Natural Menopause Remedies

Natural menopause remedies can really help you manage the symptoms of menopause and feel better in midlife


Many women look to natural cures for the signs of menopause because they don't want to take drugs or hormones.

A natural approach to handling menopause can include lifestyle changes as well as alternative therapies. The menopausal years are a time when it's all too easy to put your own emotional and physical needs on hold, because you're so busy looking after other people and dealing with the demands of a busy life.

Using natural menopause remedies means putting time and care into experimenting with different strategies to find the ones that make you feel better.

Natural menopause remedies - change your lifestyle

Yoga can help relieve menopausal symptoms

First stop, if you're worried about menopausal signs, is to have a chat with your physician. A little reassurance can often help put things into perspective and ease any anxieties you might have.

Next - are you getting enough exercise? Physical activity has so many benefits, mental and physical. Taking some type of aerobic exercise on several days of the week can help you feel better.

Joining a class or doing some exercise with a friend is a great strategy - it's always easier if you're sharing your experiences. Also remember that any bit of additional movement you add to your day has benefits. Do a few yoga poses while the kettle boils, jump on the spot in the ad breaks on the TV, dance around the house when some lively music comes on the radio - it's all good, and you'll feel that endorphin buzz straight away.

Resolve to get out into the fresh air every day and see some nature. This is especially helpful if you're feeling low and de-energised - once you've stirred yourself to step out of the door, you'll quickly feel the benefits of seeing the sky and feeling the air on your face. There are so many benefits of a daily walk, and this is one simple form of exercise that's also free.

If you're struggling with hot flashes or night sweats, there are several hot flash remedies you can try. Among the easiest are avoiding spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine (in tea, coffee and soda/soft drinks). Cutting down on canned drinks and alcohol is also good for your overall health and can help you to lose weight.

It goes without saying that stopping smoking is important for your wellbeing in menopause and beyond.

Keep a close check on your weight, and takes steps to lose belly fat that can gather so easily in your forties and fifties.

Improve your menopause diet. Junk foods don't satisfy hunger for long, lead to weight gain and are bad for your health. Concentrate on simple, fresh produce which you prepare yourself.

If you suffer from insomnia in menopause or are troubled with depression or anxiety, talk to your physician. Counselling or psychotherapy could help you, or there may be a self-help group you could join.

Herbal menopause remedies

It's tempting to turn to herbal preparations, as so many claims are made about their role in menopause management.

The reality is though, that there is no hard evidence to show that black cohosh, red clover, evening primrose and dong quai actually do help with menopause symptoms like hot flashes.

The British Menopause Society says that there is only poor evidence on offer from randomised trials that these herbal remedies work, and some of them may even be harmful because they can interact with other medications, eg dong quai and some types of red clover may interact with the anti-coagulant warfarin.

Other herbal treatments like ginseng, black cohosh and red clover have oestrogenic properties which means that women who have had breast cancer should avoid them. Their long term effect on rates of cancer of the breast and womb lining (endometrium) isn't known. Some herbs can produce serious side-effects, for instance black cohosh has caused liver toxicity.

Herbal preparations aren't regulated in the same way as pharmaceutical medicines, which is another concern. It means that if you buy herbal remedies you can't be certain how much of the active ingredient is included, nor whether the preparation is pure and unadulterated.

Natural menopause remedies - alternative remedies

  • Massage If you have aches and pains, feel stressed or tensed, give massage a try. It's great for relaxation, reducing muscle tension, improving circulation, and promoting feelings of wellbeing. Just the sensation of being touched therapeutically can be very soothing and pleasant.
  • Mindfulness and meditation Simple meditation practices can help you to find clarity and calm in your daily life. To be mindful involves paying attention to the moment by learning how to cosu on the here and now. Doing this allows you to grow more aware of how current circumstances are affecting you.

    Meditating regularly in this way can make you less likely to become depressed, and also helps to lower stress. But the longterm effects are subtler. Developing an awareness of the way your life is unfolding, day by day, can give you insights and hope, and help you address painful experiences through deeper understanding.

  • Reflexology A holistic treatment, where the therapist applies pressure to specific points on your feet, ankles and hands. Reflexology promotes relaxation, and gives you a valuable opportunity for reflection and to feel nurtured. It can help to calm the nerves and improve energy, and some therapists claim that it also helps with anxiety, hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and stress.
  • Aromatherapy Enjoy using diluted flower and plant oils in massage, in burners or in bath preparations or body lotions. Clary sage lifts depression, lavender soothes and help with sleep, rosemary and lemongrass bring zest and energy, rose and jasmine lift the spirits and soothe the skin,
  • Yoga A wonderful form of exercise for women in midlife, yoga can help to relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, tiredness and mood swings, as well as strengthening bones and muscles and improving your sense of wellbeing. I recommend Suza Francina's book, Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause, or if you're in the UK you might like this little book, Gateways to Health: Karma Yoga, by my yoga teacher, Joss Guin .
  • Acupuncture An ancient Chinese remedy, where very fine needles are inserted in the body to stimulate carefully chosen areas. Therapists say acupuncture can help menopausal women deal with fatigue, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Scientific evidence is inconclusive, and any results may be due to the placebo effect. Worth trying if it appeals to you, as acupuncture can't harm you, as long as you go to a registered therapist.

Among this list of natural menopause remedies there are bound to be several strategies that can help you. Keep an open mind and give them a try.

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