Natural menopause relief is sought out by millions of women who suffer from the symptoms of menopause wreaking havoc on their bodies. Much of this havoc is caused by a diet filled with bad fats, too much protein, and a lack of nutrients. Eating healthily and exercising are your first steps to getting healthy. A diet filled with fruits and vegetables is filled with nearly all of the nutrients you need to be healthy and balanced. Yet, sometimes, we need a little bit of extra help. In this article, we’re going to talk about some herbal supplements that help balance out your hormones and make the symptoms of menopause much better.
Because of the controversy over the safety of estrogen replacement therapy, many women turn to natural and herbal products for relief of fluctuating hormones. One of the best and most stabilizing hormones a woman can have is progesterone. In estrogen replacement therapy, progestin has been used. It is very similar to progesterone and behaves nearly the same way in the body, but it causes all sorts of side-effects, including increasing the risk of cancer. It is, however, cheap and easily extracted.
On the other hand, natural bioidentical progesterone can be extracted from the wild yam. This is a little bit more complicated and expensive. However, the progesterone from wild yam does not cause the type of side-effects the progestin did. Plus, natural progesterone cream from the wild yam is vegan. Many companies will add vitamin E and other healthy fats that can be absorbed by the body. This benefits not only our hormonal health, but our heart and our whole body.
Progesterone cream can be applied to any portion of the body and is most commonly used on the lower abdomen and the breasts. The progesterone is absorbed through the skin. Because progesterone helps reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, heart disease, and depression, applying it in specific locations can increase its effectiveness.
When you combine a good progesterone cream with herbal therapy, you’ll achieve full systematic support of the whole body. Let’s look at some of the top herbs that can help you balance your emotions and hormones with minimal side effects.
This plant, a relative of cabbage and broccoli, is native to Peru and is in the early stages of research that shows it helps fertility and sexual drive. It has historically been used by women to help them healthfully get through menopause. It’s a highly nutritious plant containing healthy carbs and lots of vitamins and minerals. The chief benefit for women going through menopause is it enhances sexual drive. Most women going through menopause find their desire for sex to be at an absolute minimum. It puts a lot of strain on their relationships and can cause mood swings. Maca can help increase your desire for intercourse and make it more comfortable when you have it.
Additionally, this root may help you lose weight and feel more energetic. Women who take maca find they have a bit more energy and fewer aches and pains. Maca is popularly included in sports drinks and nootropics that help improve athletic performance. Much of the research has been done on men, in regards to athletic performance using maca, but studies have also shown women benefit as much or even more. Finally, it may help you stabilize your emotions. Specific studies have shown that maca can help relieve the symptoms of mild depression and mood swings.
This herb is used throughout Europe and, more recently, in the Americas to help women who are having fertility and menstrual problems. In the herbal world, it is considered to be one of the top herbs for women. It’s been used for over 2000 years to increase fertility and regulate menstrual cycles.
Today, in Europe, vitex is prescribed as one of the top treatments for irregular cycles, second stage menopause, and endometriosis. In the U.S., vitex can be purchased as an over-the-counter supplement and is often used by naturopaths and herbalists as part of a formula to help relieve menstrual issues.
Vitex encourages the pituitary gland to produce progesterone naturally. It can help bolster your natural supply of progesterone and balance out your estrogen. By balancing out these two hormones, your body does not go through as many mood swings or hot flashes. Thus, it can also relieve the stress on the adrenal glands, further helping to reduce stress.
Magnesium is not an herb, but it is one of the top supplements nearly all women need. It assists over 350 processes of the body and helps with sleep, pain issues, bone health, and energy production. Many of the symptoms of menopause show signs of them stemming from magnesium deficiency. These include fatigue, muscle pain, irregular periods, headaches, hot flashes, and indigestion. Magnesium deficiency also presents itself as migraine headaches, restless sleep, insomnia, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
Many of the long-term side-effects of menopause are associated with a deficiency in magnesium. These include heart disease, osteoporosis, weakness, weight gain, and feeling cold all the time. When you take a magnesium supplement, it can help relieve many of these problems and help your body balance your hormones. Magnesium can boost your energy by helping to convert the T4 thyroid hormone into the more active and bioavailable T3. It can also help the liver reduce levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and excessive estrogen.
B6 is part of the B-complex vitamins and something you probably get an adequate amount of as part of a predominantly vegetable-based diet. However, during menopause, you may need to increase it more than your dietary intake allows. In this case, a low-level B6 or pyridoxine supplement can help give you a boost. In fact, taking a general B-complex supplement that includes adequate levels of B6 will provide you with an increase of all of the B vitamins, mostly because they work together.
