The process of menopause is completely natural and it is the result of the decline of oestrogen levels in the body.
Oestrogens are a group of sex hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female characteristics in the female body (2). Thus they play an important role in the integrity of breast tissue, regulation of the menstrual cycle and reproductive system.
There are three types of oestrogens your body makes:
- Oestrone (E1): After menopause, this is the only oestrogen your body produces.
- Oestradiol (E2): This is the strongest form of oestrogen primarily produced in the ovaries, and is present in women of childbearing age
- Oestriol (E3): This type of oestrogen helps to maintain pregnancy.
You will notice that oestrone is the main oestrogen that circulates the body in menopausal years. It is released from fat cells and the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys.
The adrenal glands release hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and cortisone. They are the glands most associated with stress. they also help regulate blood sugar levels along with the pancreas and liver.
Can you see how managing your stress levels are crucial to the health of your adrenals to prevent burnout and to produce the correct amount of oestrogen levels in your body?
Oestrogens are mainly metabolized in the liver (3) and therefore it is very important to assist the function of the liver, to perform its many significant and crucial functions.
What to do if you are experiencing menopausal symptoms
Before rushing to your doctor or gynaecologist to get a synthetic solution to regulate hormone levels in the form of a pill, I recommend that you find a natural health practitioner to encourage natural healing and balance holistically.
A study made in 2003 (4) concluded that women found the use of alternative therapies to be beneficial and states that physicians should routinely ascertain perimenopausal women’s use of alternative therapies.
Many herbs and supplements can help to balance hormones and address the common symptoms associated with it.
With kinesiology, it takes out the guesswork of finding out what remedy will work for you via the method of muscle testing. This can save a lot of money, time and stress!
Here are some of the most common remedies that I have found useful for women going through menopause.
- Vitex Agnus Castus (Chaste tree berry)
The lovely Chaste Tree is a native of the Mediterranean region and its berries have been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes. Studies show that vitex agnus castus has a balancing effect on the hormones and alleviates menopausal symptoms (5). It is often used in a combination with other herbs and has been very helpful for hot flushes, night sweats and quality of sleep (6).
- Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a traditional remedy used by North American Indians, mainly to treat women’s problems. This herb has oestrogenic activity and raises oestrogen levels in the body by decreasing the ovaries production of progesterone.
A study indicates that, when taken in conjunction with St Johns wort (Hypericum perforatum), it’s effectiveness is enhanced in treating hot flushes. (7)
One of black cohosh’s compounds, salicylic acid, which is nature’s natural pain killers, also will help with any rheumatic type complaints or pains.
- Sage (Salvia officinalis). I think everyone should be growing sage in a pot in their garden or terrace. It’s very fragrant and tasty when added to meals and salads.
Traditionally, sage has been used to treat menopausal hot flushes. A study (8) shows that by drinking regular infusions of sage tea over 4 weeks have found to drastically reduce hot flushes by 50% and within 8 weeks by 64%.
To make the tea:
Pour at least 1 cup of boiled water over 4 tablespoons of fresh sage in a pot. Cover and steep for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drink this tea cold throughout the day and particularly when you feel a hot flush begin.
Drink this daily for a period of at least 1 -2 months. You can also use dried sage.
- Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis). The root has been used for centuries in the East as a female remedy. It’s tranquillizing and sedating effects help to alleviate mood swings and irritability associated with menopause. (9)
- Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is an adaptogen. Adaptogens help you to perceive stress differently and to cope with it better. In a kinesiology session, adaptogens change the muscle strength often, indicating that the body has chosen its remedy for an imbalanced organ, gland or system. With an abundance of stresses around us, I feel its a good thing to support our adrenal glands, which are mostly associated with the response to stress.
- Red Clover (Trifolium pratense). The flavonoids in the flowers and the leaves are oestrogenic. Traditionally it has also been used for skin complaints and has anticancer properties. An interesting study shows that the frequency of hot flushes when taking red clover reduced by 44% during the first 4 weeks (10).
- St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This herb is more well known to help alleviate a low state of mood, however, studies (11) have shown its effectiveness in decreasing the severity, frequency and duration of hot flushes as well. It is effective in alleviating the symptoms when taking St John’s Wort between 4 to 8 weeks.
I would like to make a note on Anthony Williams, Medical Medium’s point of view as I feel that it may have relevance to some women when going through negative menopausal symptoms, particularly if many things have been tried to no avail.
He attributes menopausal imbalances to three things: Epstein Barr Virus, Radiation and DDT.
Epstein Barr virus is part of the herpes family. It is very contagious but can lie dormant in a person for many years not causing any problems whatsoever.
The radiation we are exposed to daily, from natural sources like the sun, to unnatural sources like TV screens, computers, mobile phones, WIFI, etc..
DDT, a pesticide (banned in most countries now) sprayed on crops, parks and pretty much everywhere. It has had a massive negative impact on the environment and all inhabitants great and small damaging the nervous system. It doesn’t break down easily and so we are still exposed to its detrimental effects.
In the case that the menopausal symptoms are created by those mentioned above, it would be a good idea to do a 3 day cleanse involving prune juice, carrots and apples with plenty of fluid. Ideally, this should be done monthly.
Some powerful remedies are noted to help strengthen your body’s innate defence system and to remove harmful substances.
- Silver hydrosol
- Olive leaf
- Liquorice root (avoid if you have high blood pressure)
- Grapefruit seed extract
Emotional balance and stability when going through the menopause
It’s very clear that herbs can most certainly help us when going through a period of emotional instability.
The food in your diet will also be a factor in achieving a state of well being. Let’s put this into perspective.
A woman who eats wholesome, organic, high-quality and well prepared food, consuming both raw and cooked on a daily basis, will have a much higher tolerance to stress compared to a woman who eats processed, refined, quick foods such as bread, biscuits, sweets, fried foods etc..
What causes you the most stress? If there is a solution for it, do what you can. If you are truly stuck, go and see a psychologist to help you with that. You don’t have to be alone.
All things can be brought into a different light. You may not be able to change the situation but you can change your perception.
There are many ways to bring about stability within your nervous system and to strengthen it.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Tai Chi
- Painting in art classes
- Playing or listening to music
- Walking in nature
- Being with animals
It’s important that you prioritize yourself. Crack the rigid structure of putting others first because sometimes this can lead to resentment.
Put yourself first and do the things that you want to do.
Every day, do things that bring you joy and this, in turn, will boost your immune system, raising your defences against disease, and heighten your sense of joy.
Menopause is meant to be a joyful phase. The wise woman stage.
The time before puberty, without the fluctuating hormones was your true youth. With the end to menstruation, it marks the reconnection to that time.