Menopause is the permanent closure of the reproductive ability of a woman, a stage that occurs sometime before the end of the natural lifespan. The word menopause is formed of two Greek words - meno from mensis (meaning month) and pause from pausis (meaning cessation). The end of fertility is marked by permanent stopping of the monthly menstruation. Menopausal symptoms include hot flushes, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. Menopause is something through which everyone woman goes and hence one should not be depressed with the thought of it. Hormone replacement therapy is one of the ways to relieve menopausal symptoms. However, women are increasingly seeking natural alternatives to the therapy. Following herbs have been found to be useful in dealing with menopause.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga Racemosa)
It is an excellent herb that works on the uterus to reduce cramps and congestion and relieve hot flashes and muscular pain. It contains two anti-rheumatic agents and can also reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Chaste Tree (Vilex Agnus- Castus)
This herb helps women deal with the depression that tends to alleviate due to the hormone imbalance that results from menopause.
Damiana (Turnera Diffuse)
The herb is a pituitary regulator, aphrodisiac and antidepressant. However, it should not be taken very often, as it may irritate the lining of the urinary tract.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
This is a wonderful herb for liver. It gives relief to the liver when it goes under extra stress due to imbalanced hormones.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
Including this herb in the diet reduces the chance of estrogen deficiency, as it is high in natural plant estrogens called phytosterols.
False Unicorn Root (Chamaelirium luteum)
The plant acts directly on the uterus and ovaries, as it is an estrogen regulator and hence, considered as a curative herb for women. It is also used in the corrective treatment of ovarian cysts.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
This herb works to fight the symptoms of fatigue, memory problems, and depression and improves brain function, circulation, and oxygenation of all body cells.
Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus, Panax quinquefolius)
Ginseng is fortifies the adrenal glands, boosts immune function, shoots up energy, and brings blood pressure to normal. It is useful for symptoms of both mental and physical fatigue. However, the plant should be avoided by women facing very high blood pressure.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Since licorice is a powerful adrenal stimulant and wonderful estrogenic herb, it makes a useful entry as a healing herb during menopause. In addition, a pleasant-tasting tea can be made from and added in small amounts to other herbal teas, to improve their flavor. However, its intake should be avoided very often or by women having high blood pressure, as it can deplete potassium level and elevate blood pressure.
Liferoot (Senecio Bursas)
Liferoot, as the name suggests, is an important life-saving uterine tonic that contains plant estrogens. It aids in eliminating hot flashes and re-establishes emotional and vascular stability that is disrupted due to menopause. It can also be used to treat irregular, painful, or excessive menstrual bleeding.