All too often hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has uncomfortable side effects. The hot flashes, mood swings and headaches are bad enough; women do not need additional symptoms piled on top of what they already have. This is the biggest reason that more and more women are looking at herbal and homeopathic remedies. There is still a lot of research to be done, however there is a lot of evidence supporting the effectiveness of natural remedies.
The most popular and effective natural treatment comes in the form of herbs. Plants like black cohosh and red clover contain a class of phytoestrogens that simulate the hormone estrogen in the human body. Soy is also said to possess some of these phytoestrogens and can be beneficial as well. It has been documented that by consuming a regular dose of soy products can be as effective as some prescription drugs used when treating menopausal symptoms. Other natural sources are flaxseed oil, chaste berry, ginseng and the Chinese herb, dong quai.
Black cohosh, though not as effective as soy or red clover, does help to reduce hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and a few other symptoms. Further research has shown that black cohosh has no hormonal effects, yet it still manages to provide relief to the woman taking the herb. What researchers have found is that black cohosh contains elements that work on the pituitary gland and suppresses the pituitary’s secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is responsible for most of the symptoms of menopause and the black cohosh has been found to actually prevent these symptoms from happening.
As with all herbal remedies, they do take a while to be absorbed and used by the body. If you want a quick fix, you will not find your answer in the realm of herbs. Most herbs take three to four weeks to begin to work properly, as the elements in the herb have to build up in the system. Of course, the whole process of using natural remedies is time consuming and requires a lot of research to find out what will or will not work for you.
By: Jeff Clare
About the Author: