Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms
Whilst some women are happy to choose only hormone replacement therapy, for many women, this is not really needed.
Natural remedies for menopause, in the form of vitamins, herbs, soy, and dietary changes, can help with the symptoms of menopause.
And even for those women who find they need or prefer HRT, alternative treatments for menopause can still be a useful adjunct for easing symptoms and staying healthy.
Naturopathic treatments use a variety of modalities like nutrition, herbs and vitamins, and homeopathy. Many naturopaths are also qualified in massage, though not all may offer this as a form of treatment, preferring to focus on nutrition and ingestive treatments. To find a good natural therapist, contact the governing body for natural therapists in your country.
Naturopaths are usually well trained in a basic understanding of what is going on in your body, and will make a treatment plan up based on their diagnosis on what your particular needs are. This typically takes the form of an interview with them or a questionaire. But if you are at risk of developing heart diseae or some other serious illness, you should not rely solely on a naturaopath. But they can still be a useful adjunct with your doctor.
And of course, you can also try pre-made natural remedies for menopause. They usually consist of herbs, and sometimes other active constituents.
Some herbs have been studied quite a lot in relation to menopause. These include black cohosh, which is used in popular natural remedies for menopause like remifemin. Black cohosh is a great natural remedy for menopause that helps with hot flushes, heart palpitations, painful periods, migraines, and anxiety.
St Johns’s Wort is alternative herb which can be really a useful remedy, and is well researched. St Johns Wort is excellent for mild forms of depression and anxiety, although if you are taking prescription antidepressants you shoud not take St Johns Wort as well.
At different times in your life, your body will naturally lack different vitamins. While you can often get the nutrients you need from food, it’s worth talking with your doctor about extra supplements that may help you throughout menopause.
Vitamins represent an important component of any natural remedies for menopause. Whilst it is ideal to get all of our nutrients from food, unless we are very careful about our diet and only eat organic food, the chances that we may be missing some vitamins and minerals rise.
Having the right supply of vitamins helps protect our body from disease, and may help ease menopause symptoms. Look for a good quality multi vitamin that has:
- 400mg of vitamin D
- 50 – 100mg of vitamin B6, but no more than 200mg
- 50 – 100 mcg vitamin B12
- 400 mcg folic acid
- 100mcg vitamin K
- 3mg boron
- 600 mg magnesium – you may need to get this in an additional supplement
- 200 mcg selenium
If your multi vitamin doesn’t quite have all the above, you may want to take the difference in an additional supplement. Don’t take more than the suggested amounts though. It is just more work for your body to excrete the excess, and some fat soluble vitamins build up in your tissues and become toxic. And some minerals are toxic in higher doses.
Other vitamins that make a good natural remedy for menopause, to take in addition to the multi vitamin:
- Vitamin C – 500 mg twice a day. If your multi vitamin contains vitamin C, subtract that amount and take the difference
- Vitamin A – 5000 IU – Don’t exceed this however as vitamin A is a fat suloble vitamin and can accumulate in the tissues and become toxic
- Vitamin E – 400 – 800 IU per day
- 1200 mg calcium split up into 2 doses at different times of the day. Only so much calcium can be absorbed by the body at a time
- Mixed carotenes like beta carotene – 3 – 6mg per day
- Coenzyme Q10 – 50 mg per day unless you’re at risk of heart disease, in which case take 100 mg per day
- Phosphatidyl serine (PS) and acetyle-l-carnitine – take 100 – 300 mg PS, and 500 – 2000 mg ALC
Soy has recieved a lot of publicity in relation to menopause, and one of it’s benefits is in helping alleviate hot flushes. The best source of soy is in food, and these days many cereal based products like bread and breakfast cereals come with soy in them. It’s thus a true ‘home’ remedy for menopause!
The ‘active constituents’ in soy that provide that act as a natural remedy for the menopause are the soy isoflavones, and it is suggested that you take 50 mg of soy isoflavones per day by Dr Corio. However, she also writes that soy protein is needed for the body to receive the benefits of these isoflavones. So you should make sure you get 30g of soy protein a day from food.
Food sources of soy protein include tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and of course, soybeans.
Whilst not a natural remedy for the menopause in the classical sense of the term, diet (and exercise) play an important role. It’s no good taking handfuls of supplements and neglecting the fundamental facts of what we eat.The zone diet and the mediterranean diet are both very healthy options that will also help control weight. However, even just increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat, choosing lean cuts of meat, avoiding processed meats, and using good quality fats like unprocessed coconut oil, will go a long way.