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.

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