Search the whole site for articles and discussions

View a factfile for a specific condition or supplement

Keep up to date with Nutrition Expert

Natural remedies for the menopause

Published Date:

The Menopause describes a woman’s loss of fertility in later life as a result of her periods coming to an end and her ovaries losing their reproductive function. The average woman in the UK goes through menopause at the age of fifty one but in exceptional circumstances women can become menopausal in their thirties, or even younger. This is known as ‘Premature menopause.’

Symptoms

For some women, the symptoms of the menopause are barely felt. For others, they can be severe and disruptive of day to day activities.

The following are symptoms regularly experienced by women going through the menopause:

  • Hot flushes and night sweats;

  • Anxiety and low mood;

  • Poor memory and concentration;

  • Loss of self-esteem;

  • Headaches;

  • Difficulty sleeping;

  • Irritability and mood swings;

  • Tiredness.

The science behind the menopause

The menopause is influenced by a change in hormone levels. During a woman’s fertile years, she produces one egg per month. The production of these eggs is associated with the release of three reproductive hormones; Oestradiol, oestrone and Oestriol. All three of these hormones collectively fall under the label Oestrogen.

A woman’s menstrual cycle from egg development and ovulation, to the implantation of the egg in the uterus in preparation for fertilization, is stimulated by Oestrogen. A monthly period occurs because no fertilization has taken place, and the lining of the womb is therefore shed.  

As a woman gets older, her store of eggs in the ovary decreases and her ability to conceive therefore diminishes. At this time, less oestrogen is produced which causes the body to behave differently.

Remedies to help alleviate menopausal symptoms

Though the menopause is an inevitable part of ageing, suffering with the symptoms is not. Some supplements are thought to be particularly beneficial during this stage of life.

Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil (EPO) contains the essential fatty acid GLA, which may be beneficial in the treatment of some menopausal symptoms. GLA is used by the body to make prostaglandins, which can regulate hormones. Menopausal women are advised to speak to a GP before taking EPO supplements; especially women with an existing condition or those who are already taking medication.

Black cohosh

Black cohosh is also said to help balance Oestrogen levels by stimulating the hormone’s functions. Healthspan’s Black Cohosh Menopausal Relief provides this extract in supplement form.

Pycnogenol®

Pycnogenol® pine bark extract has been tested in relation to relieving menopausal symptoms in numerous controlled studies (i).

A study of 200 healthy peri-menopausal women taking Pycnogenol® across a six month period showed the pine bark extract had a positive impact on a number of symptoms, including sleep, anxiety and menstrual problems.

Pycnogenol® was even found to have significantly improved fatigue, concentration and memory problems in addition to having somewhat improved symptoms of hair loss, dizziness, weight gain, bloating, brittle nails, irregular heart-beat, depression, anxiety, irritability and panic disorder (ii).

Taking all of this information on board may seem a little overwhelming, but the Menopause is not all doom and gloom.

Irrespective of its label as a medical condition, it is a personal experience that is different for everybody and treatment should be tailored both accordingly, and safely.

  1. file:///C:/Users/eleanor/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/YK051B7D/Pycnogenol%20for%20Menopause%202016.pdf

  2. file:///C:/Users/eleanor/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/YK051B7D/Pycnogenol%20for%20Menopause%202016.pdf

The Nutrition Expert editorial team compiles articles with the help of Healthspan's experts to answer key questions from our community as well as researching common health topics and news.

 More from this expert.

Latest Articles

You may also be interested in:

Henrietta

The benefits of Omega 3

Nutritionist Henrietta Norton explains the many benefits...

Dr Hilary Jones

What is Alzheimers?

Dr Hilary Jones discusses Alzheimer's disease and how...

Dr Sarah Brewer

Arthritis and your nutrition

Dr Sarah Brewer explores how your nutrition can help...

Henrietta

Circulation, Heart Health and Nutrition

Discover how nutrition can help keeping your heart...

No statement or article should be understood as providing treatment advice. If you have a health problem consult your GP and check compatibility of new supplements with your GP or Pharmacist if you are taking any prescription medication.

Nutrition Expert sources the latest information and advice from a range of qualified doctors, nutritionists and coaches. We always endeavour to have the most up to date information possible and publish new content weekly. However with the constant research in this field sometimes some of our older articles can become out of date. If you see anything that you believe needs to be updated please let us know via our Contact Us page