As you probably know already, menopause is defined as the interruption of a woman’s fertile age. This is a period of important change in the life of every woman who, unfortunately, brings with it many symptoms that are anything but pleasant.
Symptoms that fortunately it is possible to fight with the help of different natural remedies, of which I will talk to you shortly.
When does menopause occur?
For most women the transition to menopause occurs around the age of 50 , with a normal variability between 45 and 55 years.
The menstrual cycle becomes gradually irregular, with jumps or advances, menstruation is scarce or abundant and concentrated, but the menopause is confirmed only after 12 consecutive months of lack of menstruation, which does not depend on other physiological or pathological cause.
What are the symptoms?
The interruption of the menstrual cycle and the abrupt decrease in the production of hormones (in particular estrogens, but also androgens, inhibin B and antimullerian hormone) causes the appearance of several annoying symptoms.
Among all the most common are:
- hot flushes (also called caldane);
- night sweats;
- vaginal dryness.
In addition to these symptoms, secondary symptoms may also occur:
- states of anxiety;
- sleep disorders;
- rapid weight gain;
- abdominal swelling;
- chronic fatigue;
- dry skin.
These that I have just listed, are all symptoms related to a physiological physical, metabolic and mental adaptation to the new hormonal structure.
However the most important consequences of the drop in estrogens are to be identified in an increased risk of cardiovascular , osteoarticular and, in particular, incidence of osteoporosis.
There are numerous remedies that can improve the life of a menopausal woman.
Below I will list only those of which I am sure of effectiveness, thanks to the studies and above all the experience I have gained in the field.
With the exception of the fourth and last remedy, which as you will discover, it is an alga, all the others are medicinal herbs that I personally cultivate and of which both I and my family make extensive use.
Furthermore I rely on the results already acquired by many of my clients, of which the vast majority is represented by the very sex.
I’ll start by quoting what I consider the greatest friend of the Women …
I discovered this plant for the first time a few years ago, reading the famous book by Maria Treben ” The Health from the Pharmacy of the Lord ” , one of the best-selling books in the world, at least in the herbs and health category.
Maria Treben is an Austrian herbalist who lived at the turn of the 20th century, whose knowledge was the result of ancient knowledge, handed down from generation to generation. His fame derives from the many successes achieved in the medical field, with the simple use of herbs. Often his treatment was effective, even where official medicine had failed. And this earned her the reputation of a healer, but also many criticisms from many PhDs of the time.
In the text it describes in detail different herbs, listing the properties and uses. Among these is also Achillea (botanical name: Achillea millefolium ).
Here is exactly what is written in the first paragraph of the book, where Maria Treben speaks of the Achillea:
“Women would save themselves many inconveniences if they used Achillea from time to time. Whether it is a young woman suffering from irregular menstruation or an older woman in full menopause or who has passed this stage, for each one, young or old, she is it is important to drink from time to time an herbal tea of Achillea.It has an excellent effect on the abdomen of every woman, which is why it cannot do better in favor of its own health, than to pick a bunch of fresh Achillea whenever it finds itself strolling in the country side.
Today, thanks to Science, we know that this plant contains several active ingredients of great interest, for the health of man and especially of women.
In particular it contains flavonoids , which have the ability to regulate the hormonal activity of every woman .
So this is a truly effective natural remedy, both in young women, and in older or younger women. It helps to regularize the menstrual cycle and, in menopausal women, works by alleviating most of the symptoms and especially hot flashes and night sweats.
Other properties of the Achillea
- Aperitif and digestive: it contains bitter principles and essential oils that facilitate digestion;
- Anti-inflammatory : excellent for inflammation throughout the gastrointestinal tract, so it is useful in disorders such as gastritis, reflux, ulcers and colitis. All problems that can occur more easily during menopause.
- Sedative bland : helps reduce anxiety and nervousness;
- Uterine tonic : the yarrow is also very useful to counteract vaginal dryness, another symptom that almost always accompanies menopausal women.
Finally we must not forget that the yarrow stimulates liver function, improves blood circulation and promotes the elimination of excess fluids, so it is useful for women (but also for men) with problems of water retention and overweight.
How to use?
The flowers and leaves, fresh or dried, are used to make infusions from the Achillea .
The infusion is prepared with 1 teaspoon of herbs, to be left to infuse for 8-10 minutes in a cup of warm water. Being an aromatic herb, it is good to cover the cup with a lid, or a saucer, so as not to evaporate the essential oils.
