The symptoms of menopause can make some people desperate. Many women who are experiencing fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, or emotional imbalances are often pushed to try solutions they may normally scoff at. Herbal Remedies are some of the most commonly sought answers to problems relating to menopause, but many are hesitant to try something that isn’t a prescription drug, assuming it just won’t be as effective.
This is a mistake, because herbal remedies can provide relief for a wide variety of symptoms. You don’t have to be desperate to try something like an herbal supplement. Often, these natural remedies are going to be gentler on your body while providing the most effective solution. The following herbs can provide relief to a number of different symptoms relating to menopause, and can be prepared or utilized in a variety of ways as well. Like our article on herbal remedies for sleeplessness, you will find a couple herbal tea recipes for menopause symptom relief at the end of this article.
Black Cohosh Actaea racemosa
This herb is the root of a green plant that produces flowers atop stems that can reach 6-8 feet tall. The flowers are actually just clusters of stamens and have no petals. The herb has been used for centuries by Native American cultures for a variety of problems.
In contemporary herbalism, Black Cohosh is a powerful herb that has been shown to help with a variety of menopausal symptoms, most notably hot flashes, night sweats and sleeplessness. Studies have been limited for this plant, because the quality of some studies have been questioned. With that in mind, there is plenty of evidence supporting the use of black cohosh as a supplement to help with menopause relief.
#1 for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Red Clover Trifolium pratense
The flowers of a plant that reach up to 3 feet in height, Red Clover is also a very commonly used herb in relation to menopausal symptoms.
“Red clover isoflavone supplementation significantly decreased the rate of menopausal symptoms”
Gynecol Endocrinol. 2005 Nov;21(5):257-64.
Many herbalists will say that Red Clover cools the blood. This is because the little red buds that this plant produces have a slightly cooling property and the isoflavones present in the herb seem to generally help with body temperature regulation.
Red Clover is very commonly used with other herbs in decoctions, which can be consumed cold, aiding in the cooling effect.
Chaste tree berry Vitex agnus-castus
Chaste Tree Berry (aka Vitex) is the small fruit gathered from this purple flowered shrub native to the Mediterranean. It has been used for millennia and was prescribed to help the wives of soldiers in ancient Greece to remain chaste while their husbands were away at war.
In reality, Chaste Tree Berry can help support the physical and emotional health of all women at varying times in the menstrual cycle. For menopausal women Chaste Tree Berry can help with mood swings and hot flashes as well as a variety of other hormone related symptoms.
Many herbalists agree that Chast Tree Berry is most effective when the woman using it is still producing estrogen, as it can aid in this balance. This herb is less effective in women who no longer produce these hormones. Chaste Tree Berry is one of the most commonly used herbs on the list and can be found in capsules, tinctures, and bulk herb form.
Something to keep in mind when trying these herbs (or any natural remedies for that matter) is that each person will react differently to each herb. Some herbs will be more effective than others, and it is important that you are consistent with usage and open to trying different options.
“When it comes to menopause every woman is different,” Master Herbalist Todd Altizer explained. “The trick is to find what works for that person.”
It can take some time to find the right herbs for your system, but using herbal tea can be a safe, effective way to manage a wide variety of problems.
Raspberry Leaf Lavendula angustifolia (officianalis)
This fluffy green dried leaf is one of the most effective herbs at aiding in staving off night sweats and hot flashes. Raspberry leaf has been used for centuries and is known for its flavor that resembles black tea. It is often given to women during pregnancy in order to reduce nausea, tone the uterus, and increase milk production.
“All women who come into reproductive maturity, if they only use one herb, should consider using Raspberry Leaf.”
Phoenix Herb Company Kansas City, MO
While the herb has a gentle soothing effect, it can also be extremely effective at decreasing leg cramps, eliminating diarrhea, and maintaining a healthy female reproductive system at any age. As such it can be the best, most effective herb for use as a base
Nettle Leaf Urtica dioica
Nettles and alfalfa have both garnered the label as an herbal multivitamin. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, Nettle Leaf is great to use within a base for tea alongside Raspberry Leaf and Oat Straw. Read the post on herbal remedies for sleeplessness for more information abou Oat Straw, and other herbal tea blends.
The diverse range of nutrients found in these three herbs help to support the body as it goes through these changes of life. Nettle is always a good herb to have on hand for use in tea, decoctions, and cold infusions.
Ginseng Panax quinquefolius and Panax ginseng
There are two main types of ginseng root: American Ginseng and Asian Ginseng. While there are many differences between these types, the most obvious is color. American ginseng is generally a much lighter color than their asian counterparts. This is not only because it is a different species of the plant, but also in the preparation methods used to create Korean and Chinese Ginseng. Also Asian Ginseng is known to be warming, so if you are having temperature regulation issues, try to find American Ginseng, which is known to have cooling properties.
