Natural Home Remedies for Menopause
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life (typically around the ages of 45-50) when she stops menstruating.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
These are possible symptoms though anyone may have none, a few, or many:
- Dry hair or skin
- Hot flashes
- Irregular or no menstruation
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Pain during intercourse
- Reduced libido
- Sleep disturbances
- Vaginal dryness
Since menopause cannot be cured, a doctor only can treat the symptoms. Common treatment is with hormone replacement therapy, which may decrease the hot flashes and some other symptoms.
If you have had cancer or are on medications for other conditions, consult your doctor before using herbs, oils and supplements.
A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense for dealing with any physical challenge. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan. If you take good care of your body with diet and exercise, the symptoms of menopause are likely to be less impactful than if you do not.
FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Bone broth
- Calcium-rich foods
- Fiber-rich foods
- Soy milk
- Whole grains, if you must have grains at all
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID OR REDUCE
- Food additives
- Processed foods
- Processed sugars
- Spicy foods
- Trans fats
TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS
- Black cohosh
- Chaste berry
- Dong quai
- Green tea
- Lemon balm
- Raspberry leaf
- Red Clover
HERBS AND SPICES
- St. John’s Wort
- Wild yam
Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.
- Black currant
- Clary sage
- Evening primrose oil
- Vitex Agnus-Castus
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.
- Calcium or calcium-rich foods
- Diatomaceous earth
- Red clover
- St. John’s Wort
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin D (better if you can get it from sunshine)
- Vitamin E
Decrease in estrogen causes all kinds of dryness so be sure to stay hydrated for the sake of all your membranes, tissues and organs. Proper hydration also helps to control your body temperature. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.
Being overweight may have an effect on the severity of your hot flashes. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.
Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies, which of course means your immune system is compromised. You need the best physical resources to make your way through the long menopause journey. With all the possible and uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, it may be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. See the entry on Insomnia for some ideas on how to improve your chances of quality sleep.
Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health and can worsen your symptoms. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate. Do what works for you to keep mellow. Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:
- Art therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Music Therapy
- Qi Gong
- Tai Chi
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Carry a small spray bottle of water and use it when you feel hot.
- Chamomile tea as a vaginal wash
- Eat small meals, another way to regulate your temperature.
- Get a purse-sized fan to use during a hot flash.
- Honey water as a vaginal wash (1 tsp honey to 1 C. water)
- Keep the heat turned down as low as is comfortable.
- Notice what the triggers are for hot flashes and try to eliminate them. It may be a certain food or situation. It could be alcohol or caffeine.
- Wear natural fibers in layers. The layers are to help you compensate when you start to feel warm.
- Wild yam for vaginal dryness
- Use lubricants for vaginal dryness.
- A couple drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil
- Aloe vera gel mixed with equal parts of milk and aloe vera juice
- Cocount oil
- Olive oil
- Vitamin E oil
Plant-based estrogens should not be used for women with a history of certain kinds of cancer so if you’ve had cancer, please consult your doctor before using herbal remedies.