LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Smart Pharmacist

Herbs for Menopause

I'm not an advocate of using herbs unless your physician has agreed that based on your medical history it wouldn't hurt you to try them to get relief from some of the symptoms of menopause. I also believe that if you are on ANY prescription drug you should not use any over the counter herbal product for this or any other "condition". Herbs are medicines and they usually interact with prescription drugs and other herbs.

Also there is no SET dose for any of these. Like prescription drugs, the dose is based on the patient's weight, medical condition, age and fitness level.

Remember too that drugs that help can also harm.

Having said that:

BLACK COHOLSH has been shown to relieve hot flashes, a dry, thinning vaginal wall, l night sweats, irritability, anxiety and depression in people who KNEW they were receiving the drug. This means it could have been a placebo effect. It's recommended this be taken for no more than 3-6 mos. The daily dose of 40 to 200 mgms is typical. The tincture dose is up to one tsp. a day.

CHASTE(tree) BERRY relieves PMS symptoms and regulates the erratic periods of women who are near menopause by increasing progesterone. It causes headaches in some women, has been shown to increase menstrual flow and may decrease sexual drive. Common daily dose is 20 mg of crude fruit usually taken in the form of a tincture.

DONG QUAI research shows it controls blood vessel dilation which helps ease hot flashes. This should not be taken by people on blood thinners or if you have had fibroids. Dong Quai can also make you prone to sunburn. The standard dose is 3 to 15grams. Look for this in Chinese soups!!

LICORICE ROOT, which can raise blood pressure and should not be taken by people with cardiovascular disease, has been known to relieve hot flashes.

Having said that remember...menopause is NATURAL. It's part of the maturing woman's life process and if lauded, welcomed and faced with a positive attitude, can be one of the most rewarding times of a woman's life. I speak from experience.

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LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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