After 8-10 minutes, the herbal tea is filtered and drunk hot or lukewarm.
They are recommended from one to three herbal teas a day, to be taken at least for a month so you find out. Then it is advisable to continue taking the yarrow herbal tea, taking a cup every so often.
Where to buy
The yarrow milfoil is one of the medicinal herbs that we grow in our countryside in Fermo and we sell it in the form of dried herb for herbal teas.
It is possible to order the Achillea herbal tea directly from our website .
We also prepare a specific herbal tea for women, based on Achillea and other beneficial plants including Salvia (which I will talk about shortly) and others such as Calendula, Camomile and Melissa. The herbal tea in question is not by chance called ” Woman in Shape ” you find it here .
Who doesn’t know Sage? It is a plant that in Italy, for better or worse, we all use in the kitchen.
Sage, like Achillea, is also very good for women’s health.
It is a plant rich in enzymes, vitamies, essential oils and above all flavonoids , in particular isoflavones, which have an action very similar to estrogen.
Thanks to the presence of these elements – which help to rebalance the hormonal system – also the sage has a positive effect in alleviating the hot flashes (thanks also to its action on the regularity of the sweating process), and in acting on the anxiety and mood disorders typical of menopause.
Other properties of Salvia
- Anti-migraines : drinking a hot cup of sage herbal tea is incredibly effective for calming headaches, especially if caused by a cycle or menopause.
- Diuretic : promotes the elimination of excess fluids,
- Hypoglycemic : reduces blood sugar and therefore promotes weight loss;
- Digestive : contains bitter principles and essential oils with digestive and carminative properties, that is it favors the elimination of gases, deflating the belly.
- Antibacterial and antiviral : sage contains essential oils with antibacterial properties. Drinking herbal tea and using leaves often in the kitchen is a great way to prevent flu, or other infectious diseases.
- For the health of teeth and gums the sage tea is a natural mouthwash. Once it was used the tea of warm sage, to rinse the mouth after meals. It has an excellent antibacterial effect, prevents the formation of tartar and fades gums.
How to use?
Sage can be used in cooking , both as raw and dried leaves, to be added to dishes.
It is also used to prepare herbal teas. Just let it stand for 8-10 minutes , four fresh sage leaves, or a teaspoon of dried leaves, in a cup of warm water. Then it is filtered and drunk.
Recommended from one to three cups a day in menopause. It is useful to alternate this herbal tea with the yarrow herbal tea.
Where to buy
Sage is also part of our repertoire of officinal herbs, which we cultivate with care here in the countryside of Fermo, in a 100% natural way, without the use of herbicides, chemical fertilizers or other things that are toxic to the earth and to humans.
We dry it and sell it in herbal tea format. You can order it from here .
3. Horsetail (for osteoporosis)
As I said at the beginning of this article, one of the characteristic problems that, unfortunately, many women go into with the arrival of menopause, is that of osteoporosis .
Osteoporosis consists of a progressive loss of bone tissue that makes up the skeleton, with a consequent increase in the risk of bone fractures and joint problems.
In this perspective the horsetail (Equisetum arvense) certainly represents one of the most effective natural remedies, both to prevent and to counter this phenomenon.
In fact the horsetail is the plant species with the highest concentration of organic silicon, a mineral able to stimulate the metabolism of calcium, promote the formation of collagen, strengthen bones and connective tissues.
It must also be said that horsetail is a powerful diuretic, very useful for those suffering from water retention, cellulite and overweight.
How to use?
Horsetail can be taken either in powder or as a herbal tea .
To prepare the herbal tea, pour a teaspoon of dried horsetail (twice if the plant is fresh) in a cup of boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and drink.
Recommended 2-3 cups a day.
Where to buy
We also grow horsetail. Currently we only sell it in herbal tea, but soon it will also be available in powder form. You can order it from here .
Spirulina is a unicellular micro-algae that grows only in some lakes with alkaline waters, located in different tropical and sub-tropical climate zones of the plants, such as Mexico and in some states of central Africa.
At one time spirulina was one of the main sources of nourishment for the Mayans and the Aztecs. Today, due to its high concentration of nutrients, it is considered one of the most complete foods in the world and for this reason a way has been found to cultivate it in controlled environments.
What does spirulina contain?
- Between 60 and 65% of Protein (triple the amount of meat);
- All essential amino acids (including arginine and histidine essential for infant growth);
- 22% of Carbohydrates (highly digestible mucopolysaccharides);
- Carotenoids (15 different types, including a 20% beta-carotene);
- Vitamin A, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and biotin (Vitamin H).
