|Herbs to help with menopause
: I HAVE been on an 80 per
cent vegetarian diet for
about five years now. I take spirulina regularly. Two years ago my
period started to become irregular. It came twice in a month for two consecutive
months. The medication prescribed by the doctor only helped to relieve the
symptoms for only a few months. Am I approaching menopause? I am 43.
Answer : AS you are a vegetarian, the risk of getting not enough
vitamin B12 is there as this vitamin is mostly obtained from meat and animal
products. But you are on the right track supplementing with spirulina. Your
irregular periods seem to indicate menopause.
A woman would normally go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55
due to reduced oestrogen and progesterone production by the ovaries. The age
varies according to several factors. One of these is body weight. Overweight
people tend to menopause later. Common symptoms of menopause include
amenorrhoea (absence of period), irregular periods like you are having now,
increased or decreased flow, hot flushes, heart palpitations, low libido,
tingling, chills, nervousness, excitability, inability to concentrate,
forgetfulness, depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, headaches,
muscle and bone aches, and gastrointestinal disturbances. There may also be
changes in frequency of urination, stress incontinence, unwanted hair and
drying up of vaginal secretions and vaginitis. If menopause has been
confirmed by a doctor, you may try taking a herbal supplement to help women
cope with menopausal symptoms. This is a safer alternative than hormone
replacement therapy. A good herbal supplement should contain black cohosh,
dong quai, soya, red clover and sage.
Black cohosh is effective in treating perimenopausal symptoms and those
arising from a lack of oestrogen and progesterone, such as hot flushes and
night sweat. It is anti-inflammatory and may help to relieve menstrual
Dong quai, also known as 'female ginseng', helps to restore balance in a
woman's reproductive system by toning up the uterus, nourishing the blood
and stimulating healthy circulation. Soya is high in isoflavones and is
beneficial for menopause-related hot flushes, osteoporosis and certain types
of cancer. Recent evidence shows that red clover helps improve heart health
in menopausal women.
Sage is for digestive disorders associated with PMS and excessive
perspiration especially at night.