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Menopausal Notes

Hot Flushes

Although these are the symptoms most complained of by women in menopause, they vary greatly in the amount of distress they cause. Treatment with herbs works well in most cases. You may need to take quite high doses to begin with, and cut down later.

Herbal Treatment

Herbal treatment to treat hot flushes and sweating are usually based on oestrogen- and progesterone-promoting herbs, in order of importance: Sage, Wild Yam, Chaste Berry, False Unicorn Root, Red Clover, Ladies Mantle, Motherwort and Astragalus. Supportive herbs for the adrenals, such as Licorice and Borage are important. Other herbs would be used as needed in individual cases.

The infusion of Sage, drunk cold, is effective if sipped frequently during the day, but does taste very strong. Other herbs used for hot flushes: Raspberry leaf, Vervain, Hops, Black Cohosh, Sarsaparilla, Pasque flower, Mugwort. Hops are bitter and may be taken in capsules or pills. To balance a formula combine several herbs. Although these herbs have an oestrogenic action they are equally progestogenic and it is suggested that the last action may be the one that brings relief in many menopausal symptoms.

Chinese herbs include Schizandra (to prevent sweating and aid sleep), Rehmannia (for night sweats) and Dang Gui (Chinese angelica) as a hormone balancer, in equal parts. Evening Primrose oil and oil of Borage (Starflower oil) have a reputation for relieving hot flushes in high doses. Take up to 100 mg two or three times a day or EPA from fish oils.

Foods

The following foods supply hormones that are beneficial for the menopause.

Seeds. Almost any sort, for example sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, including sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, fenugreek, mung bean, lentil. Add to salads. Wholegrains. Preferably organic oats, wheat, rye, millet, buckwheat, etc.. These should be soaked, then cooked whole. Add to salads or serve instead of rice.

Fresh Fruits. Bananas, Avocados, Papayas, Mangoes.

Dried Fruits. Prunes, Dates, Figs Raisins. These are all high in Calcium.

Honey. Also Bee pollen and Royal Jelly.

Culinary herbs. Chervil, Chives, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg, Horseradish, Sage, Parsley, Rosemary, Seaweed Kelp, Watercress, Nettles and all dark green leafy vegetables are rich in minerals.

Cold pressed oils. Safflower is especially high in essential fatty acids. Use for cooking and adding to food.

Nut oils. Walnut and Hazlenut are natural sources of Vitamin E and are essential for healthy skin and hair and are tasty in salads. This Vitamin is of great benefit for the menopausal years.

We eat far more protein than is necessary. Foods to avoid or cut down on are meat in particular; most meat today contains hormones and these will affect your own hormone balance. If you do eat meat, only eat organic and only buy from a reputable supplier.

Beware of sugar, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and any foods with chemical additives.

Limit dairy products to occassional eggs and milk as there are traces of hormones in Dairy herds.

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