Menopause (Holistic)

Skip to the navigation

About This Condition

Menopause is not a disease -it's a natural part of life. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Eat soy and flaxseed

    Make foods high in phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed, tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and roasted soy nuts, a regular part of your diet

  • Control symptoms with isoflavones

    Supplements containing at least 80 to 100 mg a day of isoflavones from soy or red clover may help control symptoms

  • Cool down with black cohosh

    Some people have found 20 mg of a concentrated herbal extract twice a day relieves hot flashes

  • Find relief with exercise

    Even light aerobic activities can help reduce menopausal symptoms

  • Quit smoking

    Smokers are more likely to experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms

About

About This Condition

Menopause is the cessation of the monthly female menstrual cycle. Women who have not had a menstrual period for a year are considered postmenopausal.

Most commonly, menopause takes place when a woman is in her late forties or early fifties. Women who have gone through menopause are no longer fertile. Menopause is not a disease and cannot be prevented. Many hormonal changes occur during menopause. Postmenopausal women are at higher risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, presumably because of a decrease in the production of estrogen or other hormones.

Symptoms

Several unpleasant symptoms may accompany menopause. Some, such as vaginal dryness, result from the lack of estrogen. Others, such as hot flashes and decreased sex drive, are caused by more complex hormonal changes. Some women experience depression, anxiety, or insomnia during menopause.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Sedentary women are more likely to have moderate or severe hot flashes compared with women who exercise.1 , 2 In one trial, menopausal symptoms were reduced immediately after aerobic exercise.3

Cigarette smoking may be related to hot flashes in menopausal women. Preliminary data have shown that women who experience hot flashes are more likely to be smokers.4 Another preliminary study found that new users of hormone replacement therapy for the relief of menopausal symptoms were more likely to be current cigarette smokers than were those who had never smoked.5

Holistic Options

Acupuncture may be helpful in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Animal research suggests that acupuncture may help normalize some biochemical changes that are associated with menopausal disturbances of memory, mood, and other functions.6 One preliminary trial in humans demonstrated a significant reduction (more than 50%) in hot flashes in menopausal women receiving either electroacupuncture (acupuncture with electrical stimulation) or superficial acupuncture (shallow needle insertion).7 Other preliminary trials support these results8 , 9 and suggest additional menopausal symptoms may also respond to acupuncture.10 However, no placebo-controlled trials have been done to conclusively prove the effectiveness of acupuncture for menopausal symptoms.

Eating Right

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

Recommendation Why
Eat soy and flaxseed
Make foods high in phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed, tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and roasted soy nuts, a regular part of your diet.

Soybeans contain compounds called phytoestrogens that are related in structure to estrogen, though some reports show soy's estrogenic activity to be quite weak. Soy is known to affect the menstrual cycle in premenopausal women. Societies with high consumption of soy products have a low incidence of hot flashes during menopause.

In one double-blind trial, supplementation with 60 grams of soy protein caused a 33% decrease in the number of hot flashes after four weeks and a 45% reduction after 12 weeks. However, in further analysis of the data in this trial, researchers credit constituents in soybeans other than phytoestrogens for the therapeutic effect. In one controlled clinical trial, high intake of phytoestrogens from soy and flaxseed reduced both hot flashes and vaginal dryness; however, much (though not all) of the benefit was also seen in the control group. In another double-blind study, 100 mg per day of isoflavones extracted from soy was effective in relieving hot flashes, and another double-blind trial found that 120 mg of soy isoflavones per day was as effective as estrogen therapy for relieving menopausal symptoms. Eating 25 grams of soy nuts per day has also been shown to relieve menopausal symptoms in a double-blind trial. In other double-blind research, supplementation with 60 mg per day of isoflavones from soy significantly improved mental function and mood in postmenopausal women.

As a result of these studies, doctors often recommend that women experiencing menopausal symptoms eat tofu, soy milk, tempeh, roasted soy nuts, and other soy-based sources of phytoestrogens. Soy sauce contains very little phytoestrogen content, and many processed foods made from soybean concentrates have insignificant levels of phytoestrogens. Supplements containing isoflavones extracted from soy are commercially available, and flaxseed (as opposed to flaxseed oil) is also a good source of phytoestrogens.

