Natural Supplements for Menopause & PMS

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28 Mar Natural Supplements for Menopause & PMS

Natural therapies are very well suited for women over forty for symptom relief and for disease prevention. Hormone supplementation is not the only option. Women can turn to herbal and nutritional therapies for managing their symptoms and reducing their risk for disease. These natural therapies are increasingly popular and have a growing body of scientific evidence to support their use and benefits.

Herbal formulations can also be used alongside bio-identical hormone therapy. As the body’s functionality improves with supplementation, women may be able to significantly reduce or wean off their current dosage of hormones. How long this will take and how comprehensively the MenoBalance will optimize hormone levels will be different for every woman; on average a period of 4-9 months is a realistic timeframe assuming diet, lifestyle and adrenal support are addressed as well.

*Formulas are only available at the Pure Pharmacy on Oak Street.

MenoBalance

MenoBalance 60 vcaps  
Servings Per Container: 60
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule, 1 times per day for mild-mod symptoms or 2 times per day for mod-severe symptoms.
Ingredients Dose Per Serving Daily Amounts
Black Cohosh 2.5% 75mg 150mg
Red Clover 8% 125mg 250mg
Dong Quai 1% 75mg 150mg
Motherwort 4:1 50mg 100mg
Sage Leaf Extract 4:1 50mg 100mg
Rehmannia 4:1 50mg 100mg
Maca 0.6% 50mg 100mg

MenoBalance is a combination of standardized botanical extracts clinically demonstrated to significantly reduce menopausal hot flashes compared to placebo.

  • Clinically shown to dramatically reduce the number of daily hot flashes.
  • Clinically demonstrated to relieve a wide range of other menopausal symptoms: night sweats, sleep disturbances, depressive mood, irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, joint and muscle complaints, vaginal dryness.
  • Excellent safety profile based on scientific herbal monographs and reviews.
  • Clinically effective dose at 1 veg capsule daily.

Black Cohosh

Summary: Black cohosh is the single most important and best-studied herb for menopause symptoms. Most studies on black cohosh extract indicate a significant reduction in symptoms associated with menopause, most prominently hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, insomnia and mood symptoms. Other studies reported improvements in fatigue, irritability and vaginal dryness.

In one of the largest studies, 629 women with menopausal complaints were given a standardized extract of black cohosh (40mg) twice per day for 6-8 weeks. As early as 4 weeks, clear improvements in ailments were seen in 80% of the women. Complete disappearance of symptoms in approximately 50%.

Red Clover

Summary: At least four clinical trials have been conducted on the effect of red clover isoflavones on vasomotor symptoms. Two published clinical trials of 40 mg standardized extract of red clover produced a reduction in hot flushes and night sweats. The most recent study showed that 80 mg of red clover isoflavones per day reduced the frequency of hot flashes by 44%- a statistically significant reduction in hot flash frequency and severity.

Dong Quai

Summary: Dong quai is a Chinese herb that has become popularized in the U.S. for menopause symptoms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used most often to treat women’s reproductive problems, such as painful menstruation and to improve blood flow.  Dong quai is frequently called the “female ginseng” as it is clinically used to relieve cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, infrequent periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopausal symptoms.

Motherwort

Summary: Motherwort is indicated as an herb which may be particularly helpful for menopausal symptoms: helping quell hot flashes, relieve rapid heartbeat, soothe frayed nerves. A dose taken just before bed can help ensure deeper sleep. Alongside black cohosh, daily use may improve vaginal elasticity and bolster libido.

In addition to its health-promoting effects on the uterus, motherwort heals the heart. It is, in fact, one of the world’s best heart tonics. Its name means “lion hearted” or “strong hearted.”

Sage Leaf Extract

Summary: It is well documented that Sage leaf helps to reduce menopausal sweats. In one study, excessive sweating was induced by pilocarpine. The sweating was reduced when participants were given an aqueous extract of fresh Sage leaf. In a further study 40 patients were given dried aqueous extract of fresh sage and 40 were given infusion of sage herb daily. Both groups of patients experienced a reduction in sweating.

In 1997, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in the United Kingdom sent out a questionnaire to its member practitioners on the clinical use and experience of sage. Of 49 respondents, 47 used sage in their practice and 45 used it particularly in prescriptions for menopause. Almost all references were to sage’s application for hot flashes, night sweats, and its estrogenic effect. Another main area emphasised by the respondents was its use as a general tonic, for fatigue, nervous exhaustion, immune system depletion, and poor memory and concentration, at any age.

Rehmannia

Summary: Rehmannia is the most important Chinese herb for disorders of the adrenal gland, appearing to combat adrenal suppression caused by steroid hormones and has a similar tonic effect on the adrenal cortex as licorice – increasing the production of sex hormones during menopause.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) rehmannia root is used to reduce heat in the blood, to nourish yin. In Western herbal medicine, rehmannia root is looked upon as an adrenal tonic aiding in the alleviation of hormone deficiency symptoms during menopause; and is believed to support the cells of the adrenal cortex and pituitary during times of prolonged stress.

