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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
For the best in health information,
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featuring articles by Tony M. Isaacs
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