What is Menopause?
Menopause is also known as Rajonivritti (Hindi/Urdu), Rajonivrtti (Marathi), Matavitay (Tamil), Gengnianqi (Chinese), menopausia (Spanish), menopausa (Portuguese), Rajobandha (Bengali), menopauza (Russian). Menopause is a natural phenomenon and is a stage of life, not an illness or ailment. The menopause or a woman’s change of life is a perfectly normal event which occurs in the mid or late forties. It signifies the end of the female reproductive period of life which commenced at adolescence in the early teens. It is defined as the end of menstruating and fertility, and begins twelve months after your last menstrual period. The body stops producing female hormones, and menstruation ceases. Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five, although some woman go through menopause earlier in life. A hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus) can also send a woman into early menopause. There are several misconceptions about menopause. Many women at this time feel that they are growing old and that they are well past their full physical vigour. Other women feel that the menopause brings a cessation of sexual pleasure. These apprehensions are far from true.
What are Common Menopausal Symptoms?
Menopause may be considered an end to women’s fertility but certainly not to her virility. It does not decrease a woman’s physical capacity or sexual vigour or enjoyment. In addition to their reproductive and other functions, female hormones are necessary for regulation of bone metabolism. That is why some women may end up with osteoporosis. Hormonal changes occur during menopause that cause many of the common physical symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, retention of water, nervous tension, menstrual disturbances, mood swings, insomnia, diminished interest in sex, irritability and depression are the typical symptoms of menopause. Other symptoms are chilly feelings, fatigue, palpitation, dizziness, headaches and numbness. Not every women will get these severe reactions. The severity or otherwise of the symptoms depend on a variety of factors such as general health, previous surgery and radiation. Menopause and its problems are usually over when menstruation stops. Although menopause cannot be avoided, it can be postponed for as long as 10 to 15 years and it can be made a smooth affair when it comes, with a proper nutritional program, special supplements and the right mental attitude. Menopause is a natural process of life, not a medical illness, but along with it come physical and mental symptoms. Most symptoms that occur during menopause result directly from the estrogen deficiency produced by the failing ovaries. Interestingly, Japanese women suffer far fewer symptoms of menopause because they eat more plant estrogen like tofu, soya, and miso. Some foods naturally alleviate these symptoms, reducing the need for drug therapy.
Menopause – Natural Treatment for Night Sweats, Hot Flushes and Weight Gain
- For Hot Flashes: Try drinking 1 cup of pomegranate juice with 1 teaspoon rock candy powder or organic sugar and 5 to 10 drops of lime juice. You can drink this 2 or 3 times per day, as needed to relieve hot flashes.
- Black Cohosh for Female Complaints: Black Cohosh is recommended for many “female complaints.” It contains estrogenic substances that relieve menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes. Native American women knew to use it for childbirth and other gynecological problems. Try 2 parts Chasteberry, 1 part St. John’s Wort and 1 part Life Root. To 5ml of tincture taken three times a day.
- Regulate Menstrual Cycle: Most likely to be of value in the year or so before menopause, chaste berry can help to maintain a regular menstrual cycle and control bleeding. It may also be taken, typically with remedies such as black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and sage (Salvia officinalis), to relieve or prevent menopausal symptoms such as headache, hot flashes, and night sweats.
- Treat Fatigue and Boost Energy: A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast helps to boost energy, manage stress, and keep the digestive system functioning. Add flaxseed or nuts to a bowl of oatmeal for extra energy. Oats will replenish your energy reserves but also keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, stopping you from overeating, which causes fatigue.
- Beet juice has been found very useful in menopausal disorders. It should be taken in small quantities of 60 to 90 ml at a time thrice a day. It has proved much more permanently helpful than the degenerative effects of drugs or synthetic hormones.
- For Vaginal Dryness: To alleviate vaginal dryness, you can pour some sesame oil on a piece of sterile cotton, mold it into a tampon like shape, and insert it into the vagina at night. Use a sanitary pad to catch any leakage of the oil. (Consider tying a clean thread or string to the cotton to help you remove it in the morning.)
- Cure Menopausal Tension: Carrot seeds have also been found valuable in menopausal tension. A teaspoonful of the seeds should be boiled in a glassful of cow’s milk for about 10 minutes and taken daily as a medicine in this condition.
- Natural Treatment for Sweats and Swelling: Taking fresh aloe vera gel (1 teaspoon 3 times a day) will help prevent and relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Aloe vera cools and cleanses the liver when taken internally, helping with any “hot” symptoms of menopause, including flashes, sweats, and swelling.
