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Menopause and HRT

Holistic-online.com

Alternative Medicine for Menopause

Herbal Medicine

Herbs For Menopause Related Conditions

Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

Insomnia

Depression, Nerves, Lethargy, Irritability

Anxiety

Constipation

Involuntary, Frequent, Or Burning Urination

Menstruation

Osteoporosis

Sex Drive Associated with Menopause

Vaginal Dryness

For medicinal use, actions, and dosage of the individual herbs see: Most Useful Herbs For Menopause- Actions, Uses, Dosage

For detailed description of the herbs and their safety, please see herbal directory on holistic-online.com

Herbs For Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

Herbs most commonly used for hot flashes and night sweats are:

bulletDamiana
bulletDong Quai
bulletChasteberry
bulletBlack Cohosh

and the herbs listed as Estrogenic. Some women find they need to take up to two capsules three times a day, perhaps for two weeks, before symptoms are eliminated.

Herbs recommended for insomnia:

 
bulletHops (Humulus lupulus).
bulletJamaican dogwood (Piscidia erythrina).
bulletLimeflower (Tilia europaea).
bulletPassion flower (Passiflora incarnate).
bulletWild lettuce (Lactuca virosa)

Herbal Tea for Insomnia

3 tbsp. Lemon balm
3 tbsp. Peppermint
2 tbsp. Hops
1 tbsp. Valerian
2 tsp. Chamomile

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of this mixture, steep for five minutes; strain and drink 1 cup at bedtime.

Catnip tea is an important herbal product that will calm you down, let you relax and go to sleep. Take a cupful two to three times throughout the day and just before bedtime; or just before bedtime may be all you need. Chamomile tea has similar effect. It's extremely soothing and also is delicious.

Skullcap, Hops Flowers, Valerian, Blue Vervain, Motherwort, Yarrow, Basil, Violet Leaves, and Lady Slipper are all relaxing and calming, whether you take them in capsules or as a tea. Use individually or in any combination.

A decoction of celery seed or root is another good choice. Have a cupful half an hour or so before retiring.

Other herbs that are commonly used for insomnia are passion flower and chasteberry.

For Depression, Nerves, Lethargy, Irritability

Depression is a common condition during menopause years. It can be caused by anything from low blood sugar, to poor overall nutrition, to high stress levels, to environmental pollutants, to hormone imbalance. The following herbs, alone or in combination, are useful for depression. Many herbs work slowly, helping the body to adjust and to rebuild itself. Give any herb a fair trial of at least a few weeks, ideally a few months.
bulletBasil (Ocimum basilicum).
bulletBorage (Borago officinalis).
bulletDamiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca).
bulletGentian (Gentiana lutea).
bulletMugwort (Attemisia vulgaris).
bulletOats (Avena sativa).
bulletRosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis).
bulletRue (Ruta graveolens).
bulletSt. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum).
bulletVervain (Valeriana officinalis).
bulletWormwood (Artemisia absinthum).

Yerba Matt (Or Matt) infusion for lethargy. Also for lethargy, try a mix of Damlana, Gotu Kola, Rosemary, and Lavender.

Dandelion flower or leaf tea will soothe and nourish jangled nerves. Pour boiling water over a handful and steep a few minutes, adding honey, if you wish.

For relief of stress: Comfrey Root, Alfalfa, Oat Straw, Irish Moss, Horsetail.

Add a whole Clove or two to other teas, or a pinch of powdered cloves.

Damiana, a mild aphrodisiac, is also used for depression and as a nerve aid.

Siberian Ginseng tea or capsules.

Pau D'arco tea or capsules.

Blessed Thistle, tea or capsules.

Black Cohosh root, as tea or capsules, is useful for all sorts of nervous conditions.

Skullcap has been traditionally used to calm nerves and repair the nervous system, even repairing the spinal cord. Three ounces of infusion, three times a day, is a useful dose. skullcap should be used in as fresh condition as possible.

Oat groats, or even rolled oats (oatmeal), as an infusion, tincture, fluid extract, or simply enjoyed as food, will help your nerves, restore some strength, and just generally help you cope.

