Top Ten Herbs To Help Perimenopause Symptoms
Top Ten List of Herbs For Perimenopause Support
Perimenopause - Herbs May Help Ease The Symptoms and Effects of Going Through the Changes.
Yes, the Times, They Are A’Changing.
It seems as if no one really tells us women what to expect when you start ‘going through the changes’. In fact, it’s different for each woman. Many factors can contribute to how much you feel at any one month to the next, in terms of how severe your ‘symptoms’ of perimenopause can be. But you needn’t be frightened, be enlightened instead.
First of all, what exactly is perimenopause and how long does it last? Perimenopause can start as early as when you are in your 30’s, but usually starts when women are in their 40’s. How long does it last? Four years is the average length of perimenopause, but some women can experience it for only a few months while others experience the perimenopause phase for up to 10 years.
You begin your Menopause phase, when you have gone 12 months without having your period, which is a signal that your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs.
Not all women experience perimenopause the same way, in fact it’s very individualistic. For some women, the types of period you get, can change - and they can become more severe. You may notice different sensations such as increased tenderness in your breasts, and a sense of overall fatigue. You may experience urinary urgency or anxiety.
Well that’s just great sounding isn’t it?! But there can be relief using a natural approach with the use of herbs and essential oils along with a few eating tips.
Before I suggest some herbs and essentials oils that may help with relieving these symptoms, let me share with you a list what are the more common symptoms of perimenopause:
Here is a list of just a few symptoms of perimenopause:
- Hot Flashes - We’ve all heard of these. Usually felt as a rush of heat, spreading over your body. They can be strong or weak, happen during the day or at night and can last for just a few seconds, to more than a few minutes.
- Night Sweats - known as Sleep Hyperhidrosis, which is caused by hormonal imbalances in conjunction with environmental factors. At it’s worse, night sweats can be a sign of underlying medical issues, so it’s important to share and tell your doctor if your night sweats are severe.
- Irritability - And you thought you were irritable now and before the onset of your period - ha! You haven’t seen anything yet. These can be more severe, making you feel ‘on edge’, and quick to snap per se. I refers to these as having the ‘Meows’ - like when a cat whines… Underlining causes: fluctuations in hormonal balances that affect the neurotransmitters which are responsible for your moods.
- Digestive Issues - studies have shown there’s an increase in lactose-intolerance as a women nears perimenopause. Also due to the aging process, less production of lactase (the digestive hormone responsible for digesting milk and milk byproducts) is yet another reason for the increased lactose intolerance experienced by perimenopausal women. Furthermore, hormonal imbalances can be disruptive to the transit of food, to the gut; and the added stress that one experiences can also add to the overall issue of experiencing more digestive problems.
- Vaginal Dryness - caused by drops in estrogen levels, vaginal tissue becomes thinner, drier and less elastic.
- Thinning Hair as a result of hormonal imbalances in the body.
- Loss of Sexual Drive/ Libido - Well, now you don’t even need that old excuse that you have a headache, now a days, you actually do have more headaches. Still, due to changes in your hormones, one’s libido and drive can feel diminished.
- Bloating - Do we ever get rid of this feeling?! Lower levels of bile can contribute to bloating with is caused by your new estrogen deficiency. Be aware though of bloating lasting more than a few days, as persistent or unexplained bloating or stomach pain lasting for more than three days should be checked out by your doctor promptly.
- Irregular Periods: Caused again by changes in hormonal balances. Your period could become more heavy or lighter than usual. Spotting and skipping periods is also common. Definitely still use protection while having sex! Especially since you may not be noticing your periods of ovulations as easily due to your vaginal dryness. You still can get pregnant!
- Anxiety - Frequent or one-time events, caused by sudden drops in estrogen levels circulating in your body, which in turn reduces the production of neurotransmitters (serotonin & dopamine) responsible for mood regulation. - Well, that’s just great!
- Tingling Extremities - Caused by lowered levels of estrogen affecting the central nervous system.
