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HRT, Menopause & Alternative Therapies

The goal of any menopausal health program should be twofold: eliminate the bothersome symptoms, and to prevent the degenerative ailments.

Some health practitioners report that plant-derived synthetic hormones work as well as Premarin and more closely resemble human hormones than those made from mare's urine. Others, including many womens' health activists and practitioners of alternative medicine, suggest a more natural approach such as:

hot flashes

Black (not Blue) Cohosh -
Black Cohosh is fairly well studied in
Germany, where it is used to treat hot flashes.

Wild Yam has grown in popularity. Read the labels before you purchase. Unfortunately, misleading labeling and marketing practices has infiltrated the Natural Foods Industry, creating a great deal of confusion for women attempting to make educated purchases of wild yam and progesterone products. The inaccurate marketing of Wild Yam extract as a precursor to progesterone (it is chemically impossible for the body to convert the diosgenin of Wild yam into progesterone) are two common labeling confusions.

Soy products may also provide some relief. But before you start stocking up on Soy products, be sure you really understand the consequences to your health. There is such a thing as too much soy. Read The Soy Report, by Dr. Larrian Gillespie.

Don quai contains phytoestrogens , or plant estrogens. Phytoestrogens have been shown to be helpful in relieving hot flashes. Precautions: May cause sensitivity to the sun.

Herbologists also recommend ginseng, gotu kola and motherwort to help with palpitations that accompany hot flashes. Ayurveda recommends treating for a pitta imbalance. Homepathy uses Sepia, Lachesis, and Pulsatilla.

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal creams that release low doses of estrogen can alleviate some discomfort.

Mood Swings

Anxiety - Skullcap eases anxiety associated with menopause. Also, passion flower and valerian root are recommended for their extraordinary calming properties, along with chamomile, catnip, and peppermint teas.

Depression - It's been reported that herbs such as oat straw, ginger, cayenne pepper, dandelion root, blessed thistle, and Siberian ginseng improve vitality, partly due to the high levels of essential nutrients. And, of course, the herbs of choice for depression, St. John's Wort and Kava.

NOTE: Medicinal herbs are "medicine" and may have an adverse reaction with any prescription drugs you may be taking. Consult with your health care provider in regards to medicinal herbs. Don't assume that "Natural" means "safe."

HRT | Alternative Therapies for Menopause

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