Kelp, one teaspoon of the powder per day, or the equivalent (1000 mg.) in tablets or capsules. Soothes savage nerves.

Cayenne Pepper, Siberian Ginseng root, and Gotu Kola combined, in capsules or as a tea, are a real picker-upper.

Garlic and Onions, eaten daily. CAUTION: These members of the lily family contain sulfur and may not be tolerated by anyone allergic to sulfur.

Licorice Root, if blood sugar is suspected as the problem. Monitor yourself when taking it if you have high blood pressure, though.

Dandelion root is also good for blood sugar regulation.

Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca, herb will aid and soothe any number of nervous disturbances of menopause. CAUTION: It should not be used if pregnancy is suspected or if menstrual periods tend to be heavy. It can induce uterine bleeding.

Pumpkin Seeds, containing tryptophan, will soothe nerves, relax you, and help you sleep. Dose: about six or seven ounces, nibbled and enjoyed.

Chamomile tea is very soothing and relaxing.

Passion Flower tea is wonderfully relaxing and calming. So is Chamomile and Catnip.) It is also good for nerve debility and has even been useful for sciatica.

Celery Seed decoction is also soothing and relaxing to the nerves.

Catnip, tea or capsules, is relaxing and calming.

Peppermint, Spearmint, and Valerian root tea or capsules are also soothing and mellowing.

Schizandra an adaptogen from China and Tibet, is an energizer and antidepressant. CAUTION: It should be avoided by epileptics, people with high intracranial pressure or severe hypertension, and anyone with "high acidity."

Wild Yam Root is another calming herb.

For anxiety, the following herbs may be used:
bulletLinden (Tilia europaea).
bulletSkuReap (Scutellaria lateriflora).
bulletVervain (Valeriana officinalis).
bulletWood betony (Stachys officinalis).

Herbal Tea to Calm Nervous Conditions

4 tbsp. Lemon balm
1 tbsp. Mistletoe
1 tbsp. Silverweed
1 tbsp. Valerian

Pour 1cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of this mixture, steep for five minutes; strain, sweeten with 1 tsp. of honey, and drink 3 cups daily.

For Constipation

Over a third of menopausal women report experiencing constipation. Many herbs have been used traditionally for their laxative effects, either as teas, capsules, or as food. Prolonged use of any laxative, no matter how natural, should be avoided. If your bowel muscles come to depend on laxatives to do their work for them, they'll get lazy and won't want to work on their own.

Chickweed- great as a salad or in a salad if you can get it (it grows wild in many areas of the country), or take as tea or in capsules.

Yerba Matt, or just matt as a tea.

Dandelion, as an infusion of the fresh root.

Nettle Leaves, as a tea after dinner or, if you can get nettle fresh, use it juiced or as cooked greens daily, or at least several times a week for several weeks.

Oatmeal, consumed as part of the daily diet (great for bones and nerves, too) or oatstraw tea taken daily.

Oregon Grape Root is good for chronic constipation. Make a decoction and take 3 ounces before meals. This should be made fresh daily; or use a tincture, 30 to 60 drops in water, also three times daily.

Cascara Sagrada, usually taken in capsule form.

Senna leaves, as tea, tablet, or capsule. Do not use senna if you have piles, prolapsed intestine, or inflammation anywhere in the intestinal tract. It is a stimulant laxative; therefore do not use during pregnancy.

Herbs For Involuntary, Frequent, Or Burning Urination

Decreasing estrogen in the menopausal women thins the lining of the bladder and the vagina. This increases the likelihood that the bladder lining become susceptible to irritations and infections that can result in involuntary urination (especially upon sneezing, coughing, or vigorous laughing), an urgent need to urinate frequently, or a sensation of burning upon urination. Estrogen-providing herbs and foods can help to relieve these symptoms. The following herbal treatments also may help.

Agrimony: Take as a strong tea, between 4 and 6 p.m.

Yarrow tea, Shepherd's Purse: Useful if taken as a strong tea, between 4 and 6 p.m.

