Herbs for Menopause – Overview

Menopause marks the end of fertility and menstruation and affects all women, usually when they are in their early 50’s. It is a natural biological process rather than a medical condition, but during the lead up to menopause, some women experience symptoms including night sweats, hot flashes, depression and weight gain.

Though some women promptly adjust to these symptoms, some other women would preferably opt for medical treatment such as hormone replacement therapy as they find it rather difficult to adjust to these symptoms. Some herbs can also help relieve symptoms, although the evidence to prove they are effective is limited. Seek medical advice before taking any herbal supplements.

Herbs for menopause: Examples and administration

The medical center at the University of Maryland cites several herbs that can help the relief of menopausal symptoms, including black cohosh and red clover. Black cohosh is a member of the family and contains a number of biologically active compounds that may have similar effects to the hormone, although the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center notes the evidence to show that this is mixed.

Red clover contains chemicals called isoflavones, which, according to RxList, are modified by the body to produce compounds that act similarly to the female sex hormone estrogen. Ask your doctor how much of these herbs you need to take to relieve symptoms.

Effectiveness of herbs for menopause:

Is there any proof that red clover and black cohosh can help reduce menopausal symptoms? The results of a report by Pockaj undergraduate and colleagues, published in the 2004 edition of “Cancer Research” reveal that black cohosh reduces the frequency of hot flashes, a common symptom of menopause.

However, an analysis of clinical data by Borrelli f. and e. Ernst, published in the July 2008 “Pharmacological Research” concluded that the efficacy of black cohosh as a treatment for menopausal symptoms is uncertain and more trials are needed.

In addition, a placebo-controlled trial by SE Geller et al., Published in the November 2009 edition of “Menopause,” found that though supplements of red clover and black cohosh did not induce adverse consequence, nor were more efficacious than placebo.

Side effects of herbs for menopause:

Red clover is credibly dependable, according to RxList, but there is a likelyhood it can cause nausea, vaginal bleeding, a rash and headache. . If you choose to use Black cohosh you may experience a number of side effects, including headaches, nausea and vomiting. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also notes that the use of this herb has been linked to liver problems, including hepatitis. Use this herb only under medical supervision.

Herbs for menopause: Contraindications

Red clover is contraindicated in certain conditions, including ovarian, breast and uterine cancer and a condition called protein s deficiency. Also avoid this herb if you have a bleeding disorder. Black cohosh may interact with some cancer drugs, so avoid using it if you are in cancer treatment.

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