Last week I began my blog on herbs that can help in perimenopause and menopause. This week I will continue that theme. I am reposting the symptoms here in hopes that women will be able to look at them and realize that they are not alone.
Some symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are
Hot Flushes/Night Sweats
Anxiety – sudden self-doubt, fear of mundane things
Depression – random crying for no reason, a feeling of cloudy grayness over everything
Exhaustion – simply tired all the time no matter what you have done or the amount of sleep you have had
Sleep disorders – waking up in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep
Vaginal dryness – along with dry skin, lips and eyes
Decreased Libido – just not interested
Increased Urination – unable to be far from a bathroom at any given moment
Memory Dysfunction – what happened? I used to have a great memory, am I getting some sort of memory disease because I can’t even seem to find the correct word.
Mood Swings – I’m euphoric, oh man I can’t understand why I’m crying, get out of my way or I will tear you apart all within a short time span.
I covered anxiety in my previous blog with Lemon Balm, Siberian ginseng and Borage. These same herbs work for depression as well. Other herbs that can help are
Valerian – can help with both anxiety and depression. It is definitely calming but can also cause drowsiness so should not be taken when you need to be sharp and focused.
Passionflower – This is a traditional herb for depression and anxiety. It is calming but has sedative qualities.
Both of these herbs have interactions with anti-depressants and sedative medications. Valerian also interacts with blood thinners such as Warfarin.
This is one of the debilitating symptoms of perimenopause. It affects your ability to get the things done you want to do. The number one herb I suggest for this is Siberian Ginseng.
Not only is Siberian Ginseng good for mood disorders but it returns some of the vitality that goes missing as your hormone levels change.
Another herb that actually surprised me since I wasn’t sure whether it was hype or it actually worked is wheat grass! Since I don’t juice and work from home I found an excellent wheat grass supplement. There is a dosage on the bottle but I found that 3 tablets in the morning work just fine and I don’t need the higher dosage. A shot of wheat grass juice (an ounce) is enough to help revitalize you for the day.
Wheat grass should be used with caution by those that have severe allergies to grasses and pollens.
The herbs used for treating sleep disorders are included with the herbs for anxiety and depression. They include
Interestingly there are several bath and body products for sale recently that are based on Lemon Balm. If used prior to bed they can assist with insomnia.
Vaginal Dryness and Decreased Libido
There is an obvious correlation here since dryness causes sex to be painful. However decreased libido is an unpleasant symptom of perimenopause.
Once again Siberian Ginseng can come to the rescue. Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen which is a type of herb that the body uses where it is needed. It works on both your energy level and it has an estrogen like component that can be extremely helpful in cases of lowered libido.
Dryness occurs as the mucous membranes begin to dehydrate. The easiest way to get improvement is to increase water intake. There are also some vitamins and herbs that can help.
Black Cohosh – according to WebMd Black Cohosh can be used to both combat vaginal dryness and boost your libido. It increases blood flow to the pelvis thereby increasing lubrication.
Gingko Biloba – is a vaso-dilator which increases blood flow and helps prevent mucosal damage.
Wild Yam – is excellent for vaginal dryness. It contains steroidal components such as estrogen and should only be taken as a supplement. It has the added benefit of being useful in PMS.
There are numerous dry skin remedies and lotions on the market. My personal favorite is coconut oil. It tastes good, you can cook with it and it is excellent for getting rid of age spots. It also helps your skin retain elasticity.
For dry eyes drinking water is a must. The more water the less dry the eyes. Optometrists may suggest drops, which mine did and they come in handy on days where my water intake is down.
Vitamin A is excellent for dry eyes. It is a vitamin that is always recommended for eye issues. It helps with macular degeneration as well as glaucoma and cataracts. It has the added benefit of being beneficial for PMS and yeast infections. Vitamin A does interact with Warfarin, medicines that are changed by the liver and antibiotics.
Next weeks blog will cover Hot flushes, Memory issues, Mood Swings and Increased urination.