When you buy an herbal menopause remedy, make sure that it contains herbs with phytoestrogenic properties. Otherwise, your remedy will not do much to remove your hot flash! Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring substances in plants that can affect the function of estrogen in the body. Although they can alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause by affecting estrogen activity, phytoestrogens are not “real” estrogens in the sense that they are similar to the estrogens produced by our bodies. Phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors in the same way that real estrogens do, and can have either pro-estrogenic or anti-estrogenic effects – depending on how saturated the receptors are. In a low-estrogen body, like menopause, empty estrogen receptors can accept phytoestrogens, which have a weak pro-estrogen effect and relieve the symptoms of menopause.
Unlike synthetic estrogens, which are stored in fat and stay in our bodies longer, phytoestrogens only act on the precursor of estrogen. This way, you can enjoy the relief of the estrogen boost without worrying about the serious health effects of estrogen dominance through hormone replacement therapy. Below are the five most effective phytoestrogens for menopause relief.
Black cohosh – a very effective menopause herbal treatment
Black cohosh is one of the tallest flowering shrubs grown in North America. It is known to contain a non-steroidal phytoestrogen called isoflavones, which can regulate temperature, strengthen bones and provide vaginal lubrication. These effects are seen when the black cohosh reaches the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls hormone production and body temperature. Many women swear by the ability of black cohosh to relieve the discomfort caused by hot flashes and night sweats. Black cohosh can be taken daily for up to six months, but should not be used as a long-term remedy. Since the herb is known to increase the number of liver enzymes, people with liver disorders should not take Black Cohosh.
Ashwagandha – A treatment to improve speech
According to Ayurveda, the ancient healing tradition of India, menopause is caused by hot flashes, anxiety and insomnia due to excess energy. Vata is the air and space energy that regulates motion, breathing, blood circulation and heart rate. Balance in speech is characterized by vitality and creativity. Imbalances cause anxiety, fear and other physical symptoms. Ayurvedic approaches to the treatment of menopause include correcting vata imbalances with herbs like Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha plant is an important plant for Ayurvedic medicine because of its beneficial properties, including flavonoids and phytoestrogens that can reduce inflammation, reduce stress, stimulate the body and serve as an antioxidant.
Ginseng – a reliable menopausal herb
Perennial plant ginseng is one of the most popular herbal remedies for menopause, especially for hot flashes and heartburn. Although there have been few human studies on the effect of ginseng on the symptoms of menopause, animal studies have shown that ginseng lowers body temperature by releasing the adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is responsible for triggering the use of glucose and fatty acids, which are important substances that help the body cope with stress. Increased levels of ACTH were also found to counteract the increase in skin temperature that results from hot flashes. Although ginseng is primarily a stimulant, it was also found to be helpful in dealing with menopausal-induced insomnia.
Dong Kwai – Another menopause natural remedy for hot flashes
Often referred to as “female ginseng” for its benefits to female reproductive health, Dong Kwai is another important herbal remedy for the symptoms of menopause. In addition to having high concentrations of phytoestrogens, dong quai also contains vitamins A, E and B12. The herb also relieves hot flashes by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow. Clinical studies on Dong Kwai have shown that menopausal women who take a daily dose of 400 mg of the herb experience a 25% reduction in hot flashes. Dong Kwai is especially powerful when black cohosh is used.
Red clover – for relief of menopausal symptoms
Last but certainly not least is the red clover, a plant grown primarily for grazing purposes. Today, however, red clover is an important remedy for uncomfortable menopause symptoms. Clinical trials on red clover supplementation have shown that it can reduce the frequency of hot flashes and the intensity of mood swings. In addition to relieving discomfort in menopause, red clover can maintain your state of health. Its high calcium and magnesium content make the herb a great protector against osteoporosis and loss of bone density. Red clover is also believed to increase the amount of good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
Remember, herbal remedies can interact with the prescription drugs you are currently taking. Consult your doctor or licensed herbalist before taking any supplement.