We have been getting a lot of questions on which of the herbs we sell would be helpful for women about to go through or are currently going through menopause.
There are many, many menopausal herbs that are extremely beneficial for this transitory experience in a woman’s life. As menopause nowadays is nothing like it used to be for those going through it, this is a very serious issue.
The fact that hot flashes, night sweats, pain during intercourse, increased anxiety or irritability, and the need to urinate more often takes place for many women did not use to be a normal occurrence.
This is because back in great-grandmothers’ day, people ate healthy, organic foods with no chemicals sprayed on them and there were no weird DNA alterations that our bodies have never encountered before.
The meats were range-fed and not fattened by eating corn so all the omega-3’s and other high nutrients of these meats could be used by the body to efficiently produce the correct amount of hormones that nature intended it to.
The effects of chemicals and low-nutrient quality foods disrupts the hormonal balancing act in a mighty savage way. Any unhealthy activities that a woman could get by with before menopause will begin to amplify the effects of the hormonal changes taking place during menopause. This is why it is so important to get on track with your health before this phase of like takes place.
The symptoms of menopause are largely an anomaly common to modern living styles. This is in large part caused by adrenal exhaustion. Nora T. Gedgaudas explains in her book, Primal Body, Primal Mind:
Women must depend on healthy adrenals to ease the transition of menopause. Exhausted adrenals are unable to take the “baton” from the ovaries, as they are supposed to at this time, to continue producing needed hormones. If your adrenals are shot, that transition called menopause can be pure hell. Women with healthy adrenals at menopause barely even notice anything has happened, which is how it is supposed to be. Hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms are not remotely normal simply because they are commonplace.
What is adrenal exhaustion exactly? It is a syndrome that results when the adrenal glands work below their normal threshold. And it does this because of too much stress being placed on it.
Common adrenal stressors can include blood sugar disregulation (the big one), chronic use of stimulants, chronic high levels of EMF (electromagnetic frequency) exposure, chronic infections, food-sensitivity issues, prolonged life stress or chronic trauma, chronic lack of adequate sleep, and excessive exercise.
These glands produce 5 different hormones that do different things in the body, but the big one here is a glucocorticoid by the name of cortisol.
This well known chemical messenger is used to control your blood sugar. This happens in a rhythmic fashion throughout the day, starting high in the morning and slowly lowering in a noticeable pattern until it is bedtime. All those stressors listed above though keep your adrenals constantly pumping this hormone out and your cortisol cycle can get really screwed up from this as a result.
If you ever feel sluggish in the morning (need some coffee to get going?), feel good until around 4 pm when you get really tired and feel like a nap would help, and then either stay up late because you are wide awake or have problems going to sleep at a normal time you may have adrenal exhaustion.
These pattern disruptions can be readily managed by the use of adaptogens, which are stress-mitigating herbs that can help reset these erratic patterns on a brain-communication level and help restore healthy cortisol rhythms.
This will help with menopause in a huge way. A return to normal hormonal functioning cycles supports your body in dealing with its changing hormone levels. It also will revitalize your adrenals and allow them to take up the slack of the ovaries. Mentally, these herbs can make it easier to deal with any issues that come your way during this time as well.
The big one here is Shilajit. This menopause herb is one of the best adaptogens you can take period, for women or men! And while it returns your hormonal profile to a more natural state, it has the added benefit of ramping up your metabolism so you can lose those unwanted pounds that are normally associated with menopause and its after effects.
Pine pollen must be mentioned for the hormonal balancing act it helps to promote in the body. It does this by clearing out xeno and phytoestrogens from your system which are much higher in today’s world then great-grandmothers time.
To do this, your testosterone levels are re balanced from the androgens found in the pollen. The testosterone-estrogen hormones are linked in a very delicate seesaw that everyone should be aware of. Too much estrogen is a horrible thing, causing secondary feminine features in men and hugely disrupting either sexes healthy hormone levels. Everyone, men and women, requires testosterone to function. Women will not grow hair or huge bulging muscles from consuming this nature-made herb because it is just re-balancing their testosterone levels to their normal amounts. In fact, women are more likely to experience reduced menstrual issues, such as cramping and PMS. This is in marked contrast to high levels of estrogen which exasperates these symptoms.
In the book Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation, Andreas Moritz writes:
The ovaries of a woman entering menopause purposely reduce their production of estrogen. Menopause is not a sign of becoming old or the body becoming useless; it simply prevents a women from conceiving children so that she can devote the rest of her time and energy to the process of developing and maturing new, formerly untapped skills and capabilities…Since she cannot reproduce any longer, it would actually be harmful if she did maintain the old levels of hormones. (High estrogen levels are responsible for breast cancer.) So menopause, as such, does not cause hormone deficiencies at all. The story, however, is very different if a woman hasn’t been healthy before onset of menopause.
Clearly, anything that would help lower those unnatural estrogen the body has accumulated is going to help with menopause symptoms and to reduce the chances of breast cancer even post-menopause. Pine pollen cannot be ignored for assisting in this process.
Finally, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea Pollen) has the ability to support the entire endocrine system. The endocrine system is composed of all the glands that release their hormones into the bloodstream to regulate the body. Medical science is catching up to other more ancient systems in the knowledge of just how important it is to have harmony in this system. This is hugely important for menopause as the many different hormone levels of the body are changing at a rate that is difficult to comprehend. This menopause herb can only help in assisting these glands and providing dense-nutrients for healing through this period.
All of these herbs have hugely significant benefits to anyone’s health, not just women about to go through or going through menopause. Everyone under the sun stands to benefit in some way by the regular consumption of them. But if menopause is looming on the horizon or you or someone you know is having difficulty with the transition, these herbs take on a much more significant aspect to them.
Menopausal problems can be an opportunity for a woman to put her life in order on all levels. Menopause brings to the surface whatever issues a woman may not have dealt with successfully while she was busy taking care of her family or career. The midlife phase doesn’t need to be a midlife crisis. Instead, it can be a woman’s greatest opportunity to deal with any unresolved issues in her life, thereby freeing her from all kinds of limitations-physical, emotional and spiritual. The first and most important step in that direction is to know that menopause isn’t a disease and that the body isn’t doing anything wrong. Supporting it and treating it with kindness and respect during this important time in a women’s life can make all the difference.
Nora T. Gedgaudas, “Primal Body, Primal Mind.” Healing Arts Press, 2011
Andreas Moritz, “Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation.” Ener-chi Wellness Press, 2007