Indeed, there are many herbal alternatives. Herbs will support your body as it makes the natural hormonal adjustments that every woman's body makes. Because the hormonal fluctuations during peri-menopause manifest in many different ways, it is a good idea to consult with a practitioner to find the best herb or combination of herbs for you. That being said, here's a little information about a few herbs that I often recommend.
SAGE helps to alleviate night sweats, eliminates headaches, improves digestion, relieves cramps and flooding. It also supports the adrenals as they take on more responsibility for production of estrogens as the ovaries slow down. Many women have exhausted adrenals from the hectic lifestyles we lead, so they can use all of the support they can get! Have a cup of sage tea and a little relaxation every afternoon!
VITEX , also called Chaste Berry, helps to support the whole body in normalizing fluctuating hormones, and supports the whole endocrine system. Vitex can be safely used for months, even years. It can eliminate flooding and spotting. It can re-establish a period that has stopped prematurely. It helps with headaches, the emotional roller coaster, and vaginal dryness. It has even been used successfully to treat endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Vitex works best on an empty stomach, so I usually recommend taking the tincture before breakfast.
BLACK COHOSH is probably the best known of the menopause herbs. This plant can relieve hot flashes, headache, joint pain, water retention, and that "black cloud" feeling. It has been used to prevent and correct prolapses. Relieves menstrual pain and irregularity. Helps to eliminate incontinence. Strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure.
MOTHERWORT has been my personal herbal ally as I made the menopausal journey myself. It will stop heart palpitations in a matter of seconds. This herb relieves insomnia and menopausal nightmares. It has a calming effect. Helps to tonify the uterus, heart, liver & thyroid. Used for shortness of breath that sometimes comes with hot flashes. Motherwort restores thickness & elasticity to vaginal walls. Not to be used by women who have menstrual flooding.
LADY'S MANTLE is used to control flooding. It is used in the treatment of fibroids. As a strong tea, it will get rid of that itchy feeling that sometimes follows a hot flash. Helps to relieve menopausal headaches. Tonifies the uterus. Gives the feeling of being wrapped on the cloak of the Goddess.
Another issue that is important to consider is whether you have a good source of positive estrogens in your diet. We all need to have sufficient positive estrogens in our diets so that plastic & pesticide estrogen-mimics (hormone disrupters) don't take up residence in the receptor sites in our cells. This is important for women at all ages (actually men, too!), but especially for menopausal women, since our bodies are not producing as much estrogen on their own now.
Here is a list of good phyto-estrogen rich foods to include in your diet regularly. Yams, beets, carrots, burdock, parsnips, garlic, onion, chives, leeks, dandelion, pomegranate seeds, fermented soy, red clover, seaweeds, fruits & berries, whole grains (rye, buckwheat, millet, oats, wheat, corn), sesame seeds, flax seeds, rice, all beans and lentils, leafy greens, olive oil.