Supplements

What Are Star Ratings?
Supplement Why
2 Stars
Asian Ginseng
200 mg per day of standardized extract
One trial found that Asian ginseng helped alleviate psychological symptoms of menopause, such as depression and anxiety.

A double-blind trial found that Asian ginseng (200 mg per day of standardized extract) helped alleviate psychological symptoms of menopause, such as depression and anxiety, but did not decrease physical symptoms, such as hot flashes or sexual dysfunction, in postmenopausal women who had not been treated with hormones. In another double-blind trial, supplementation with 3 grams per day of red ginseng (heated Asian ginseng) for 12 weeks significantly improved menopausal hot flashes, compared with a placebo.

2 Stars
Black Cohosh
20 mg of a highly concentrated herbal extract taken twice per day
Studies have shown black cohosh to be a safe and effective treatment for women with hot flashes associated with menopause.

Some, but not all, double-blind trials support the usefulness of black cohosh for women with hot flashes associated with menopause. In a three-month study of postmenopausal women, 40 mg per day of an extract of black cohosh was as effective as estrogen therapy in the treatment of hot flashes. A review of eight trials concluded black cohosh to be both safe and effective. However, one double-blind trial found that black cohosh is ineffective as a treatment for menopausal symptoms. Many doctors recommend 20 mg of a highly concentrated extract taken twice per day; 2 to 4 ml of tincture three times per day may also be used.

In a double-blind study of postmenopausal women who were experiencing psychological symptoms, a combination of black cohosh and St. John's wort was significantly more effective than a placebo in improving both menopausal symptoms and depression. The product used in this study contained (per tablet) black cohosh standardized to 1 mg of triterpene glycosides and St. John's wort standardized to 0.25 mg of hypericin. The amount taken was two tablets twice a day for eight weeks, followed by one tablet twice a day for eight weeks.

2 Stars
Black Cohosh and St. John's Wort (Depression)
Two tablets twice a day for 8 weeks, then one tablet twice a day for 8 weeks, each tablet supplying 1 mg of triterpene glycosides from black cohosh and 0.25 mg of hypericin from St. John's wort
Menopausal and depression symptoms improved in post-menopausal women after they took a combination of black cohosh and St. John's wort.
In a double-blind study of postmenopausal women who were experiencing psychological symptoms, a combination of black cohosh and St. John's wort was significantly more effective than a placebo in improving both menopausal symptoms and depression. The product used in this study contained (per tablet) black cohosh standardized to 1 mg of triterpene glycosides and St. John's wort standardized to 0.25 mg of hypericin. The amount taken was two tablets twice a day for eight weeks, followed by one tablet twice a day for eight weeks.
2 Stars
Maca
2.5 to 3 grams per day for 6 to 12 weeks
Traditionally used for balancing female hormones, maca appears to be beneficial in treating menopausal symptoms.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been used traditionally for balancing female hormones. A review of randomized controlled trials concluded that maca appeared to be beneficial in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. The amount used in these studies was 2.5 to 3 grams per day for 6 to 12 weeks.
2 Stars
Progesterone
Apply enough topical cream to provide 20 mg of the supplement to the skin daily
Progesterone, either natural or synthetic, has been linked to improved hot flashes, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and sexual functioning, and quality of life.

Natural progesterone supplementation has been anecdotally linked to reduction in symptoms of menopause. In one trial, natural progesterone was found to have no independent effect on symptoms, and synthetic progestins were found to increase breast tenderness. However, a double-blind trial found that topical administration of natural progesterone cream led to a reduction in hot flashes in 83% of women, compared with improvement in only 19% of those given placebo. Preliminary research has found that oral, micronized progesterone therapy is associated with improved quality of life among postmenopausal women. However, oral micronized progesterone is available only by prescription in the United States. Hot flashes, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and sexual functioning were among the symptoms improved in a majority of women surveyed. Synthetic progestins, also available only by prescription, have reduced symptoms of menopause.

