Trusting an Herbal Remedy for Menopause

When a woman begins to feel the symptoms of menopause, they’re generally unmistakable; hot flashes, irregular menstrual periods, night sweats, fatigue, insomnia, mood irritability, depression, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness and skin wrinkling. Most women believe that they have only two options: to simply endure these uncomfortable symptoms until they cease when the woman becomes post-menopausal, or seek a prescription for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Since menopause is caused by the body’s cessation in producing the hormone estrogen, HRT consists of an estrogen pill or wearing an estrogen patch, the symptoms of menopause are relieved. For the past decade a medical debate has raged about the safety of HRT; does it, or does it not increase a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer? This still-unresolved debate has frightened many women away from HRT and sparked a new interest in herbal remedies for menopause.

While the interest in herbal remedies for menopause may be new, the remedies themselves are far from new. On the contrary, these remedies have been used for a thousand years – perhaps even longer. Before there were pills and patches, there were herbal remedies for menopause that are still safe and effective.

These remedies were, and are, practiced by Asian herbalists, Indian Ayurveda medicine practitioners and Native American healers. If herbal remedies for menopause didn’t work, they surely wouldn’t have been used for countless years even though modern medicine can provide relief from troublesome symptoms – but at the price of fear of potentially fatal side effects.

Best Known Herbal Remedies for Menopause

By far, the most effective and enduring herbal remedy for menopause is black cohosh root. For centuries beyond count the root of this common shrub has been touted as a cure-all for the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Black cohosh is found in Canada and the United States; it was introduced to Asia and India via the former land bridge between Alaska and what is now part of Russia.

The root relieves hot flashes, migraines, irritability, vaginal dryness and insomnia. The active ingredient in the root isn’t known. It has no side effects, but cannot be used by pregnant women since it could cause miscarriage. You shouldn’t use black cohosh as an herbal remedy for menopause for more than six months without talking with your physician.

Dong quai is a mainstay of ancient Asian medicine and a very effective herbal remedy for menopause. In Chinese medicine dong quai is used not only to treat menopause symptoms, but other gynecological issues such as menstrual cramps, irregular menstruation and pre-menstrual syndrome. Its mechanism of action is not known, which is also true for a great many modern prescription medications.

Red clover is widely grown as a crop that helps increase the nitrogen content of soil in the United States and other countries. As an herbal remedy for menopause, red clover is particularly helpful in relieving hot flashes. It contains substances that act similarly to a mild form of plant-based estrogen. Red clover should not be used in conjunction with prescription hormone replacement therapy.

A powerful and effective herbal remedy for menopause is soy isoflavones, a substance found in soybean products like tofu and soy milk. Soy, like red clover, acts like a mild plant-based estrogen that has none of the problems of “artificial” estrogen. It is an herbal remedy for menopause that’s said to relieve all the primary troublesome symptoms for most women. So, do your research, and you are sure to find a remedy that helps your menopause.

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