Emotional uproar—Alternative remedies
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Remedies for Menopausal Symptoms

The Menopause Self Help Book by Susan M. Lark, M.D.,
The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal by Terry Willard, Ph.D.,
Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed
are drawn heavily upon for this segment. All references are provided here.

 

 EMOTIONAL UPROAR

When you find yourself raging, yelling, weeping, depressed, or out of control, you may want to try herbal remedies to ease the body and soul. Legal mood-altering drugs such as tranquilizers, antidepressants, alcohol, and illegal cocaine and opium may easily lead to dependence and should be avoided. You may have already created your own special space where you can be free of normal responsibilities, or begun a journal, or recharged the spirit with energy work such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Meditation, Qi Gong, or acupuncture.

The onset of menopausal changes gives us the chance to progress by isolating ourselves from outside responsibility, allowing ourselves time alone to focus on change, and nurture self. Rather than regarding it as something to be ‘endured,’ we can take the time to understand the metamorphosis and learn more about herbs that strengthen heart and bones, soften the skin, and enhance sex.

Garden sage tea with honey may help restore your emotional center and soothe irritated nerves. Traditionally it has even been said to cure insanity and hysteria.31 Sage contains both flavonoids and phytosterols and has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties.23

Calcium from the diet (and carefully supplementing calcium balanced with magnesium) nourishes the nerves and helps maintain blood sugar levels.31 Although there are many things to take into consideration when deciding how much, and what type of calcium to take, it is generally recommended that a postmenopausal woman consume at least 1,500 mg of calcium. While both magnesium and phosphorus work together with calcium in the body, too much of either interferes with calcium, and a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium is considered desirable. Lead content is a concern in bone meal, dolomite and calcium carbonate from oyster shells. People with insufficient stomach acid, particularly postmenopausal women, do not absorb calcium carbonate well, and should supplement with the chelated form. For most people, calcium citrate and other soluble forms (lactate, aspartate and orotate) are the most easily absorbed.12

Liferoot flower tincture is a slow-acting way to unravel emotional snarls. Five drops daily for several weeks, especially premenstrually, may also increase libido.31

Vitex berry (chaste berry) tincture is a slow-acting way to calm, soothe and balance (25-40 drops taken daily for several weeks). David Hoffman says "One interesting observation is that vitex may be called an amphoteric remedy as it can produce apparently opposite effects and will always enable an appropriate response in the body".13

Black cohosh root tincture eases menopausal flashes and is said to cure hysteria. It has a most powerful action as a relaxant and normalizer of the female reproductive system.13  Try 10-20 drops once or twice daily for a month.31

Contraindications: Do not use black cohosh if you have menstrual flooding or suspect you may be pregnant. The irritating effects (headache, dizziness, visual disturbance, nausea) of black cohosh and other members of the buttercup family are more common and more troublesome in preparations made from dried, powdered roots. Given its estrogenic component, pregnant and nursing women should probably avoid the herb. Some herbalists extend this warning to women with estrogen-dependent cancer and women who are taking birth control pills or estrogen supplements after menopause. The same precaution applies to individuals with certain types of heart disease or those taking sedatives or blood pressure medications.

 

Dong quai root may be chewed when you feel distraught and angry,31 as it is reported to relieve mental and emotional upset. In addition, it helps regulate hot flashes.35

Motherwort helps us find our center even in the wildest emotional storms. A dose of 5-15 drops can be taken at the time of upset and may be calming in minutes. Or take 10-20 drops twice a day for a month to help stabilize mood swings. At night, keep a glass of water and a bottle of motherwort on your night table and take 10-15 drops and a swallow of water if a night sweat awakens you.31

Valerian root, used in a bath or taken as a tincture, is a nervine, sedative and calmative. Use 15-20 drops as needed. The active constituents of valerian appear to bind weakly to benzodiazepine receptors in the body. This may be why it does not lead to the dependence or addiction seen with benzodiazepine sedatives such as diazepam and alprazolam.23 However, some feel this herb can be habit-forming if used nightly and may cause 'hangover' in the morning. Discontinue if it affects you adversely.

Massage is an excellent way to soothe and restore energy. Pamper yourself.

Exercise produces the 'feel good' endorphins that deal with the effects of stress.

 

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Researched and written by the ProjectAWARE group, 2000

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated 09/29/2010