Progesterone is a hormone and, as such, concerns about its inappropriate use (i.e., as an over-the-counter supplement) have been raised. The amount of progesterone in commercially available creams varies widely, and the progesterone content is not listed on the label because the creams are legally regulated as cosmetics, not dietary supplements. Therefore, a physician should be consulted before using these hormone-containing creams as supplements. Although few side effects have been associated with topical progesterone creams, skin reactions may occur in some users. Effects of natural progesterone on breast cancer risk remain unclear; research has suggested both increased and reduced risk.

2 Stars
Pycnogenol
60 to 200 mg per day
In a double-blind trial, perimenopausal women who took Pycnogenol experienced reduced menopause symptoms.
In a double-blind trial, perimenopausal women who took 200 mg per day of Pycnogenol experienced reduction of menopausal symptoms as measured by a women's health questionnaire. Improvement in menopausal symptoms was also reported in another double-blind trial, in which women took 30 mg of pycnogenol twice a day for three months.
2 Stars
Red Clover
80 mg of isoflavones daily
Red clover is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one study, isoflavones from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks. An extract of red clover also decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women in a double-blind study. The extract provided 80 mg of isoflavones per day and was taken for 90 days.

2 Stars
Sage and Alfalfa
4 to 6 grams daily of dried herb or equivalent
Supplementing with sage leaf and alfalfa extract completely eliminated hot flushes and night sweats in 20 of 30 women in one study.
Sage may reduce excessive perspiration due to menopausal hot flashes during the day or at night. It is believed this is because sage directly decreases production of sweat. In a preliminary study, supplementation with a product containing extracts of the leaves of sage and alfalfa resulted in complete elimination of hot flushes and night sweats in 20 of 30 women, with varying degrees of improvement in the other ten cases.
2 Stars
Schisandra
Refer to label instructions
In a double-blind trial, supplementation with an extract of Schisandra chinensis improved symptoms related to menopause, compared with a placebo.
In a double-blind trial, supplementation with an extract of Schisandra chinensis significantly improved symptoms related to menopause, compared with a placebo. The amount of Schisandra extract used was 196 mg twice a day for 6 weeks.
2 Stars
Vitamin E
Refer to label instructions
Vitamin E may help reduce menopause symptoms. Many doctors suggest that women going through menopause try vitamin E for at least three months to see if symptoms improve.

Many years ago, researchers studied the effects of vitamin E supplementation in reducing symptoms of menopause. Most, but not all, studies found vitamin E to be helpful, and the benefit of vitamin E was confirmed more recently in a double-blind trial. Many doctors suggest that women going through menopause take 400 to 800 IU per day of vitamin E for a trial period of at least three months to see if symptoms are reduced. If helpful, this amount may be continued or a lower amount may be tried for maintenance.

1 Star
Alfalfa
Refer to label instructions
Alfalfa, an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy, has traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.

1 Star
Blue Vervain
Refer to label instructions
Blue vervain is a traditional herb for menopause.

Blue vervain (Verbene hastata) is a traditional herb for menopause; however, there is no research to validate this use. Tincture has been recommended at an amount of 5-10 ml three times per day.

Preliminary evidence suggests that supplementation with St. John's wort extract (300 mg three times daily for 12 weeks) may improve psychological symptoms, including sexual well-being, in menopausal women.

1 Star
Burdock
Refer to label instructions
Burdock is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.

1 Star
DHEA
Refer to label instructions
DHEA improves the response of brain chemicals (endorphins), which are involved in sensations of pleasure and pain. Supplementing with it may improve mood symptoms.

Aging in women is characterized by a progressive decline in blood DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS) levels. These levels can be restored with DHEA supplementation. This process also improves the response of some brain chemicals, called endorphins, to certain drugs. These endorphins are involved in sensations of pleasure and pain; improving their response may explain why DHEA has an effect on mood symptoms associated with menopause. In one double-blind trial, however, menopausal women who took 50 mg of DHEA per day for three months had no improvement in symptoms compared with women taking placebo. Further study is needed to validate a role for DHEA in the management of menopausal symptoms.

