If you want to treat your menopause symptoms without hormone replacement therapy, there are several herbal remedies you can try to combat hot flashes, depression, difficulty sleeping, and moodiness. Here are 7 herbs that are often used to treat menopause symptoms.
1. Blash Cohosh
Black cohosh is one of the most widely-studied herbal remedies for menopause and research seems to back its use. In one study, menopausal women who took black cohosh for three months reduced their average number of hot flashes from five to one per day. It seems that black cohosh supports hormone levels to reduce the severity of hot flashes. Black cohosh does not seem to have estrogenic activity, which means it should be safe for women with a history of breast cancer.
Black cohosh has also been found effective at reducing memory loss and improving mood swings. Try taking two 500mg tablets or capsules per day for at least three months to see if it works for you.
2. Vitamin E
Taking 400 IUs of natural vitamin E every day may help reduce hot flashes. Vitamin E seems to work best in treating mild hot flashes. Make sure you do not take a dosage higher than 400 IUs per day because high dosages may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
While chasteberry is best known for relieving PMS symptoms, it’s commonly used in Europe to relieve menopause symptoms. You can take two 500mg tablets per day for at least three months.
Valerian is widely used for insomnia and it can be helpful in treating the insomnia the often comes with menopause. If you have trouble falling asleep or you wake often and have trouble getting back to sleep, try taking valerian about thirty minutes before bed. Valerian works almost immediately and it can be used in the long-term to help you improve your sleep quality. Do not take valerian with any other sleep medications for insomnia.
5. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is one of the most widely used herbal remedies for depression and it can help treat mild depression and mood swings during menopause. You can take it as a dried herb in tablet form up to three times a day. You can use St. John’s wort in the long-term but make sure you take it daily for up to eight weeks to see if it helps. Don’t take St. John’s wort with prescription antidepressants.
You may find that flaxseed oil relieves some of the mildest symptoms of menopause, particularly night sweats. Flaxseed is also high in lignans, which help to balance estrogen and other hormones.
7. Wild Yam
Bioidentical hormones are made using wild yam, as the components in wild yams are very similar to the estrogen and progesterone your body produces. You may find relieve by using creams or pills made from wild yam, although it’s unknown if the compounds are active in everyone.
Remember that not all herbal supplements are safe for everyone. Be sure to discuss any herbal remedies with your physician to make sure they’re safe for you to take considering any other health conditions you have or medications you take. If you don’t get any relief from herbal remedies, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone therapy. Bioidentical hormones are produced using wild yams; they are not artificial hormones made in a lab. You can learn more about bioidentical hormone replacement here.