The primary role of B6 is in the brain. B6 is critical to glucose utilization of nerve cells. In particular, B6 is required for the proper production of serotonin. The serotonin/dopamine balance in the brain helps regulate your mood and, by having an appropriate level of serotonin production, you can help ward off mood swings and depression.
Moving into the lesser-known herbs, black cohosh has been used in the Americas, particularly by the Native Americans, for all sorts of women’s troubles. Its uses include treating kidney issues, malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, sore throat, joint inflammation, labor, menstrual cramps, and menopause.
The most widely studied area of black cohosh use is the relief of menstruation and menopause issues. Although it’s been proven effective in most studies, scientists aren’t quite sure how it works. It’s believed by some that black cohosh alters and enhances the way the body utilizes other nutrients, like B6, allowing the body to naturally take over its natural processes and reducing menopause side-effects.
However, black cohosh does come with some warnings. It should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women with estrogen-induced breast cancer or the risk of breast cancer, and those with liver issues, should not take black cohosh, as it has been found in some, but not all studies to exacerbate problems with breast cancer and liver disease.
Black cohosh has been shown more effective and safe when taken as a tea or low-dose supplement. High-dose supplements, tinctures, and extracts have demonstrated the highest potential for problems and the lowest success rate.
There are several other practical ways to reduce menopause symptoms and help your body be healthy naturally. Many of these are low-cost or free and can be performed in the convenience of your own home.
Under the hands of the skilled massage therapist, massage can balance your hormones and reduce your stress. Many studies show massage therapy can reduce pain, reduce heart disease, reduce blood pressure, quiet the mind, and help repair muscular and tissue damage. During menopause, massage can help balance your hormones, reduce stress, and give you a little bit of alone-time to get your mind back under your control.
Most massage therapists recommend getting a weekly massage, as this is the frequency that has shown the most significant benefit for most problems. However, even a monthly massage provides benefits. If you don’t have access to a good massage therapist, getting your muscles rubbed by a loved one works nearly as well. All it takes is a little bit of love to give a home-based massage. This can help connect you with your loved one, can act as a prelude for more intimate activities, and can build better bonds. A 15-minute foot massage from your husband has been reported to be one of the most intimate activities a husband and wife can share without engaging in sex.
It may not seem like it, but taking a few minutes out of your activities several times a day for prayer can help balance your mood and give you peace. Taking a few minutes out for prayer can give you God’s perspective and calm your mind and help you control those automatic negative thoughts.. Even with your hormones causing random thoughts and mood swings, these few minutes of prayer can bring things back into focus and give you balance.
No list is complete without exercise. Throughout our lives, exercise is critical for helping us maintain healthy bones, a trim figure, and balanced hormones. During menopause, many women gain weight. This is attributed to fluctuating hormones causing food cravings, fatigue causing less activity, and the body not adapting to the hormones and new lifestyle patterns.
Exercise can help you balance your emotions and hormones. Primarily, and almost instantaneously, exercise helps burn through any additional cortisol and adrenaline that linger in your system. These stress hormones cause you to gain weight and put extra stress on your heart and mind. As you burn through the stress hormones, your body can rebalance the other hormones. Without the excess cortisol, your brain can begin producing higher levels of serotonin and dopamine. This can help reduce depression and anxiety while giving you clear thoughts and more focus.
Without the additional cortisol in your system, your body can let go of excess stored fats and let you lose weight that may be causing heart problems and liver problems. This exercise also helps clear out your lymphatic system from toxins and waste and increases the oxygen flow within yourself. Both of these will give you more energy and boost your immune system.
Finally, eating a diet consisting primarily of fruits and vegetables gives your body the nutrition it needs to be healthy. These fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals, especially that magnesium and B6 we talked about earlier, and are low-carb and low-fat. Juicing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get in a lot of vegetables without overwhelming your system. Although highly nutritious, fruits and vegetables take up a lot of room in your stomach and take time and effort to digest. It takes work to break down these fruits and vegetables, making you feel hungry quite often.
However, you can give yourself all of the nutrition of the produce in a very easy to drink package. This leaves you feeling light and energetic and gives your body a chance to digest the food quickly. It lets your body extract more vitamins and minerals from the juices you’re drinking, and your body’s demand for food goes down. You won’t feel hungry, and you won’t continually be looking for a snack or meal. You’ll just feel the rush of energy and healing properties from the fruits and vegetables.
When combined with the right diet and exercise, progesterone cream and herbal products can help you balance your hormones and get through menopause without the life-disrupting side-effects. Just remember, all of these techniques work together. A few herbs aren’t going to overcome a bad diet and sedentary lifestyle. Your body wants to move and be active. Support it by using proper nutrition and proper exercise. Then add the herbs to give you the last little boost to make sure everything is balanced and healthy.