- Tension and Muscle Pain - A increase of the stress hormone cortisol brought upon lowered levels of estrogen can be one of the leading causes for more tension being felt in the body than normal.
Well doesn’t this sound all pleasant and lovely?! Yea… no! But there is relief, there are answers to relieving some of these symptoms and in even preventing them. Here are my top ten herbs I recommend to help alleviate some of the symptoms of perimenopause.
- Black Coolish Root. Taken in capsule form, will help to alleviate those ‘meows’ aka mood swings, anxieties and moodiness. They also help with changes in one’s sleep patterns. It also helps to relieve and even prevent (or lessen the severity) of hot flashes and night sweats.
- Sage (Salvia Officinalis) (related to the mint family) when drank cold, it reduces sweating, when drank hot, it increases sweating, which then cools you down.
- Elder: improves overall circulation and moves fluids along, helps to reduce bloating and flushed skin.
- Yarrow: regulates the fluids in the body. When drank warm, it will help to open up skin pores and help to reduce heat in the body. Do avoid Yarrow if pregnant.
- White Willow: cooling and anti-inflammatory.
- Raspberry: It’s one of those wondrous plants that helps us women in all stages of our lives. Supports easing of menstrual cramps to helping with digestive issues.
- Dandelion: Supports Digestive System, helps to remove toxins from your liver faster.
- Horsetail: Phenomenal herb to drink for increasing one’s electrolytes. But this tea is great for gingivitis and loss of hair which is also associated as a symptom of perimenopause.
- Nettle: Helps with reducing inflammation associated with muscle pain and tension, including joint paint. Helps to relieve some of the symptoms of allergies (which can be increased during the perimenopausal stage).
- Marshmallow: Supports Urea Cycle, Urinary System, Helps to reduce joint paint and supports respiratory system for increased allergic symptoms one may experience during perimenopause.
Additional Pointers To Help Relieve Symptoms Experienced During Perimenopause:
- Eat Cooling Foods: Certain herbs and foods help to cool down the body. Do an internet search on cooling foods whether Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda. Some of these foods that help to cool the body (thereby preventing hot flashes) are: the green part of a scallion, cucumbers, melon, coconut, leafy vegetables, bok choy, celery, swiss chard, broccoli, bananas, pears, all citrus fruits, zucchini, spinach, radish and eggplant to name just a few.
- Take a B-complex Vitamin Daily. This will help with a slew of the symptoms associated with perimenopause including depression, increased stress and tension, those ‘Meow’s as discussed, aka the irritable moments, etc.
- Do Yoga and Meditation to help reduce & disperse stress and tension associated with perimenopause.
- Sleep in the Nude: Sleeping au natural will help you to regulate your body easier than if you’re all covered up in your flannel nightgown under blankets. Also having layered blankets will help so you can flip on or off the layers you need during the night as your body temperatures fluctuate.
- Drink Teas that Support Women’s Reducing the Symptoms of Perimenopause and avoid Drinking Alcohol & Smoking Marijuana (which creates heat in the body)
My Top Heart & Soul Apothecary Products That Were Created to Help Perimenopause:
- Yo, Easy Aunt Flo Anointment Oil: A mix of organic essential oils and jojoba oils in a roll-on bottle, that you apply to your lower abdomen and lower back area to help reduce pain associated with painful periods.
- Tame Your Flame Mist: A Combination of Organic Hydrosols of Peppermint and Cucumber with organic essential oils that help to cool your body S.T.A.T. and help prevent the length of hot flashes when used at night before you go to bed. Great to help cool down the body at any time.
- Tame Your Flame Tea: An organic herbal mixture specially created for reducing hot flashes. Tastes great cold or hot.
- Great Aunt Flo Tea: A tea made specifically for the perimenopause stage. Helps to control those ‘Meow’s’ and irritable moments.
- Wise Woman Tea: Another great calming tea for that stage going from perimenopause to menopause.
- Leah Quinn