Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Taking the Heat Out of Menopause

The mid-life changes of women are seen as synonymous with ageing. However, I like to view these transitional years as marking the beginning of the second half of a woman’s life, often a time of self-empowerment and certainly a natural process that can be a rewarding experience and a positive event in a woman’s life.

Hot flushes & sweating

These are due to the oestrogen decline, to Lutenizing hormone surges in response to the decline, and indirectly to exhausted adrenal glands that cannot adequately take over the role of hormone production from the ovaries.

Sage is a wonderful herb specifically for hot flushes. A popular home remedy is to chop 6 fresh sage leaves, soak them overnight in lemon juice, strain and drink the juice for 7 - 10 days. Two other beneficial herbs are Astragalus and Zizyphus which support the adrenal glands as well as vitamins C, B5 & B6 which nourish these glands.

Vaginal, skin and eye dryness

Black Cohosh is the herb that works best, and there have been a number of open and double-blind trials in Germany to verify its traditional use for alleviating these symptoms. Vitamin E is the most important vitamin for menopause and older women in general. Simply opening a vitamin E capsule and applying it locally to the vagina softens and lubricates the tissue.

Fluid retention

Both celery and parsley freshly squeezed in a daily vegetable juice work well. Or try dandelion leaf tea which is available at most health food stores. Although you are accumulating water, it is not getting into the cells so you need to drink more water to flush it through.

Depression & anxiety

St John’s wort (Hypericum) is widely used in Europe. It is prescribed by doctors in Germany and has been the subject of many scientific studies. It helps restore the integrity of the nervous system, calm anxiety, and is anti-depressant. However, it cannot be taken with heart medication, other anti-depressant drugs (SSRIs) or HIV medication.

Additionally, oats is specific for depression and anxiety as it nourishes the nervous system. Even having rolled oat porridge or muesli for breakfast will make a difference. Try a drop of lavender essential oil neat on your wrist for a calming and uplifting natural perfume.

Poor Memory/concentration

Gingko and rosemary both increase circulation to the brain and our extremities and are therefore great for memory as well as low libido. Pick a sprig of rosemary bush and place in hot water for an energising tea.

Lifestyle Recommendations

– Wear layers of light, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres that can be easily removed;
– Avoid overheating the body by extremely hot baths or saunas, hot chillis & spices, alcohol & coffee;
– Balance your weight so that you are neither underweight nor overweight;
– Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, massage, guided relaxation CD, aromatherapy;
– Moderate weight-bearing exercise maintains bone density (unfortunately this does not include swimming),  strengthens the heart and improves mood: aim for 1 hour 3 times a week, e.g. walking with hand weights, yoga, gym.

Vital questions to ask yourself during this perimenopausal time:

What is out of balance in my life to cause these symptoms?  How do I feel about going through menopause? Do I fear ageing or growing old? Do I feel I have no purpose or do I still have a career that I enjoy? Maybe my children have grown up and left. Or is it a time to revalue and reassess my life and see it as the beginning of a new stage filled with opportunities?

Certainly, it is a time that the body is producing new-found energy, perhaps only needing to be channelled into a new hobby or pursuit, rather than have it work against you. Often it is a time to put your needs and desires first. Maybe it is time to fulfil a dream or ambition that you haven’t previously had an opportunity to do, taking advantage of your years of life experiences and wisdom.


3 Easy Steps to Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis OA is caused by a depletion in bone density, called "porous bones" so that they become weak and brittle with age, resulting in fractures. However, if there are adequate nutrients to support their structure and repair as well as favourable environmental conditions for the bone formation and restructure, your bones will provide enough strength and support throughout your life. The foundations of your bones are laid down early in life but they are being constantly remodelled all the time and it is never too early to start taking preventative steps. Post-menopausal women are at higher risk of OA due to the hormone changes but there is much that can be done to prevent excessive loss if healthy changes are made early enough.

Diet & Sunshine

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for bone formation. Make sure you have a blood test with your doctor to check your levels (at least 100mmol/L) as I find many clients today are deficient as they are either working inside all day, are overly conscientious in avoiding the sun or live at a latitude where there simply is not enough sunlight exposure. The Vitamin D producing UVB rays are absent all day in winter at latitudes south of 35 degree which is everything south of Canberra! Being a fat soluble vitamin, food sources include cod liver oil, butter, oily fish eg. sardines, mackerel, salmon and milk. Most people are not consuming enough though so you will need sunlight exposure everyday in the morning without sunscreen or sunglasses or to supplement. The recommended dosage is 1000 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day but if you are already deficient, then this maintenance dose will need to be increased.

Calcium sources include soups made with bones, seaweeds, full fat dairy (you need the fat to absorb the calcium properly), vegetables like kale and broccoli, almonds, tahini and oily fish mushed up with the bones eg. sardines or salmon. The recommended dosage is at least 1,000 milligrams (mg) of elemental calcium (1500mg for post-menopausal women) every day. You need other minerals as well which work with the calcium which come from a broad healthy diet with lots of vegetables and salads.

Soft drinks, especially Coke, coffee, sugar, sweeteners, diruetics, alcohol and cigarettes all leech calcium and minerals out of the body. Research shows that junk food and carbonated drinks in teenage years are a primary cause of osteoporosis.


Weight bearing exercise is essential to deposit the minerals into the bones. This includes walking with hand weights, jogging, squats, lunges, push ups, resistance exercises, yoga but does not include swimming unfortunately! Our bodies are made to move every day so include some exercise into your daily routine with duration being more important than intensity.


Stress hormones strip the body of vital minerals and create acidity in the body which accelerates bone demineralisation. In our stress-driven modern world, relaxation is vital for everyone. Relaxation is different to sleep and uses different brain waves. Choose a method that suits you and make a commitment to yourself to spend to spend some time every day practicing relaxation. eg. meditation, drink chamomile tea, stretching, yoga, gardening, spend time in nature, remember to breathe, counselling, massage, creativity: writing, art, cooking, singing - especially in the shower, dancing - even around the room for 10 minutes is a great release!


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