Home Remedies for Menopause
If menopause symptoms start to make life uncomfortable it can be easy to forget that this is not an illness but a natural progression in female life. Having said that there is no need to suffer in silence. While there are some medications to help symptoms, there are also home remedies for menopause.
The thing with menopause and the years leading up to it known as perimenopause, is that it does not follow a predictable course.
Women can start to experience differing symptoms at varying times and for varying lengths of time. You may be able to guestimate when your menopause will start based on family history, but you may find that your female friends will not necessarily be experiencing the same issues as you at the same time.
I found this quite difficult when I first struggled with my perimenopause problems. Over the years I had been able to share experiences and tips with my friends. We are around the same age, had children at the same time and have supported each other through pregnancy and miscarriages, weaning, schooling and all the other life stages we and our children have gone through.
But when it came to menopause we started at different times and had very different experiences. My other friends are mostly a good 10 years younger, so I ended up feeling a little isolated until I discovered online resources like this one.
Take Time to Talk
Feeling like you are suffering alone can exacerbate symptoms. Talking over your emotions and worries can go a long way towards helping the physical symptoms seem more manageable; it is a simple “home remedy” that works for many women.
If a face-to-face chat with people you know seems too mortifying, why not approach some of your older female friends, workmates or family members via a messaging app? Or, ask your doctor for therapist or support group recommendations, places where you can talk in confidence.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes and More
Hot flashes are by far the most common sign that hormones are playing havoc with your body with around 80% of women listing this as a symptom.
You may be able to cut down the severity, length and frequency of hot flashes by dressing in natural fabrics like cotton, wool, linen or silk. Dress in layers with a loose short sleeved top with a wrap, cardigan or jacket that you can throw off when the heat hits you.
Make sure your bedclothes and nightclothes are made from natural materials too, and if you share your bed, consider getting separate duvets of varying ratings if you are permanently hot while your partner is shivering.
You can buy hats and neck scarves with cooling gel beads built in from some camping shops and from online stores. I have a jaunty, narrow pink spotted scarf which looks nice and cools the back of my neck, making my whole body feel cooler. It is easily refreshed by running under cold water. Search “cooling neck scarf” to find one in a design you like.
Ask an Expert
Many people swear by alternative remedies like black cohosh, ginseng, evening primrose oil and red clover taken in tablet or liquid form. There are also ready-blended remedies that aim to tackle a wide range of menopause issues and may also contain vitamins and minerals which are often lacking in women in perimenopause or full menopause when all menstruation has stopped.
Although you can buy products like this off the shelf without a prescription, it would be wise to take expert advice. Even though they are natural products they can be powerful drugs and can have side effects.
You could ask advice from someone from the health food store who has been trained or consider consulting a qualified homeopath. Also, speak to your doctor if you take any prescription meds to make sure there will be no dangerous interactions between natural and manufactured drugs and remedies.
Time for Tea
If you are a fan of tea, then you will be delighted to learn there is a wide range of teas available that can help relieve many menopause symptoms.
Black cohosh makes an appearance in many teas aimed at menopausal women, as it is one of the main natural remedies that has proved successful in trials, measuring its efficacy against hot flashes. However, it should not be used in any form by those with liver or blood pressure problems.
Other teas containing ginseng can help increase sex drive. It can also help with hot flashes and night sweats. It can have side effects though, as tea can react with numerous medications including heart, blood pressure, diabetes and blood-thinning medications.
Suffering long, heavy periods? Oh, I feel your pain! I soaked through a tampon and a night-time pad in a car. Try red raspberry leaf tea. You might have tried it during pregnancy to stimulate and ease labor, but it can also reduce menstrual flow, especially during perimenopause.
Valerian root tea can be especially useful at night to reduce hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety and headaches. You can buy teas loose or in teabag form at the grocery or drug store and of course, online.
Menopause and Anxiety
Finally, if you feel anxious about any of your symptoms, there are a few simple tips to keep your anxiety levels down.
Maybe carry wipes and an antiperspirant or deodorant to freshen up after hot flashes. It can also help wear dark clothes and carry spare underwear in times of hot flashes. Even packing an extra pair of clothes can keep you dry too.
A personal tip of mine: I carry a little roller ball or spray bottle of essential oils. You can get “women’s blends” as well as oils blended to give you energy or help you relax. Keep them in your purse and apply regularly to pulse-points whenever you feel stressed. You can buy them online or in good drug stores.