Here’s the deal: there are no natural remedies for menopause because menopause is not something to be remedied. It’s not an illness but rather a totally natural phase that marks a transition from one time in your life to another. Like puberty but backward.
So yes, maybe even the idea of a “menopause treatment” isn’t that helpful. Rather, we should be looking for ways to make menopause symptoms easier to deal with.
How can I get through menopause without medication?
Everyone has such different experiences of menopause that it’s hard to come up with cure-all menopause relief. But here are some simple things that can help:
- Exercise. We don’t want to harp on about this one, but regular exercise is a bit of a miracle worker. Do something you find fun. Dance party anyone?
- Counseling. This can be one heck of a life phase. Get the help you need.
- Get enough rest. Sleep may be a challenge over this time. Try to prioritize a regular schedule. And you’re totally allowed to cancel social plans when you feel pooped.
- Breathe. Yoga. Meditation. It really does work.
- **Keep hydrated. **
- Eat a nutritious diet.
- Laugh whenever possible.
What is the best natural hormone replacement for menopause?
When you go through menopause, your ovaries slow down their production of progesterone and estrogen. Lower levels of hormones can lead to all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes, bone loss, and vaginal dryness.
In some cases, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is appropriate to help you get through all of this. While it can really help ease symptoms and stave off osteoporosis, HRT is not without its risks. Particularly if you’re on it for more than five years, it can increase your risk of ovarian and breast cancers, heart disease, and stroke.
So what if you don’t want to go that route? What else is available to you?
While the research on using herbs for menopause is far from conclusive, some women do find them useful. Here are the most popular options:
- Black cohosh: This is one of the better-known natural remedies for hot flashes. Used by indigenous North American communities for centuries, it’s now available in pill and liquid form.
- Dong quai: AKA female ginseng, dong quai has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. It may have some benefits when it comes to treating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
- Milk thistle: Many women take milk thistle to improve their liver function and balance out hormone function.
- Evening primrose oil: Evening primrose oil could be effective in providing some menopause relief—but there are risks, particularly if you take it for a long time or in conjunction with other meds. Best to talk to your doctor about this one so that you can fit it into a comprehensive treatment plan.
- St John’s wort: Some early research suggests that St John’s wort can help out with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
A word of caution when it comes to products that bill themselves as natural menopause relief. There’s a lot of snake oil out there that is not only ineffective but can actually be harmful. Before purchasing any “natural remedies for menopause”, read labels and do your research on what you find.
The warning from the FDA is pretty clear: “Don’t get scammed by products making false claims about miracle cures for weight gain, hair loss, wrinkles, or other problems that happen during or after menopause.”
What foods make menopause worse?
Look, the last thing you need right now is to have the food police surveilling your intake, but there are certain foods that make menopause even more of a challenge. Cutting down on these can help:
- Processed food. Because they’re usually really high in sugar and salt—both of which make bloating even worse.
- Spicy food. 💦 Yeah, if you’re already sweating, it might be best not to fan the flames.
- Food high in saturated fat. These can leave you feeling worse. Fatty meats can also lower your body’s serotonin levels, leaving you feeling angry and irritable.
- Alcohol. No need to go totally dry (unless that’s what you want to do) but monitoring how much you consume isn’t a bad idea. Alcohol comes with all sorts of increased risks (breast cancer, cardiovascular disease) and can also affect your mood. If you’re already feeling a bit shaky, alcohol can make it all feel worse.
So, yes. There are “natural” ways to ease the symptoms you may be feeling—but menopause is not a disease. You’re not something to be fixed. You are whole and beautiful and badass. 💕
Best of luck.