A decoction of celery root or seeds is good for incontinence. Interestingly enough, it is also good for urine retention and dropsy (edema).

Marshmallow root is a good choice to use in conjunction with other herbs. Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the tincture three times a day, or take 5 to 10 of #0 capsules three times a day, or make a decoction and drink 6 ounces three times a day.

A tincture of plantain is also helpful. An infusion made of the leaves has also been found useful. Drink half a cup, two or three times a day.

Buchu, Corn Silk, Fennel Seed, and Wood Betony, Use individually or in combination, as an infusion. Soothes and heals the bladder and kidneys.

Kelp contains many nutrients, including potassium, that strengthens the urinary tract.

Oregon grape root is beneficial for the kidneys. It also has antiseptic qualities. Use as a tincture, decoction, extract, or as capsules.

Herbal Tonic:

The following tea will help to tone and strengthen the kidneys:

1 part plantain
1 part slippery elm
2 parts goldenseal
1 part uva ursi
1/2 part ginger

Combine and prepare an infusion. Drink half a cup every few hours.

Menstruation

Menstruation doesn't just magically stop one day when you reach a certain age. It's a bit like puberty in reverse. As menopause approaches, there can be irregular periods, erratic and delayed periods, extra heavy or light periods, and sometimes painful periods, even if menstruation has been going like clockwork for you for years. Irregular periods can be expected before and sometimes with menopause. This can occur every so often at any age, perhaps related to stress or diet or intense exercise.

Between-period bleeding is usually not serious, but it can be. If it happens after age 40, after skipping periods, it's likely to be just a signal that menopause is beginning to "think about" occurring. If between-period bleeding occurs only after sex, it could be a minor or a serious cervical problem. See a doctor to get a diagnosis. Then you decide on the treatment you prefer.

Any of the herbs mentioned under Estrogen will be helpful for regulating periods.

Chasteberry herb of choice.

Dong Quai is helpful in regulating menses-and starting them-but it should not be taken if there is excessive menstrual flow.

Angelica may be used instead of Dong Quai to start delayed menstruation, but its action is somewhat harsher.

Crampbark, Strawberry Leaf, and Wild Yam will all ease heavy, painful periods.

Squaw Vine Herbal Tea

Squaw Vine is another herb that is used for menstrual irregularities. Use the following tea.

1 Part Squaw Vine
2 Parts Raspberry Leaves
1 Part Blue Cohosh
1 Part Black Cohosh
1 Part False Unicorn

Mix and prepare an infusion, taking a cup or two a day, or powder the herbs and place in capsules.

Blue Cohosh root is taken for cramps and to start or regulate menses. It should not be taken if pregnant, unless you want to induce delivery. (It's said to promote a painless and rapid delivery.)

False Unicorn has long been used for uterine disorders, cramps, and to prevent miscarriage.

Oats, taken daily as food, as an infusion, or as a tincture, are excellent for ovarian and uterine disorders. The tincture should be made from fresh oats (the grain, called "groats" not the rolled "oatmeal" familiar as a breakfast cereal) which have been harvested when the milky substance is present in the grain. Thirty to sixty drops are taken three times a day.

Skullcap is also used for pains of ovarian or uterine origin.

Red Raspberry Leaf tea will soothe the savage cramp and help to control frequent or excessive bleeding. It will tone the uterus, as well. For heavy periods, Nettle tea will also slow the flow.

Myrrh gum will encourage delayed menses to get with it and will also allay menstrual pain. Two to six #0 capsules, or 30 to 60 drops of tincture, or 3 oz. of infusion, three times a day is a common dosage.
Caution: Myrrh should not be taken over a long period of time or in large amounts. In sizable amounts it can be toxic.

Herbs for Osteoporosis

The following herbs are useful for preventing osteoporosis.

Herbs listed under Important Herbs Used for Menopausal Problems are helpful for osteoporosis.

Alfalfa is a magnificent source of minerals, vitamins, and chlorophyll. Use as a tea or take tablets.

