I still don't get why women get menopause when it's supposed to be a "men-o-pause"?
Perhaps the suffering for men comes with living with a menopausal woman rather than having the direct experience of it himself... Now before any ladies out there get cranky with me, remember... Stress will only make your hot flushes worse!
Let's get down to the herbal medicines that may help manage hot flushes/ night sweats, cardiovascular wellness, mood and sleep, and musculoskeletal issues.
As always, herb quality is paramount so please consult with a Herbalist or Naturopath to ensure you are getting A grade herb, in addition to the correct dose of course. And in most cases, I find a combination of herbs works better than single herbs (as is the case with antioxidants).
For hot flushes/ night sweats consider: Black cohosh, Sage, Hops, St John's Wort, a Korean blend of 3 herbs known as EstroG-100 but marketed as Minerva in Australia.
For cardiovascular care (eg cholesterol, blood pressure): Globe artichoke, Hawthorn berries, Schisandra, St Mary's Thistle
For Mood and Sleep disturbances: Lavender, Lemon balm, Hops, Chamomile, Chaste tree, Passionflower, Kava, Rhodiola, Schisandra, Withania
For Musculoskeletal issues: Curcumin (turmeric), Devils Claw, Cats claw, Minerva (Korean herbal formula).
It can be tricky managing Menopause (and the preceding years of peri-menopause) - this transition can last 4-5 years! While HRT and bio- identical hormones can be helpful, I find most women prefer to try other treatments first, or only use the prescribed hormone therapies for short periods (as long term use can have its own problems). While herbs, diet, stress management, exercise etc are all very important, I believe it's also worth considering other therapies such as Bowen, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and counselling - especially if your menopausal symptoms are persistent and unmanageable.
While it can be funny making light of this period in a woman's life, it really can be quite disabling if you're experiencing poor sleep, vaginal dryness, anxiety, and joint pain - and that's just your morning! There is no joy in that for anyone - male or female - so don't suffer in silence (or rage)... See your Naturopath for a comprehensive assessment of your hormonal and emotional health.