Menopause and Adaptogen Herbs; a perfect match

Why do I like adaptogen herbs for support during menopause?  The ovaries fail as a natural progression of menopause and create a physical stress on the body.  You take a double hit now combined with other stressors including, job, family, emotions or just life in general.

Adaptogen herbs help under time of stress.  They assist the bodies physiological functions respond to outside stressors.  They do this by lowering the stress threshold.  This activity, in turn supports your adrenal glands, important for hormonal balance.  Every woman should be on adaptogen herbs for support during major hormonal changes.

Most important is consistent use, as over time the body will heal with support.

Here are a few of my favorite adaptogen herbs:

  1.  Holy Basil

Holy what?  Holy Basil.  Also known as Tulsi, is an ancient herb used for its healing properties for thousands of years.  Today you can find it as a supplement or as Tulsi tea.  It is effective in the treatment of fatigue, anxiety, thyroid issues, blood pressure and blood sugar balance. It even helps with acne.  (Who doesn’t love (hate!) adult acne!?) It’s  powerful properties make an awesome herb for symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause.

Holy basil’s anti-inflammatory properties support the immune system. Holy Basil treats certain conditions and in prevention of many chronic illnesses as well.

An article in Nutrition and Cancer describes people who consume Tulsi on a regular basis are less likely to be immune-compromised.  They are also less susceptible to developing cancer cells.  Imagine if it is powerful to do that, how good it can be for you.

Holy Basil has powerful anti-stress properties and is an adaptogen herb.  It is great source for treating anyone who experiences stressful times and/or anxiety.  It supports the adrenal system, which during menopause,  fluctuates hormonally. How should you use it? Enjoy a cup a tea to combat the stressors of the day!!

  1. Ashwanganda

Referred to as “Indian ginseng” and interestingly enough, unrelated to ginseng).  Ashwanganda enjoys a 2,500 year history in Ayurveda medicine. This popular herb has over 200 journal articles on its properties and uses.

Like most of the adaptogen herbs, it supports the immune and adrenal system.  It is an excellent tension reducing herb as it works to combat the stress response in the body. This powerhouse herb packs a punch.  It helps protect the immune system, supports healthy blood sugar metabolism and lowers cholesterol. It improves brain function, such as memory changes. It reduces anxiety and depression, and enhances sexual potency for both men and women.  Need I say more for you menopausal women??

Supplemental form is the common use for this herb. Using Ashwanganda on a regular basis provides positive effects. It will help balance your brain, heart, moods and even your sex drive!!

  1. Rhodiola

I am not sure if this is my favorite because the first three letters are the same as the first three letters in my name.  Or for the mere fact that this is an herb that I see great results in almost all my patients.  Rhodioloa (rholiola rosea) is also known as golden root. It is popular in recent research because of its potent adaptogenic effects.  This powerful herb helps the body combat the negative effects from stress.

It is also known to be one of the best “anti-aging” herbs due to its effects on cortisol levels.  Cortisol is the “stress hormone” in our body.  In high amounts for long periods of time cortisol accelerates the aging process. (OMG…no one wants that!)  If you want to promote longevity – use this herb on a regular basis.

Rhodiola works for physical stress and is an excellent source for mental stress management.  When taken on a regular basis, your memory and mental fatigue improves.

  1. Ginseng

If you haven’t heard of the previous herbs, you’ve likely have heard of Ginseng.  Ginseng is a popular herb for many ailments due to its powerful adaptogenic properties.

Ginseng comes in various forms with Panax Ginseng considered the most potent.  Ginseng has potent natural anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective in supporting the immune system and fighting against infections.  It improves brain function. It is promising in the support of people with memory or mood disorders, ADHA and even Alzheimers.

Ginseng also has anti-cancer properties due to its effect on the immune system.  It supports healthy glucose management and shows  effectiveness with weight loss.  Take Ginseng in a supplement form or use as a tea.

  1. Maca

Maca sometimes known as “Peruvian ginseng,” yet has no relation to ginseng. Found in Peru, and enjoyed for thousands of years for its beneficial properties.  This root will increase strength, energy, stamina, libido and sexual function.  It improves perimenopause and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety and depression.

  1. Astragalus Root

You may not heard of this one.  But, Astragalus Root may be one of the most potent when it comes to the immune system.   Used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is as an adaptogen.  Also it boosts your immune system, and it will help you combat those stressful times as well.

Astragalus Root possesses properties that help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease and diabetes.  It also fights against infection, both bacterial and viral.  It’s anti-inflammatory agents, make it a great herb for prevention of most chronic illnesses.  These diseases include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, and chronic viral conditions.

Astragalus Root is available in supplement forms, tinctures and teas.

  1. Licorice Root

Is this candy or what?  Well if you are a licorice fan, licorice root can combat menopausal symptoms.  Woo hoo! It is one of the most potent for those vasomotor symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats.

There was a compelling study conducted that was a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. The trial consisted of ninety menopausal women with a complaint of hot flashes.  The study was over 8 weeks with a 4 week follow-up.  Findings showed licorice root effective in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flash.  (If you’re a geek, you will enjoy the clinical trial details here.)

Now one BIG note on Licorice root.  It involves an increase in blood pressure in some women.  I suggest monitoring your blood pressure while on this one. Use with caution if you under treatment for high blood pressure.

  1. Schisandra

Schisandra is a potent general tonic, decreasing fatigue, enhancing physical performance, and promoting endurance. This beautiful red berry counters tension through reduction in the levels of stress hormones. It’s effect is a great support for the adrenal glands

Schisandra prevents early aging and increasing lifespan.  How does it work?  It normalizes blood sugar and blood pressure. It also stimulates the immune system and speeds recovery after surgery. Other uses in perimenopause and menopause include the following.  It aids in sleep problems, night sweats, depression, PMS symptoms, irritability, and memory loss.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

  1. Adaptogen Herbs are a must even if you aren’t stranded on a deserted island. They are a must to help in perimenopause and menopause.
  2. The restorative properties of adaptogen herbs play a key role during the physical stress of perimenopause and menopause. They help balance and restore the body.

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