In terms of Ginseng’s uses to combat the effects of Menopause, it is known as an energizing herb that can help with focus and alertness. This can be helpful in maintaining daily responsibilities and routines when going through sometimes unbearable symptoms.
Ginseng can be found extracted into tinctures, capsules, powders, and various other solutions. Sometimes the most effective method of consumption is through hot tea, and then chewing on the soaked roots themselves.
Ashwagandha Withania somnifera
This herb belongs to the category of Adaptogenic Herbs. This category of herbs are known to help various systems in the body to adapt to environmental and internal stressors. While this sounds like an extremely broad statement that doesn’t really explain much, it is because the category contains a number of herbs that work very differently. Despite their differences, however, Adaptogens are known as balancing herbs, because they can help to level off imbalances in the body.
Ashwagandha, for example, is an ayurvedic herb known to help balance nervousness and anxiety while energizing and increasing vitality. It helps the user strike a balance.
Reishi Ganoderma lucidum
The Reishi mushroom (aka ganoderma) and other fungi have been prized in asian cultures for ages for their restorative properties. In Chinese Traditional Medicine this fungus is prescribed to help with a variety of problems as it is known to help with immune response, anxiety, high blood pressure, and respiratory ailments. In terms of menopausal symptoms, Reishi is also considered an adaptogen and helps the body to balance itself, relieving symptoms by improving circulation and increasing overall well being.
It can be found as a large, dried whole mushroom. In this form Reishi is hard and has a woody consistency. The best way to use these is to boil them into a stock and them consume the leftover pieces which have then softened. The stock can be especially helpful during the winter months when dry scratchy throats can lead to sickness.
You can also find reishi in capsule, powder, and tea forms, which may be more convenient to use in specific circumstances.
Rhodiola Rhodiola rosea
Many women feel emotionally drained or even depressed when going through menopause. It is a time in life where many changes, physically and emotionally, are pushed upon a woman. These changes include hormone imbalances that leave many feeling less than capable of managing stressors. Often, Rhodiola can help with this side of life’s transition.
Rhodiola has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, dating back to ancient Greece and China. It was even given to Russian Olympic athletes and cosmonauts to increase physical and mental performance and stamina.
Rhodiola can be made into a tea or taken as a tincture, though it’s bitter flavor often pushes people towards the capsule form.
Tea Blend Recipes
The easiest way to blend these ingredients is to put them into a bag or container by scooping them individually, then shaking the receptacle to mix the herbs as much as possible.
Pour 8oz of boiling hot water over 2-4 tsp of loose leaf tea inside of a tea strainer or muslin bag. Steep for 15 minutes. It is important to steep for this long as many flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals (the active ingredients) take time to extract into the water. Sip and enjoy.
Recipe #1: PeriMenopause Blend
This blend is specifically for women who have either just begun their life change or have not yet hit menopause but are beginning to exhibit symptoms related to hormonal imbalances. For women whose bodies are still producing some level of estrogen and progesterone, but are in need of relief imbalances, the combination of Chaste Tree Berry and Black Cohosh can be a huge help. FInish with your favorite kind of flavor boosting herb. We recommend Spearmint or Peppermint.
- 3 parts Raspberry Leaf
- 2 parts Nettles
- 2 parts Oatstraw
- 1 part Chaste Tree Berry
- 1 part Black Cohosh
- 1 part Peppermint or Spearmint
- Raspberry Leaf 30%
- Nettles 20%
- Oatstraw 20%
- Chaste Tree Berry 10%
- Black Cohosh 10%
- Peppermint or Spearmint 10%
- Raspberry Leaf 25%
- Nettles 16.7%
- Oatstraw 16.7%
- Licorice Root 8.3%
- Wild Yam 8.3%
- Black Cohosh 8.3%
- Peppermint or Spearmint 16.7%
Recipe #2: Menopause Relief Blend
This herbal tea blend is meant for those who are in the full swing of menopause and need a soothing tea that will help to relieve night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings. These herbs are best used by women who are no longer producing hormone levels, as the licorice root and wild yam will help the body build estrogen and progesterone respectively. Again, flavor with peppermint or spearmint.
- 3 parts Raspberry Leaf
- 2 parts Nettles
- 2 parts Oatstraw
- 1 part Licorice Root
- 1 part Wild Yam
- 1 part Black Cohosh
- 2 Parts Pepermint or Spearmint
Chaste Tree Berry: