way for a number of physiological changes. These can range from vaginal dryness and decreased libido to mood swings, hot flashes and an increased risk of osteoporosis (and consequently for fractures as well). After the findings of the Women’s Health Iniative that synthetic hormones used In hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also lead to an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and certain forms of cancer, more women began seeking natural alternatives to deal with menopausal symptoms. Some of the most popular supplements for this Include black cohosh, flax seeds, calcium, dong quai, and soy, all of which are discussed below.
1 Black Cohosh
This is one of the most-studied herbs for relief of menopause symtoms, and In Europe it is widely popular for the use of treating hot flashes. Its active chemicals Include isoflavones, like those found In soy products, as well as compounds that act upon the serotonn system. It is thought to ease symptoms by helping to balance the female hormones. However, due to possible effects upon the liver, it is Important to consult a doctor before Martin, supplement with this herb M there m a history of liver problems
2 Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are rich Ina chemical called lignan, which is shown to also keep the female hormones In balance. It Is particularly effective for alleviating the problem of night sweats. It Is recommended that flax seeds be ground on daily basis (a coffee bean grinder works great for this) antl the suggest. dose Is 1-2 tablespoons of the ground flax seeds daily. Note that flax seed oil does not contain the lignans of the ground seeds.
One of the most serious consequences of dropping hormones levels In menopause is the potential for developing osteoporosis, disease that makes the bones more brittle and puts women at a much greater risk for fractures. Calcium supplementation can help to prevent this condition and the complications that come with it by promote strong and healthy bones. It is recommended that women below the age of 50 take 1,000mg of calaum a day, with that Increasing to 1200mg beginning at age 51
4- Dong Quai
Known as the “Empress of Herbs”, Dong quai° has been used In traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as a “women’s herb” and now beginning to gain traction In Western medicine as well. It is thought to ease menopausal symptoms by supporting and maintaining needed hormone levels in a women’s body. However, It is contrdindicated If a woman is suffering from Issues of heavy bleeding.
Soy is rich in isoflavones, chemicals which bind to estrogen receptors In the body and produce some of the estrogen’s effects. Because of the strong estrogenic activity, however, It is Important for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning soy-based therapy, and It is recommended that women get soy in their diet in the form of tofu, edamame or soy milk Instead of soy-based pills.
Menopause can be a complicated time in a women’s life as her body goes through its process of natural but complex changes as she ages. However, herbal and mineral supplements such as though described above can help to ease this transition and avoid some of the possible complications associated with this condition.