1 Star
Dong Quai
Refer to label instructions
Dong quai is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.

1 Star
Flavonoids
Refer to label instructions
A preliminary trial reported that a combination of vitamin C and the flavonoid hesperidin helped relieve hot flashes in menopausal women.

In 1964, a preliminary trial reported that 1,200 mg each of vitamin C and the flavonoid hesperidin taken over the course of the day helped relieve hot flashes. Although placebo effects are strong in women with hot flashes, other treatments used in that trial failed to act as effectively as the flavonoid/vitamin C combination. Since then, researchers have not explored the effects of flavonoids or vitamin C in women with menopausal symptoms.

1 Star
Flaxseed
2 tablespoons of flaxseeds twice per day
Supplementing with flaxseeds may improve the frequency and severity of hot flashes in postmenopausal women.

In a preliminary trial, supplementation with crushed flaxseeds for six weeks improved the average hot flash score (a measure of the frequency and severity of hot flashes) by 57% in postmenopausal women who were not receiving estrogen therapy. The treatment consisted of 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (along with at least 10 ounces of liquid) twice a day. About one-fifth of the women discontinued treatment because of abdominal symptoms or other side effects. In a double-blind trial, daily consumption of 25 g of partially defatted ground flaxseed significantly decreased the number of hot flashes and improved overall menopausal symptoms. However, the improvements were not greater than those in women given a placebo (wheat bran). Because of these conflicting results, the effectiveness of flaxseed as a treatment for menopause remains uncertain.

1 Star
Licorice
Refer to label instructions
Licorice is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.

1 Star
Magnesium
250 to 500 mg per day
In a preliminary trial, supplementing with magnesium significantly decreased the frequency of hot flashes in women experiencing menopausal symptoms after breast cancer treatment.
In a preliminary trial, supplementation with magnesium (250 to 500 mg per day for 4 weeks) significantly decreased the frequency of hot flashes by 47% in women who were experiencing menopausal symptoms after treatment for breast cancer. However, a double-blind trial found that magnesium supplements were not beneficial for postmenopausal women with a history of breast cancer who were experiencing hot flashes. Therefore, the positive results seen in the preliminary trial may have been due to a placebo effect.
1 Star
Motherwort
Refer to label instructions
Motherwort is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.

1 Star
Sage
Refer to label instructions
Sage may reduce excessive perspiration due to menopausal hot flashes during the day or at night. It is believed this is because sage directly decreases sweat production.

Sage may reduce excessive perspiration due to menopausal hot flashes during the day or at night. It is believed this is because sage directly decreases production of sweat. In a preliminary study, supplementation with a product containing extracts of the leaves of sage and alfalfa resulted in complete elimination of hot flushes and night sweats in 20 of 30 women, with varying degrees of improvement in the other ten cases.

1 Star
Soy
Refer to label instructions
Some research has found soy isoflavones may help reduce certain menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, and support mood and thinking performance.

A double-blind study of 78 postmenopausal women (average age, 49.5 years) were randomly assigned to receive 60 mg per day of soy isoflavones (as aglycone) or placebo for six months. Then after a one-month break, each woman received the alternate treatment for an additional six months. Thinking (cognitive) performance and mood were assessed by tests at the end of each treatment period. Compared with placebo, people treated with isoflavones experienced significant improvement on 6 of 17 measures of cognitive function and 7 of 8 measures of mood. In another double-blind study, 177 postmenopausal women (average age, 55 years) who were experiencing five or more hot flushes per day were randomly assigned to receive soy isoflavones (50 mg per day total of an approximately equal mixture of isoflavones genistin and daidzin) or placebo for 12 weeks. The average reduction in hot flash frequency after 6 weeks was significantly greater in the isoflavone group than in the placebo group; however, during the entire 12 weeks, the difference between the two groups was only marginally significant.

1 Star
St. John's Wort
Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with St. John's wort may improve psychological symptoms, including sexual well-being, in menopausal women.

Caution: It is likely that there are many drug interactions with St. John's wort that have not yet been identified. St. John's wort stimulates a drug-metabolizing enzyme (cytochrome P450 3A4) that metabolizes at least 50% of the drugs on the market. Therefore, it could potentially cause a number of drug interactions that have not yet been reported. People taking any medication should consult with a doctor or pharmacist before taking St. John's wort.