- Mineral salts including: magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, selenium and zinc;
- Fatty acids (in particular linoleic acid and γ-linolenic acid);
- Chlorophyll (3 times higher than wheat and barley grass);
- Phycocyanin (blue-colored pigments with strong antioxidant properties);
- Vegetable fibres;
- Glutamic acid.
Spirulina is particularly suitable for menopausal women because:
A) Helps lose weight
For overweight people spirulina is a great ally, as it has a triple action:
- It speeds up the metabolism : which makes it easier to consume calories through physical activity.
- Satisfying action : If taken before meals, thanks to the high protein content and the presence of phenylanine (a substance that has a satiating action), spirulina helps to appease hunger and therefore to eat less.
- Reduces blood sugar : spirulina regulates blood sugar levels. In fact it has now been shown that a glycaemia whose values tend upwards (> 90) is one of the main causes of overweight and obesity. In this regard, there is an interesting 2-month study conducted on 25 patients with type 2 diabetes that demonstrates the hypoglycemic effect of spirulina. Patients took 2 grams of spirulina every day resulting in a noticeable reduction in blood sugar.
B) Fights fatigue
Because of its wealth of nutrients, spirulina is considered an excellent supplement, both for those who practice sport, and for those who always feel tired or down in tone. In particular, iron and chlorophyll are very useful, present in high percentages within this microalga.
C) Prevents and combats osteoporosis
Spirulina contains calcium highly assimilable by the body, as it is perfectly biocompatible. In proportion, the calcium content in spirulina is 8 times higher than that in cow’s milk. It also contains vitamin K, an essential vitamin for fixing calcium and vitamin D in bones.
Where to buy
You can order organic and tablet spirulina directly on our website . Obviously it is not a product that I grow, but it is imported from China.
Is the Italian spirulina found? Yes, but the price is from 5, 10 times higher than in China. In short, it is not a product for every budget. Our spirulina, which I repeat is certified organic, costs € 14.9 per 125 g (250 tablets of 500 mg each).
Nutrition is important
I would like to conclude this article with a preliminary reference to nutrition.
For many of the problems we’ve talked about so far, it must be said that a lot can be done with good nutrition .
Given that with menopause there is a sharp slowdown in metabolism, the first foods whose consumption should be reduced are those rich in carbohydrates, ie sweets, potatoes and refined cereals (white bread, pasta, white rice, corn, pizza, etc.). These foods are responsible for the sudden increase in blood sugar and weight. Weight in turn is related to hot flashes and night sweats. The greater the weight, the worse these symptoms will be.
Furthermore, as blood sugar and weight increase, the risk of cardiovascular disease also increases.
Bread and pasta can be easily replaced with legumes (better peeled if you suffer from abdominal bloating) and with whole grains, both products rich in fiber and low glycemic index.
Let’s talk about milk and cheese . It is not at all true that these foods help prevent osteoporosis. The opposite is true, or they are bad for the bones. It would be enough to look to the East, to the peoples of China and Japan, whose women are among the least affected in the world by the phenomenon of osteoporosis. And as is known, their consumption does not include the consumption of dairy products.
If you are looking for more authoritative sources, here are some of the most famous doctors and researchers who attest to what I have just said:
- Swedish study – Drinking milk is bad for your bones .
- Is it true that milk is good for your bones? – Dr. Franco Berrino ;
- Animal milk, a food against nature – Dr. Piero Mozzi ;
- Damages to the health of milk and derivatives – Dr. Maria Rosa Di Fazio ;
- The damages of animal milk and derivatives – Dott. Dario Polisano .
Now you are probably wondering “so where do I get the football?”
There are many other dietary sources of calcium, which unlike milk, are not harmful to the body and are good for the bones. For example:
- Dried fruits (in particular: sesame seeds, flax seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.);
- Raw vegetables (in particular: dandelion, garlic, watercress, rocket, broccoli, spinach, agretti, etc.);
- Legumes (in particular: soy, lupins, chickpeas, beans and lentils);
- Spices (in particular: oregano, basil, savory, marjoram, etc.).
Of course the discourse feeding should be discussed in more depth.
These are just a few tips, I don’t claim to know more than a nutrition professional. In my opinion, though, it never hurts.
The right thing to do is to turn to a good nutritionist, who will be able to cut out a personalized diet for your specific needs.
NB: All the information published on this site is of an informative nature and should not be considered as advice, or medical prescriptions, or of any other nature.