There are several herbal options for management of the menopause and its symptoms. “However, before you rush out to buy such medication it’s important to ensure that it is properly quality controlled and regulated,” says Dr David Edwards, a GP and specialist in female sexual dysfunction. “Make such that it has THR and a nine-figure number on the outside of the packet.”

Black cohosh is a traditional herbal medicine used for the relief of menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats and temporary changes in mood such as nervous irritability and restlessness. “A six-month randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial in 48 postmenopausal women with sleep disturbance aged 45-60 years found that black cohosh effectively improved sleep compared with placebo[1],” says Dr Edwards. In a further study, black cohosh was shown to reduce menopausal symptoms more than placebo but was devoid of oestrogenic adverse effects.[2]

“Black cohosh combined with St John’s Wort provides the benefits of black cohosh and the St John’s Wort is included for low mood and mild anxiety, which many menopausal women experience,” says Dr Edwards.

In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 301 women experiencing menopausal complaints with psychological complaints, the menopausal rating scale fell by 50 per cent in the group treated with black cohosh and St John’s Wort, and a depression rating scale fell by 41.6 per cent. Both these reductions were significant compared with placebo.[3]

“Isoflavone supplements are also used for menopausal symptoms,” explains Dr Edwards. “Isoflavones have oestrogenic effects so can potentially act as HRT, including the oestrogenic side effects.”

They have been the subject of a huge number of trials. A 2013 Cochrane analysis concluded that evidence for benefit in night sweats and hot flushes is inconclusive but that one of the ingredients in isoflavones (genistein) should be researched more fully.[4]

“Another traditional herbal medicine used for temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, including fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety all of which are common menopausal symptoms is Rhodiola rosea,” says Dr Edwards.

A multi-centre four-week trial in 101 people with life stress symptoms found that all measures of stress, both subjective and objective, improved with the herbal remedy. Improvement began after 1-3 days and continued over 1-4 weeks.[5]

“A recent review of this herbal remedy concluded that Rhodiola rosea influences the release of stress hormones to normal levels while boosting energy metabolism.[6] I have had many positive outcomes following my research in recommending Rhodiola rosea to patients,” adds Dr Edwards. “However, it is of paramount importance to make sure you choose one which carries the THR kite mark as this guarantees quality, safety and includes approved dosage information in-pack.”

Product recommendations from schwabe & nature’s way

Black Cohosh is found in MenoHerb Black Cohosh Menopause Relief, a traditional herbal medicine used for the relief of menopause symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats and temporary changes in mood such as nervous irritability and restlessness, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

Available in Boots, Holland & Barrett, Ocado and all good pharmacy and health food stores or visit www.menoherb.co.uk.  £10.20 for 30 one-a-day tablets.

MenoHerb is suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, wheat, sugar and soya. Always read the label.

 

The unique combination of Black Cohosh and St John’s Wort in MenoMood Menopause Mood Relief, is a traditional herbal medicine used for the relief of menopause symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, slightly low mood and mild anxiety, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

Available in Boots and Holland & Barrett and all good pharmacy and health food stores or visit www.menoherb.co.uk. £16.99 for 30 one-a-day tablets.

MenoMood is suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, wheat and soya.  Always read the label.

 

Rhodiola rosea can be found in Vitano® Rhodiola tablets, a traditional herbal medicine used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

Available in Boots and Holland & Barrett and all good pharmacy and health food stores or visit www.vitano.co.uk. £6.99 for 16 two-a-day tablets.

Vitano® is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is free from lactose, gluten, wheat, soya, corn and sugar.  Always read the label.

Our Menopause Health blood test finger prick kit will check your hormone levels and the impact changes in these levels might have on your overall health and bone density. The profile includes an FSH test, LH and Oestradiol (oestrogen) hormone check. In addition, it assesses your levels of vitamin D and calcium, key markers for bone health. This test is designed for women at all stages of the menopause, from early perimenopause through to post-menopause.