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Herbal Menopause Relief

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Herbal Menopause Relief
By:  Donovan Baldwin

Many women who experience menopause are less concerned about the event or process itself than they are about easing the symptoms of menopause...hot flashes, night sweats, hormone swings, and other discomforts.

Many will seek medical treatment for these issues, but some will prefer to use some product which provides herbal menopause relief.  Two commonly used herbal menopause treatment products are Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and Damiana (Turnerna diffusa).  While not technically an herb, soy (Glycine max) is often included in preparations which combine products for menopause relief.

Let's talk about these three products.

Soy (Glycine max)

Soy is a native eastern Asia species of legume (pea, bean, or fruit). It has been used in China and other parts of the Orient for thousands of years both as a food and as a medicine. It's high protein content combined with other factors have brought soy to the attention of the western world in the last few decades, again, both as a food and as a medicine. However, in America and other western cultures, soy's reputed medicinal qualities have boosted its popularity among those seeking alternative, more natural forms of treatment or prevention of various health issues. This has led soy (Glycine max) to become a big player in the area of natural menopause relief products.

One estimate puts the number of North American women alone who suffer from night sweats and hot flashes during menopause at between 80 and 90%.  While these symptoms themselves are enough to make a woman seek some form of menopause relief, natural or otherwise, their continuation over the often lengthy period of menopause contributes to insomnia and its attendant fatigue, and can contribute to depression in a period when women are victim to their emotions due to huge hormonal swings as well!

It has been observed that Asian women did not seem, as a group, to experience these problems at the level of their North American sisters. In fact, only about 30% of them ever seem to experience hot flashes during menopause. It appears to many researchers that their high level of soy consumption is at least one contributing factor.

Studies of soy (Glycine max) indicate that it contains "phytochemicals" (chemicals which fight illness and disease) and most particularly, a special form of phytochemical known as phytoestrogens.  It is these phytoestrogens, which are found in soy, which seem to help with menopause symptoms. In particular, the isoflavone, a beneficial form of soy estrogen, has been linked to the reduction of more serious illnesses, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, which are the bane of many menopausal women.

Soy (Glycine max) is readily available in many foods today, but is also available in natural and herbal menopause relief supplements.  Some women who do not wish to plan their meals around soy for one reason or another, feel more comfortable with the supplement form. For some, it is simply a matter of convenience to be able to keep what they need in their purse, on a countertop at home, or in the drawer of a desk.

However, those willing to try soy as a food can try various combinations of soy, foods prepared with soy or soy flour, soy milk, tofu, and tempeh.  I won't try to describe tofu or tempeh or differentiate between them.  Simply put, they are cultured cakes of soy which can be consumed alone or as part of a prepared dish or meal and are common in Asian cultures and readily available in the U.S. and other countries as well.

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa)

Probably one of the leading, and traditional forms of herbal menopause relief is Black Cohosh. It is a member of the buttercup family and is a native North American plant.  It is also known by various other, less appealing, names, such as bugbane, snakeroot, and rattleweed.  Traditional alternative forms of medicine, particularly among American Indian tribes have recognized Black Cohosh as probably THE most effective herbal menopause relief agent.  This has led to Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa) becoming the herb of choice for herbal menopause relief products.

I don't know what it has to do with health, but I found several notations about insects NOT liking Black Cohosh. Even if it's not important, now you have a piece of trivia for your next conversational outing. :)

Damiana (Turnerna diffusa)

Not nearly as well known as Soy and Black Cohosh, Damiana is considered to be a valuable agent among herbal menopause relief resources.  It is a fairly small shrub with small, rather aromatic, flowers which blossoms in the summer, eventually producing fig-like fruits, at least in taste.  Most feel that it smells a bit like chamomile.  Early Spanish missionaries noted that Mexican Indians were partial to a tea made from Damiana and sweetened with sugar.  The natives of Central and South America who were familiar with the plant were probably less interested in its potential as an herbal menopause relief supplement than in its reputed qualities as an aphrodisiac.  The very popular tea was believed to enhance lovemaking, and that was enough for them.

It is a fact that today, Damiana (Turnerna diffusa) is still commonly served as a tea. In addition to its use in herbal menopause relief supplements, it has long been used to treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including coughs, depression, Fibromyalgia, low energy levels, emphysema, constipation, frigidity, hot flashes, menopause, infertility, and impotency...just to mention part of the list! In the world of alternative and herbal medicines, it is considered to be of particular importance for dealing with problems in both male and female reproductive organs.

Herbal Menopause Relief Supplements

As is common with most herbal treatments today, and as mentioned concerning soy earlier, Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa) and Damiana (Turnerna diffusa) are no longer hunted for in the wild but are available in a wide range of natural and herbal menopause supplements such as one well-known Menopause Relief Product. Other companies have chosen slightly different preparations for a combination of natural and herbal menopause relief such as is found in Shaklee Women's Health Solutions (Menopausal).

Each woman is different, and it may require a little experimentation to find out which product, or combination of products, works best for YOU, and nothing should be done without first getting a clean bill of health from your own doctor.

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Donovan Baldwin is a freelance SEO copywriter residing in the Dallas, Texas area, and a University of West Florida alumnus.  He is a past member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service.  In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions.  However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, health, and fitness.  In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, weight lifting, yoga, weight loss, the environment, global warming, happiness, self improvement, and life.  His blog on senior health and fitness can be found at http://fitness-after-40.ws.
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Herbal Menopause Relief - Black Cohosh - Damiana - Soy - Isoflavones

Page Updated 2:43 PM Friday 6/7/2013