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The Best Years in Life

Home & Herbal Remedies

Collected from around the world and through the ages

 

       

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Menopause

  

  • Bee Pollen - A very good herbal remedy for hot flashes . Bee pollen contains a combination of male and female hormones. It has been known to to help some women do away with or minimize hot flashes. If you are allergic to bees, or honey, you may not use bee pollen. It is always best to start out taking just a little bit of bee pollen to see if you have a reaction to it or not.
    Typical dosage: 3 bee pollen pills (500 mg) a day, or the granule equivalent.

  • Black cohosh has been used by Native Americans for centuries to treat gynecological problems. Black cohosh root can mimic estrogen in the body. It also possesses antispasmodic and diuretic properties. It is useful for hot flashes, but it can also help with vaginal dryness, and even the depression sometimes. Typical dosage: 1-3 500mg capsules standardized to 2% triterpene glycosides per day, or 10 to 25 drops of tincture up to every 4 hours. ** Caution ** Don't take this herb if you have heart disease because it can decrease your heart rate! Do not exceed recommended dosage. Do not use if pregnant or nursing.

  • Dong Quai is a Chinese herb that is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms and has pain relieving, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory qualities. Dong quai revitalizes the female body by correcting hormonal imbalances, and when hormone levels are in balance you don't experience hot flashes. It also boosts elimination and supports the cardiovascular system, valuable actions for women in menopause. Typical dosage: Up to six 500 to 600mg capsules per day; or 5 to 20 drops of tincture up to 3x's a day. ** Caution ** This herb should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, or during a bout of the flu. May interact with anticoagulant drugs.

  • Vitex or Chasteberry is a plant that also contains estrogen-like compounds. It was recommended by Hippocrates in the 4th century BC for "feminine discomforts", chasteberry is believed to act on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain where the body'd natural thermostat is located.  It also acts on the pituitary gland, regulating progesterone levels. Typical dosage: 200mg of product standardized to 0.5% agnuside, 1 -3 times daily. ** Caution ** Do not use during pregnancy or attempts to become pregnant. Do not use if you are taking hormone replacement therapy or birth
    control pills.

  • Insomnia - Don't eat or workout within 3 hours of bedtime, since doing either can keep you awake.

    • Chamomile - a half hour before bedtime, drink calming chamomile tea. You can but prepared tea bags, or make your own brew by steeping 2 tsp chamomile flowers in 8 oz piping hot water for about 10 minutes.

    • Valerian is another herb that can help you fall asleep and stay to sleep, it may also help to reduce muscle spasms. Typical dosage: Try taking 20 drops of tincture in water at bedtime. You may need more or fewer drops; experiment to find the dosage that suits you best.

     

     

  • Depression – (See “Depression”)

  • Memory Problems - Most women in midlife have moments - known as meno-fog - when even the simplest details elude them. Several recent studies indicate the direct effect of estrogen on memory, especially on verbal memory. The brain is an important target organ for estrogen, and as estrogen levels decline, brain function is bound to be affected:

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative for improving memory by protecting nerve cells. Typical dosage: 250mg a day. Check with your doctor to be sure this is appropriate for you.

  • Ginkgo - Leaves from the ginkgo biloba, the world's oldest living species of trees, can improve short-term memory and concentration. This is particularly true among people with age-related impairment. Typical dosage: 120 - 240 mg ginkgo biloba extract per day, divided into 2 portions.

  • Huperzine is derived from a Chinese moss and it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, a substance that the nervous system needs to transmit information from cell to cell. Hyperzine enhances memory in adolescents, as well as older patients with memory impairment. Typical dosage: 100 - 200 mcg (micrograms) 2 to 3x's a day. ** Caution ** Before using this herb check with your doctor to make sure it won't interfere with any prescription meds you are taking.

  • Diet - Although not as simple as swallowing a pill, a healthy diet can help ease the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Here are helpful dietary strategies:

    • Follow a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated fats. It will provide you with plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals, phytoestrogens, and bioflavonoids, all important for long-term health and to help minimize menopausal symptoms. Vegetables from the cruciferous family - broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabagas, and turnips - help make substances called indoles. Indoles help protect women from the dangerous effects of excess estrogen, among them breast cancer. Plus they're all good sources of vitamins and fiber. If you eat them without cheeses sauce, they're all low-fat. Here are some other foods to seek out; sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, garlic, flaxseed oil, dates, pomegranates.

    • Watch out for trigger foods. These are foods that can worsen symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and mood swings. Some common culprits are coffee, tea, chocolate, colas, alcohol, sugar, rich dairy products, red meats, fried foods,and spicy foods. Also avoid nicotene.

    • Include fermented soy foods, such as tempeh and miso in your diet. Soy foods not only help protect against heart disease, but they also help ease hot flashes. Soy foods contain isoflavones, which have a weak estrogen effect in the body. Soy foods come in many shapes and sizes, including tofu, soybeans, soy beverages, soy nuts, and soy protein. Note: Do NOT include any other forms of soy in any diet – except in fermented form, soy weakens the immune system and increases the risk of stomach and other cancers.

  • Vitamins and supplements - Mounting evidence suggests that getting enough of certain vitamins and other nutrients can make menopause a breeze. Here is your list to get and take:

    • Vitamin E - used for hot flashes, calms anxiety, protects against heart disease, and eases vaginal dryness. Typical dosage: 200 - 800 IU per day.

    • Vitamin C with bioflavanoids helps with leg cramps, bruising, and hot flashes are significantly decreased. Typical dosage: 500 - 5,000mg per day.

    • Calcium/magnesium - This dynamic duo of minerals helps prevent osteoporosis and ease mental stress and anxiety. Use absorbable forms such as calcium citrate, gluconate, carbonate. Typical dosage: 1,000 to 1,500mg of calcium per day in a 2:1 ratio with magnesium. So if you take 1,000mg of calcium, take 500mg of magnesium too.

    • B-complex vitamins - Helps to reduce water retention, combat fatigue, and prevent nervous and mental disorders. In fact, vitamin B6 injections have been used to reduce hot flashes and treat mood disorders. Take a good daily B-complex supplement that provides at least 25 to 50mg
      of vitamin B6, 50 to 100 mcg. of B12, and 400 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid.

    • Selenium - this mineral helps to maintain normal hormone function, brighten moods, and helps fend off heart disease. typical dosage: 200mcg per day.

    • Acidophilus - These beneficial bacteria work to prevent vaginitis, yeast infections, and cystitis, problems that can crop up more frequently after menopause. Typical dosage: 2 to 6 capsules daily; or 1 tsp of liquid 1 to 3x's daily.

    • Evening Primrose Oil - This oil contributes to estrogen production and works as a sedative and a diuretic. It has also helped some women control hot flashes. Using flaxseed oil with evening primrose oil can help you maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. typical dosage: 800 to 1,200mg standardized to 20% gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, per day. To help your heart, supplement your evening primrose oil with 1 to 2 Tbsp of flaxseed oil.

 

     

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