Botanical medicine has been around since humans have and specific herbal formulas to address the most common and nagging peri and menopausal symptoms have been safely and effectively used for thousands of years. One of the beautiful things about herbalism is that we know how to apply herbs to work with the body, not just on it or against it. Due to unknown risks and contraindications, many women are seeking alternatives to hormone replacement therapy to manage their hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and dryness. Below are some gems about 5 botanical allies that can help make the menopausal transition less hot and more sexy.
- Black Cohosh:
- One of the most researched herbs for menopause. Black Cohosh is often recommended as a alternative for hormone replacement therapy to treat hot flashes. Studies have shown similar efficacy as hormone replacement therapy with far fewer adverse side effects. With this herb friend, you get hot when you want to! There are some who try this herb to no effect. I have found black cohosh to work well best in combination with other botanicals, in formulas, that I customize to match my patient’s individual constitutions.
- A stress relieving herb, Shatavari root, has the added benefit of being a sexual rejuvenator, used to treat vaginal atrophy according to Aryuvedic traditions! The phytoestrogens are believed to have a stress stabilizing effect for menopausal women.
- Asian Ginseng:
- Sleeplessness, depression, fatigue? Asian ginseng may be herb you are looking for! In a double blind study of nearly 400 menopausal women, those taking this herb showed markedly improved result for depression and general wellbeing. Traditionally, this herb has been used to reduce mental and physical fatigue. Asian ginseng may give you the boost you need.
- Dong Quai:
- In Chinese medicine, Dong quai, also known as Chinese angelica, is a blood tonifier. Traditionally this herb is combined with other herbs to enrich the blood and promote better blood flow. It has been used to improve a variety of menopausal issues.
- Rhapontic Rhubarb:
- A great all around herb for menopausal issues, Rhapontic Rhubarb is used frequently in Germany for perimenopausal and menopausal women. Studies performed show women have increased positive outlook on their lives and a significant reduction in anxiety. These benefits are consistent throughout the treatment, with women also reporting improvements in physical and mental function.
Dr. Sarah Giardenelli believes one of the best way to experience the benefits of botanical medicine is to actually experience them. One of her passions is customizing both Chinese and Western botanical formulas for her patients. Confused about where to start? Please schedule an appointment if you would like to experience this approach for yourself.