- Phyto – estrogen Rich Food: Several clinical trials have showed that concentrated soy extracts help relieve menopausal problems such as hot flashes. These phytoestrogen rich extracts are an option when considering natural alternatives for menopause, but are best taken only where other approaches have failed to work. Soy sprouts, beans, and fermented products, as part of a balanced diet, provide a good input of nutrients and phytoestrogens during menopause. Sprouts are preferable to beans, since they are more nutritious, richer in phytoestrogens, and, unlike beans, do not impair absorption of vitamins and minerals, notably iron. Some ways to add soy to your diet include drinking soy milk, stir-frying tofu with vegetables, baking tofu and adding it to salads, or adding soy beans to soups. When buying soy milk, look for a product that is low in sugar and fortified with calcium to help maintain bone density after menopause.
- Herbs for Menopausal Symptoms: Alfalfa is a useful food to supplement during menopause. Unlike soya, it does not inhibit the absorption of minerals such as iron and calcium. Alfalfa contains estrogenic isoflavones, which have led to its recent use for menopausal symptoms, especially in combination with sage (Salvia officinalis).
- Hormone Therapy Naturally: A rich source of protein and omega-3 oils, linseed also contains high levels of phytoestrogens roughly 10 times more than other seeds, making it a key remedy for menopause. According some research 40 grams per day may be similar to hormone therapy for improving mild menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats.
- Ease Home Vitamin Medicine: A useful food at any time, parsley is rich in a number of readily absorbable nutrients, including vitamin C and phytoestrogens, making it a valuable supplement during menopause. Moderately estrogenic, parsley leaf is a nutritious food supplement to take during menopause.
- Trusted Indian Ayurveda Formula: It has become commonplace for modern medicine to prescribe hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. Ayurveda has long recognized the value of female rejuvenating herbs at this stage of life, to prevent and/or alleviate menopausal syndrome. However, these herbs, rather than being a synthetic formula, provide your body with natural food precursors of estrogen and progesterone. The herbs shatavari and wild yam (which is similar to the Ayurvedic herb vidari) are most effective. A mixture of the two will be strengthening and healing to your system. Mix together vidari or wild yam 1/2 teaspoon and shatavari 1/2 teaspoon. Take this formula twice a day after lunch and dinner during the entire menopausal stage, with a few sips of warm water or 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice.
- Relief with Yoga: Certain yoga asanas are beneficial. Do the Sun Salutation at least 12 cycles per day, as well as postures that will strengthen the lower abdominal area, such as the Lotus, Locust, Bow, Boat, and Spinal Twist. Leg Lifts and the Chest-Knee pose are also helpful.
- Chinese Herbalism: Shan Zhu Yu can be used or flooding, with ginseng for heavy sweating and hot flashes. Chinese senega may be useful for irritability, insomnia, and depression. Angelica, peony root, and thorowax root are the ideal herbs to treat the symptoms of menopause, which is believed to be a weakness of the Kidneys, deficient Blood, and an imbalance between Kidney and Liver.
Tips for happy, healthy menopause
The following recommendations will help you move through this natural stage of your life gracefully and comfortably.
- Practice portion control. eating smaller meals throughout the day means taking in fewer calories and helps prevent the weight gain that often accompanies menopause and contributes to frequency of hot flashes.
- Stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Studies show that both can affect hot flashes.
- The biggest long-term risks of menopause are osteoporosis and heart disease. Staying in motion fights both. Walk, jog, dance, cycle, rake leaves, jump rope, or dance. You’re aiming for moderate aerobic exercise, which means you have enough breath to talk but not sing. The goal is 30 to 60 minutes a day of physical activity, though you can break the exercise into 10-minute chunks.
- Many women find this time of life liberating and exhilarating. You’ve accomplished much. Accept and celebrate your status as a Wise Woman. Spending dedicated time to recognize and record your accomplishments reinforces your self-respect and joy and helps you look toward the future. The menopause can be made a pleasant affair by building bodily health and a sane mental outlook. From puberty to menopause, a woman has been somewhat of a slave to her female glands. At specified intervals you were inconvenienced by menstrual periods. You bore children, enduring the pain and discomfort of pregnancy. Menopause relieves you of this bondage to your femininity. You can now experience some of the happiest days of a woman’s life. A whole new life is given to you, if you are wise enough to prepare for it and accept it as such.