In a double-blind study of postmenopausal women who were experiencing psychological symptoms, a combination of black cohosh and St. John's wort was significantly more effective than a placebo in improving both menopausal symptoms and depression. The product used in this study contained (per tablet) black cohosh standardized to 1 mg of triterpene glycosides and St. John's wort standardized to 0.25 mg of hypericin. The amount taken was two tablets twice a day for eight weeks, followed by one tablet twice a day for eight weeks.

Preliminary evidence suggests that supplementation with St. John's wort extract (300 mg three times daily for 12 weeks) may improve psychological symptoms, including sexual well-being, in menopausal women.

1 Star
Vitamin C
Refer to label instructions
A combination of vitamin C and the flavonoid hesperidin were reported to relieve hot flashes in menopausal women.

In 1964, a preliminary trial reported that 1,200 mg each of vitamin C and the flavonoid hesperidin taken over the course of the day helped relieve hot flashes. Although placebo effects are strong in women with hot flashes, other treatments used in that trial failed to act as effectively as the flavonoid/vitamin C combination. Since then, researchers have not explored the effects of flavonoids or vitamin C in women with menopausal symptoms.

1 Star
Wild Yam
Refer to label instructions
Wild yam is an herb with weak estrogen-like actions similar to soy. In one trial, a formula containing licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort reduced menopause symptoms.

A variety of herbs with weak estrogen-like actions similar to the effects of soy have traditionally been used for women with menopausal symptoms. These herbs include licorice, alfalfa, and red clover. In a double-blind trial, a formula containing tinctures of licorice, burdock, dong quai, wild yam, and motherwort (30 drops three times daily) was found to reduce symptoms of menopause. No effects on hormone levels were detected in this study. In a separate double-blind trial, supplementation with dong quai (4.5 grams three times daily in capsules) had no effect on menopausal symptoms or hormone levels. A double-blind trial using a standardized extract of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), a relative of red clover, containing 40 mg isoflavones per tablet did not impact symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, though it did improve function of the arteries. An extract of red clover, providing 82 mg of isoflavones per day, also was ineffective in a 12-week double-blind study. In another double-blind study, however, administration of 80 mg of isoflavones per day from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The benefit was noticeable after 4 weeks of treatment and became more pronounced after a total of 12 weeks.

References

1. Ivarsson T, Spetz AC, Hammar M. Physical exercise and vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women. Mauritas 1998;29:139-46.

2. Hammar M, Berg G, Lindgren R. Does physical exercise influence the frequency of postmenopausal hot flushes? Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1990;69:409-12.

3. Slaven L, Lee C. Mood and symptom reporting among middle-aged women: the relationship between menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy, and exercise participation. Health Psychol 1997;16:203-8.

4. Staropoli CA, Flaws JA, Bush TL, Moulton AW. Predictors of menopausal hot flashes. J Womens Health 1998;7:1149-55.

5. Greenberg G, Thompson SG, Meade TW. Relation between cigarette smoking and use of hormonal replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms. J Epidemiol Community Health 1987;41:26-9.

6. Toriizuka K, Okumura M, Iijima K, et al. Acupuncture inhibits the decrease in brain catecholamine contents and the impairment of passive avoidance task in ovariectomized mice. Acupunct Electrother Res 1999;24:45-57.

7. Wyon Y, Lindgren R, Hammar M, Lundeberg T. Acupuncture against climacteric disorders? Lower number of symptoms after menopause. Lakartidningen 1994;91:2318-22 [in Swedish].

8. Popivanov P. Menopausal indices as criteria for the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment of the climacteric syndrome. Vutr Boles 1983;22:110-3 [in Bulgarian].

9. Kraft K, Coulon S. Effect of a standardized acupuncture treatment on complains, blood pressure and serum lipids of hypertensive, postmenopausal women. A randomized, controlled clinical study. Forsch Komplementarmed 1999;6:74-9 [in German].

10. Lianzhong W, Xin Z. 300 cases of menopausal syndrome treated by acupuncture. J Trad Chin Med 1998;18:259-62.