Menopause: Natural Ingredients Provide Balance and Help Beat the Heat
Starting from your core and extending outwards and upwards, you feel the sudden onset of feverish heat and it’s uncomfortable. Lately, you’ve been waking up at 3am in a pool of sweat, pulling off your covers and quickly changing into different pjs as your core temperature drastically shifts. During the day, your mood can often feel off, and at any given moment embarrassing beads of sweat appear on your forehead. You know the signs – you’re heading into menopause.
Perimenopause and Menopause: What’s the Difference?
Perimenopause is the period of time that typically lasts for a year prior to the onset of menopause. During this time, your menstrual cycle can become irregular and you may begin to experience weight gain, mood swings and vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, the hallmark symptoms of menopause. According to the North American Menopause Society, up to 80% of women will experience hot flashes and night sweats which can persist for 7 to 10 years.
Menopause is officially marked by the cessation of ovulation and the monthly menstrual cycles that come with it. Once you have missed 12 consecutive periods, you are officially in menopause. From a conventional medicine perspective, hormone replacement therapy is still the most popular option for treatment, though it’s a controversial one as many women fear an increase in cancer risk. Regardless, medications aren’t for everyone as some women can’t tolerate hormone replacement therapy for other reasons. The good news is that there are herbs, nutritional and lifestyle changes that can support you by minimizing your symptoms, and improving your quality of life without the side effects.
Lifestyle & Nutritional Implications
Lifestyle factors including certain foods and beverages can worsen your menopausal symptoms and trigger hot flashes. And since nutrition and lifestyle choices form the foundation of food health, it’s important to make lifestyle choices a priority.
Stress and anxiety are triggers for hot flashes in some women. Therefore, during this transitional period, it may be a good idea take inventory of the stressful people, events and situations in your life and make some changes. Consulting with a psychotherapist and taking up self-care therapies such as yoga and mindfulness meditation, may help your mood and reduce your tendency to hot flashes and night sweats.
Coffee and Alcohol
For reasons scientists have not yet concretely confirmed, both alcohol and coffee may trigger hot flashes. Drinking alcohol may exacerbate the symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats while both can disrupt your sleep. Hot beverages without caffeine may also be a trigger. It may be a good idea to cut back during this time and instead, boost your hydration with non-alcoholic beverages, mocktails and herbal ice tea.
Choosing Herbal Medicine Support
Herbal medicines have been the remedy of choice for centuries with respect to women’s health, menopause and fertility. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Medical Herbalists and Naturopathic Doctors alike have helped patients through this period using natural medicines and herbs are always the star of the show.
A unique blend of herbs, vitamins and minerals, Harmony menopause has a cooling and mood balancing effect on the body. The synergistic action of the herbs and nutrients in the Harmony Menopause line helps to build healthy reserves of energy; helps your body adapt more readily to stress and supports a restful sleep by reducing your night sweats.
Featured Herb: Rehmannia glutinosa
The star ingredient in the Harmony Menopause line is Rehmannia glutinosa root. This perennial plant native to China, Japan and Korea is known for its glue-like leaves, stems and roots. It has been shown in human and animal studies to ease depression symptoms, boost energy and help your body adapt to stress. It also supports healthy blood circulation to the heart and brain. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this multi-purpose herbal tonic is a staple in many formulas, used for over 1000 years for women’s health and immune system complaints.
Supporting Herb: Vitex agnus-castus fruit
Vitex agnus-castus is also known as chaste tree. It’s a deciduous plant native to Asia and Europe. The berries are the primary part used in herbal medicine for female hormonal conditions and imbalances including menopausal symptoms, premenstrual syndrome and infertility. In one study post-menopausal women were provided with vitex agnus-castus or a placebo. The Vitex progressively and significantly reduced the hot flashes to a greater degree than the placebo during the 8 weeks of this clinical trial. Vitex plays an important supporting role in the Harmony Menopause line and when used regularly can provide much needed relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
In addition to Rehmannia glutinosa and Vitex agnus-castus, Harmony Menopause also contains a therapeutic blend of Angelica polymorpha root (Dong Quai), Dioscorea opposita root (Chinese Yam), Paeonia lactiflora root (Peony), Bupleurum falcatum root, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D all with very important supporting roles.
The transition through perimenopause to menopause is the time to adopt lifestyle and behavioral changes to help you feel more in control of your health. However, it’s also the time to explore how natural medicine can help improve your quality of life. Prescription medicines often come with a long list of side effects and risks that many women try to avoid. The Harmony Menopause line provides a combination of eastern and western herbs, vitamin and minerals that are in traditional medicine to gently and effectively boost mood, energy and reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.