Dandelion leaves are a source of calcium and magnesium, plus other vitamins and minerals. It can be taken in a variety of ways: eaten as cooked greens or added to salads, or taken in capsules or as tea.

Horsetail, also known as Shavegrass, contains silicon in an easily absorbable form. This improves calcium utilization, strengthens bones, and is important in collagen production. Collagen is part of what "holds us altogether."

Oats and oatstraw are good sources of calcium.

Kelp, or other seaweed, eaten or taken daily, is a fine source of many vitamins and minerals, including calcium.

Herbal Tonic For Osteoporosis

This tonic is good for bones as well as for hair and nails.

Combine equal amounts of the following to make four ounces and add to one quart of water:

Parsley Root And Leaf
Yellow Dock
Nettle Leaf
Horsetail
Comfrey Root
Irish Moss
Kelp
Watercress

Simmer gently until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain off the liquid and reserve. Cover the herbs with water again and simmer for ten minutes. Strain and simmer the combined decoctions until the volume is again reduced by half. Add an equal amount of blackstrap molasses. Keep refrigerated and take one tablespoonful several times a day.

Source: Edna Ryneveld, "Secrets of a Natural Menopause."

Vinegar Tincture for Calcium: Vinegar Tincture for Calcium:

Collect eggshells from one dozen eggs, dry them, and remove the membranes. Powder the shells, using a blender or mortar and pestle, and add to a pint of pure apple cider vinegar. Use a quart or larger glass jar or bottle as the mixture will bubble. Immediately cap the jar.

Take a tablespoon of this tincture three times a day.

Source: Edna Ryneveld, "Secrets of a Natural Menopause."

Herbs to Increase Sex Drive Associated with Menopause

About 20 percent of menopausal women experience decreased sex drive. The following herbs will help you back on track sexually. Some of them are aphrodisiacs.

Oats (or Avena) can enhance your sex life. It useful to combat nervous disorders. Oats have been used in tincture form, 30 to 60 drops three times a day, for sexual neurasthenia (no feeling "down there"). Oats are also nutritive and rejuvenating for the endocrine system and will improve health in general. Oats will enrich your sexual pleasure because they nurture your nerves; caressing and being caressed will become a joy again. Take a cup of oat infusion at least once a week. Eat oatmeal often.

Damiana has a reputation as an aphrodisiac and energy-enhancer for both men and women.

Saw Palmetto is a re-productive system nutritive tonic for women and men , a sexual stimulant, and, as a tincture combined with tincture of oats, is also useful in the treatment of sexual neurasthenia.

False Unicorn is another aphrodisiac of long-standing repute.

Fenugreek decoction is also considered an aphrodisiac.

Fo-Ti is said to be a rejuvenator of the endocrine glands and, hence, an effective tonic and nutritive herb. In large doses, it acts as an aphrodisiac.

Gotu Kola: Known as the longevity herb, gotu kola is also a rejuvenator, similar in effect to fo-ti.

Siberian Ginseng and Sarsaparilla will spark a sagging sex drive for both men and women.

Skullcap will subdue an excessive sex drive, especially combined with Pennyroyal and Crampbark and/or with Hops.

Herbs For Vaginal Dryness

One symptom of the reduction of estrogen levels for some menopausal women is vaginal dryness, resulting in uncomfortable, often painful, intercourse.

The herbs listed under Important Herbs Used for Menopausal Problems can help vaginal dryness.

Herbal vaginal lubricant or suppository

Make a salve or herbal oil with wheat germ oil or vitamin E oil.

Combine it with elderberry flowers, calendula (marigold), chamomile, marshmallow, or slippery elm bark.

This is a good choice for a vaginal lubricant or suppository.

Scientists say that vitamin E, suppositories or oil, works as well as estrogen cream. Wheat germ oil is a good source of vitamin E.

See Also:     Summary: Most Useful Herbs For Menopause- Actions, Uses, Dosage

                    Herbal Medicine in Holisticonline.com

                     Herbal Directory in Holistic-online.com with herb safety information

Next Topic:    Summary: Most Useful Herbs For Menopause- Actions, Uses, Dosage

                    Homeopathy

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