Natural Remedies for Hormone Imbalances and Menopause

>> Friday, November 4, 2011

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Millions of women suffer from hormone imbalance. Although it worsens in menopause, we know that it can happen at any age. It can show up at puberty and remain into adulthood. These imbalances are known as: PMS, endometriosis, peri-menopause, menopause, PCOs and many more.

Some women struggle for years not knowing what is happening inside and why they feel the way they do. There are around 30 known symptoms that accompany hormone imbalance and can range from very mild to severe. These include weight gain, low level anxiety, decreased libido and inability to have an orgasm, hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, fatigue, abnormal hair growth, and vaginal dryness. The funny thing about menopause or hormone imbalance is, it can be affected by diet, stress and/or the toxins and added hormones we come into contact with every day.

So what is the best way to treat these symptoms? Some women want to use only herbs and diet. And research shows that using bioidentical hormones is the healthiest and most effective way to treat the symptoms and heal from the affects of hormone imbalance.

Some plants and herbs contain compounds called phytoestrogens that mimic a woman’s own estrogen in a mild way. Soybean products such as tofu, tempeh, and roasted soy nuts are other sources and can be added to your diet to help fight hot flashes and other symptoms. Black cohosh, alfalfa, and red clover contain phytoestrogens, too. Hot flashes may diminish with the regular use of one or more of these herbs. Oregon grape and dandelion root are two other herbs that some claim help to reduce hot flashes, but this has not yet been confirmed. Lignans, which are a component of fiber, also act as phytoestrogens. Lignans are found in flax, whole grains, legumes, and some vegetables.

The vegetables in your garden or local farmer’s market can also contribute loads of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, both of which may help relieve hot flashes. Although most vegetables contain some vitamin C, those with large amounts include broccoli, beet greens, peppers, parsley, salad greens, citrus fruits, melons, berries, and apricots. Bioflavonoids are also found in high concentration in the white membrane on the outside of a peeled orange and the whitish ribs inside a bell pepper. Be sure to eat them rather than throw them away. Berries, including some not normally cultivated in a garden, contain helpful flavonoids. Hawthorn berries, elderberries, and bilberries are all rich in this substance.

Vitamins A and E, aloe vera, and calendula are recommended to counteract vaginal dryness.

If insomnia is one of your symptoms, try drinking a soothing cup of chamomile and valerian tea an hour or so before bedtime.

Some women find that gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid derived from evening primrose, borage, or currant seed oil, helps ease them through menopause.

Licorice can elevate blood pressure unless it is deglycyrrhizinated. It also helps with hot flashes due to the phytoestrogens it contains.

St. John's Wort may be helpful in the short-term (2 years or less) to treat mild to moderate depression in women (when given in doses of less than 1.2 milligrams a day). A recent study showed it is not effective in treating severe depression. It also can increase skin sensitivity to the sun.

Black Cohosh may be helpful in the short term (6 months or less) to treat hot flashes and night sweats. Chasteberry (also known as monk's pepper, Indian spice, sage tree hemp, and tree wild pepper) may inhibit prolactin, a natural hormone that acts on the breast. It is touted for breast pain and premenstrual syndrome. There are very few studies in menopausal women. A study of women with premenstrual syndrome found they reported improvements in mood, anger, headache, breast fullness, but not bloating and other symptoms. So this is a wonderful one for younger women who are not in menopause but suffer from hormone imbalance.

Evening primrose produces seeds rich in gamma-linolenic acid, which some experts believe is the nutritionally perfect fatty acid for humans. Although evening primrose capsules are taken for breast pain, bladder symptoms and menopausal symptoms, there is little or no evidence that they work. However, it seems to have a real affect on improving vaginal dryness.

Valerian root has traditionally been used as a tranquilizer and sleeping aid.

Most of the many types of ginseng (including Siberian, Korean, and American, white and red), are promoted for relieving stress and boosting immunity. A study of menopausal women by the leading ginseng manufacturer found the product did not relieve hot flashes but did improve women's sense of wellbeing. Analyses of ginseng products have found a troubling lack of quality control: some contained little or no ginseng, contained large amounts of caffeine, or were tainted by pesticides or lead.

There are no published reports that show wild and Mexican yam cream is effective in helping menopausal symptoms. The hormones in wild and Mexican yam do not have any estrogenic or progestational properties, so they are not expected to help women with these symptoms.

I hope this has helped give you and overview and guide for now. The best way to fight hormone imbalance is to add back what your body is missing.

You can start by asking your doctor for a complete analysis of your hormones through blood or saliva testing. Remember to check out our website at if you haven’t already. 

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