Maca

Maca helps to support the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HAP), supporting bio-feedback and the balance and regulation of the body’s own hormones. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 84% of women observed improvement in hot flashes/night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, low libido, and weight gain.

Liver Detox Plus 

Liver Detox Plus 90 vcaps  
Servings Per Container: 90
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule, 1-2 times per day or as directed. *Dose is forthcoming
Ingredients Dose Per Serving
Milk Thistle 80%
Dandelion 4:1
Burdock Root
Yellow dock 4:1
Berberine HCl
Artichoke (Globe) 5%
Chelidonium Majus 4:1
Calcium D-Glucarate
DIM

Especially helpful during a detox protocol or if experiencing any hormonal disruption. Specifically designed to support enhanced hormone metabolism and detoxification pathways. Recommended for women on bioidenticals, hormone replacement, or oral contraceptives.

This herbal support for the liver improves how the liver metabolizes steroid hormones, normalizes bile production, neutralizes free radicals, supports fat digestion and metabolism. The combination of  hepatoprotective herbs in the Liver Detox Plus do this by enhancing hepatic enzymatic activity, increasing blood flow to the liver, supporting natural detoxification pathways and promoting excretion within the lymphatic system, kidneys and bladder.

PMS Blend  

PMS Blend 30 vcaps  
Servings Per Container: 30
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule per day or as directed.
Ingredients Dose Per Serving
Dong Quai 1% 125mg
Vitex 0.5% 125mg
Cramp Bark 10:1 70mg
Red Clover 8% 100mg
Bupleurum Falcatum 4:1 100mg
Passion Flower 4:1 70mg
Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate 25mg

Developed using clinical evidence and research in herbal medicine and nutrition, this formula supports a woman’s menstrual cycle and the symptoms that can occur particularly from mid-cycle to start of menses.

  • Utilizes astringent herbs and uterine tonics to support and promote normal menstrual flow.
  • A botanical “reset” formula that promotes restored hormonal balance. Especially helpful after a detox protocol or any other hormonal disruption.
  • Promotes reduced smooth muscle spasms.
  • A unique combination of standardized extracts with an accurate amount of active B6, makes this combination a very synergistic formula, and complimentary for women on birth control.

Combination Products

An herbal combination product has been the subject of a clinical trial in Portland, Oregon. It contains black cohosh, red clover, dong quai, motherwort, licorice and burdock. Seventy-one percent of women taking the herbal formula reported a reduction in the total number of symptoms, while only 17 percent of the women taking placebo reported a decrease in the total number of their symptoms. The formula was most effective in treating hot flashes, mood changes and insomnia.

Many herbs have been used traditionally by herbalists and women for decades and in some cases centuries to address menopausal symptoms. Although they lack clinical studies for this purpose, the empirical evidence and tradition is strong. These include motherwort, sage, licorice, yarrow, hops and chaste tree to name a few.

Other Botanicals for Specific Symptoms

Insomnia is the most commonly reported sleep problem in industrialized nations and women are at increased risk. Changes in hormonal effects on the brain cause many women to have insomnia problems during perimenopause and postmenopause.

Adrenal adaptogens such as Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, Licorice, Wild Yam in the Adrenal Forte and Relora, Theanine, Phosphatidylserine in the Cortisol Reducer play an important role in optimizing hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis function during perimenopause and menopause. They are well known herbal and nutritional therapies for insomnia and several clinical trials have documented the sleep efficacy of the ingredients in Cortisol Reducer on sleep latency, quality and sleep structure.
Other common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and joint aches. Adrenal adaptogens and Kava for anxiety, St. Johns Wort for depression, Ginseng and Rhodiola for fatigue and black cohosh and Boswellia for joint aches are just a few examples of other herbs used for specific symptoms. These are best used in addition to an approach that more holistically addresses menopause.

Adrenal Forte combines five powerful adaptogenic herbs to help the body better response to both mental and physical stressors. With key ingredient, such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola root extract, and Eleuthero root extract, combined with standardized extract of Schisandra, Licorice and Wild Yam root,

Cortisol Reducer supports the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, enhancing overall sleep quality without morning drowsiness. L-theanine promotes alpha-brain wave activity, relieves occasional anxiety, and may counteract the stimulating effects of caffeine.

Conclusion

Women in the perimenopause transition years who are beginning to experience various and episodic perimenopause symptoms are in a good position to try botanical and nutritional therapies to relieve their symptoms. In the perimenopause and postmenopausal years, choices about nutritional supplements and herbal therapies versus natural hormones versus conventional HRT can be made on an individual basis. A health care practitioner who is educated about all the options can assess individual needs regarding symptom management and individual risks for osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, to determine which therapy or combination of therapies is appropriate.

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