Are you a female in your mid-to-late 40s or early 50s and experiencing the following symptoms?
– Hot flashes
– Night sweats
– Weight gain
– Poor sleep
– Mood swings
– Changes in your cycles
It sounds like your body may be transitioning into menopause. Menopause is defined as when a woman ceases to have a period for a full year. However, hormone changes may occur months to years leading up to menopause – a period of time called ‘peri’-menopause. The duration and extent of symptoms experienced during peri-menopause can be different for each woman. Instead of suffering through these symptoms or resorting to medications with various risks and side effects, natural relief is possible!
Herbal Remedies for Menopause
Alongside many treatment options, I have found herbal remedies to work fairly quickly and effectively in helping women manage their peri-menopausal symptoms. I am fortunate to have access to various herbs that allow me to customize and tailor each remedy for my patients. Here are few of the most commonly used herbs for menopause:
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
One of the many favourites for helping the body adapt to new hormone levels, Black Cohosh has a long-standing history of research and use in menopause. Many clinical studies showed a positive result on decreasing the symptoms of hot flushes and genital atrophy with using standardized Black Cohosh extract (liquid and tablet forms) in as little as 6 weeks time.1,2
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
The berries of the Chaste Tree plant also has a long historical use for menstrual irregularities and PMS. It has been shown to influence the pituitary gland, support dopamine production, and indirectly promotes progesterone levels.3,4 All of these actions can be helpful with alleviating menopausal symptoms.
Motherwort (Leonarus cardiaca)
This particular herb helps decrease the intensity of hot flushes or sweating by regulating blood flow in the body.5 One interesting study showed improved fat metabolism by administering Motherwort extract for 6 weeks to menopausal mice.6
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
Dong quai is a popular herb used in Chinese medicine for addressing hormone changes during menopause. It is often referred to as the “female ginseng” because of its balancing effect on the female hormone system. There are no studies to date showing an effect on its own, but there are studies supporting its use for menopausal symptoms when used in conjunction with other herbs.7,8
In addition to herbal remedies, I have seen great results with acupuncture, specific dietary and lifestyle strategies. If you are tired of dealing with your symptoms and are looking at taking better control and improving your quality of life, we have effective options specific for each unique woman.
~ Dr. Patti
1.Stolze H. An alternative to treat menopausal complaints. Gyne 1982; 3(1): 14-16
2. Stoll W. Phytotherapy influences atrophic vaginal epithelium-double-blind study—cimicifuga vs. estrogenic substances. Therapeutikon 1987; 1:23-31.
3. Sliutz G, Speiser P, Schultz AM et al. Agnus castus extracts inhibit prolactin secretion of rat pituitary cells. Horm Metab Res 1993; 25(5): 253-255.
4. Winterhoff H. Abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society 1996; 212 (1-2): AGFD 105.
5. Bernatoniene Jet al. The effect of Leonurus cardiaca herb extract and some of its flavonoids on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in the heart. Planta Med.2014 May;80(7):525-32.
6. Kim Jet al. Inhibitory effects of Leonurus sibiricus on weight gain after menopause in ovariectomized and high-fat diet-fed mice. J Nat Med.2016 Jul;70(3):522-30.
7. Kupfersztain C, Rotem C, Fagot R, Kaplan B. “The Immediate Effect of Natural Plant Extract, Angelica Sinensis and Matricaria Chamomilla (Climex) for the Treatment of Hot Flushes During Menopause. A Preliminary Report.” Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2003;30(4):203-6.
8. Rotem C, Kaplan B. “Phyto-Female Complex for the Relief of Hot Flushes, Night Sweats and Quality of Sleep: Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study.” Gynecol Endocrinol. 2007 Feb;23(2):117-22.