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is good to remember that menopause is the end of fertility only,
not the end of sexuality and creativity. In our youth oriented
country, this powerful change does not occur in a supportive
or nourishing environment. It is a difficult time and undergoing
this transition with grace and strength is desirable. On the
positive side, women of this generation, more than ever before,
are asking questions and sharing information.
woman experiences menopause in her own way. What works for one
will not work for all. The whole process, from the first signs
of menopause until menstruation stops and one adjusts to the
hormonal changes, is menopause. At this time the ovaries secrete
less estrogen and progesterone. Besides these fluctuations in
estrogen and progesterone, there are other variables that affect
how women feel and react to menopause. These include cultural
views of menopause, a woman's health history, nutrition, economic
status, and adrenal stress. The endocrine system is comprised
of the pituitary gland, thyroid and parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal
glands, and the ovaries. The adrenal glands take over the job
of secreting estrogen after the ovaries stop producing. They
convert a secretion called androstenadione into estrone in our
blood and body fat. Regular exercise and some body fat supports
the transition. Fatigue, depression, and irritability are signs
of overworked adrenal glands. Another area of concern for the
menopausal woman is bone density. Bone loss will result in osteoporosis.
Changes in diet, lifestyle, exercise, and using herbs can help
prevent bone loss.
balanced diet high in vitamins and minerals and low in processed
food, sugar, salt, caffeine, fat, white flour, and alcohol supports
the adrenals and is essential in preventing osteoporosis. Whole
grains, dark leafy green vegetables, seaweed (a much higher
source of calcium than dairy products), legumes, nuts, seeds,
fruit, flax seed, and soy products are all ingredients of a
following formula gives a boost to the adrenals:
Rosemary Gladstar's Menopause Formula
1 part black cohosh
1 part ginger
½ part dong quai
2 parts kelp
1 part licorice
1 part spirulina
1 part motherwort
2 parts yellow dock root
1 part wild yam root
the herbs must be powdered. Capsule size is "00" and dosage
is two tablets three times a day for three months or as long
primary herbs in this formula:
cohosh: Used to balance and regulate hormone production
during menopause. Used in many female toning formulas
to encourage the production of estrogen.
Dong quai (Chinese angelica): Can be used over an extended
period of time for strengthening and balancing the uterus
and for relief of all kinds of menstrual/menopausal problems.
(Not to be used in the first two-trimesters of pregnancy.)
Useful as endocrine and hormone support. (Avoid if there
is high blood pressure.)
Considered a uterine tonic to support the female organs
during menopause. Used for treatment of female gland and
Yam root: Acts to regulate the ratio of progesterone to
estrogen in the system.
Promotes circulation. Acts as a specific remedy where
there are problems associated with congestion in the reproductive
system. Also good for hot flashes.
Kelp: Seaweed rich in vitamins, trace elements, and minerals.
Highly nutritive micro-algae. Excellent source of protein,
chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
dock root: High in herbal iron.
following tea was formulated
by Brigitte Mars especially for the female reproductive system.
It can be purchased from Unitea in Boulder, Colorado
under the name Femininitea. Drink 3 to 4 cups a day.
are the ingredients:
leaf: Rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron. An astringent
tonic for the reproductive system.
Angelica: Improves circulation.
Rich in iron and strengthens the kidneys.
Helps alleviate cramps. Improves circulation and digestion.
Keeps blood sugar levels stable. Nourishes the adrenal glands.
Promotes feelings of love and empathy.
Ursi: Excellent diuretic to help prevent water retention
and weight gain.
dock root: Helps the liver to detoxify excess hormones.
Improves iron assimilation.
Nourishes the hormonal system. Rejuvenating.
Quai: Rich in vitamin E. Improves circulation, increases
energy, promotes menstrual regularity.
root: Benefits the skin.
Gladstar's Calcium Tea
1 part oatstraw
2 parts nettle
1 part horsetail
3 parts peppermint
1 part borage
1 part chamomile
four to six TBS per quart. Pour boiling water over the herbs
and let steep at least 30 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 cups daily.
flashes affect 75% of women during menopause. Their length,
intensity, and frequency vary in each woman and from woman to
woman. They are regarded as mildly unpleasant to downright awful.
The cause of hot flashes is not fully understood. It is possible
to diminish their effect somewhat with diet and herbs. Remember
these are long term commitments.
are Rosemary Gladstar's suggestions:
to a grains-based diet and eliminate all sugars including fruit
Dr. Christopher's Change-Ease formula available in natural food
and herb stores. Take 2 tablets three times a day.
on food rich in calcium and vitamin E.
ginseng daily to normalize the body's response to hot and colds
and to relieve hot flashes.
daily-1 TBS per cup. Infuse for at least 20 minutes. Use purple
sage if you can. If unavailable, garden
sage will do. Drink 3 to 4 cups a day.
for Hot Flashes
2 parts wild yam root
1 part ginseng
1 part licorice
1 part false unicorn root
1 part black cohosh
dry herbs from a reputable source. Place them in a clean, dry
jar. Pour the menstruum (liquid
extractor-vodka, vinegar, or glycerin) over the herbs. Completely
cover the herbs and add 2 or 3 more inches. Place in a warm,
dark place. Shake once a day. Steep for 4 to 8 weeks-the longer
the better. Strain, label, and store in a cool, dark place.
Take ¼ to ½ tsp three times a day. If you are using an alcoholic
tincture and prefer not to have alcohol, add the tincture to
boiling water. Remove the water/tincture mixture from the stove
and let sit for 5 minutes.
the Natural Way by Nina Shandler
Shandler talks about using flax seed and soy products as sources
of estrogen during menopause. Also contains recipes.
Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
Roots of Healing by Deb Soule
will take you to Susunn Weed's website. Lots of wonderful information
about the nutrition in common weeds. Go to the LINKS, and click
on Boston Women's Health book Collective. Type menopause
in the search drop down box. This has current and extensive
information about menopause.