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Menopause Supplements

Menopause supplements and even the topic of taking vitamin and mineral supplements for any condition, let alone taking menopause supplements for relieving menopause symptoms, can be a source of controversy and contradiction.

There are many points of view!

What I am going to do is simply present some basic information on natural supplements and their benefits for women in menopause, and you can decide for yourself.

I happen to be of the persuasion that taking vitamin and mineral supplements is a good thing!

Before getting into the specifics of menopause supplements you should learn exactly what vitamins really are.

All natural vitamins are organic food substances found only in living things like plants and animals. Less than twenty substances have been discovered so far that are believed to be active as vitamins in human nutrition.

Each of these vitamins is present in varying degrees in specific foods and each is absolutely necessary for proper growth, maintenance and health. For the most part our bodies cannot synthesize vitamins-they must be supplied in the diet or in natural supplements.

Because vitamins work on the cellular level in our bodies, a lack of one or more vitamins can cause many varied symptoms. Taking vitamins and certain menopause supplements helps offset possible vitamin deficiencies in our bodies because we are not getting adequate nutrition through our diet alone.

Taking vitamins does not produce results overnight, but this does assist our body’s cell regeneration and alteration in body chemistry necessary for repair, and so it may take weeks or sometimes months before the benefits are noticeably felt in our bodies. Now, what are minerals?

Minerals are nutrients that exist in our body and in food in organic and inorganic combinations. There are approximately seventeen minerals essential to human nutrition. Minerals are vital to our overall mental and physical well being.

Minerals are constituents of our bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscle, blood and nerve cells. So they are important in maintaining and strengthening such things in our body as our skeletal structure, preserving the vigour of our heart and brain and our muscle and nerve systems.

Minerals co-exist with vitamins and their work is interrelated. For example, some B Complex vitamins are absorbed when combined with phosphorus. Vitamin C helps increase the absorption of iron and Calcium absorption would not occur without Vitamin D.

The primary minerals, known as “macrominerals,” are: Calcium, Chlorine, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Sodium and Sulphur. These minerals are present in relatively high amounts in our body tissues.

Other minerals, called “trace minerals,” are present in only the most minute quantities in our body, but are equally essential for our body to function and be healthy.

When we enter menopause our body’s hormone levels and body chemistry is becoming significantly altered. Therefore anything we can do naturally, such as taking menopause supplements, to help our body maintain a good nutritional foundation will make this transition easier.

Menopause Herbs (part 3)

Menopause herbs that are the most useful as menopause treatments are now going to be talked about briefly in this section.

Some menopause herbs are not only useful in treating menopause but other conditions associated with menopause.

Herbs That Target Menopause Symptoms

There are many herbs that have proven very effective in treating menopause symptoms.

Although I will briefly describe each herb for menopause on its own, and its benefits, it should be noted that in actual fact it is a combination of these herbs in one product that proves to be the most effective… and I can suggest products that have worked for me that contain the right combination of the following menopause herbs.

Menopause Herbs – BLACK COHOSH

Menopause herbs like Black Cohosh contain a natural precursor to estrogen (i.e., the body uses the elements in Black Cohosh as raw materials to produce its own hormones and only in the amount it needs).

Black Cohosh, menopause herbs, have been used for centuries by the native Americans to treat pre-menstrual syndrome, painful menstruation and for menopause. Clinical studies have shown Black Cohosh Root to be effective in relieving menopause symptoms with none of the side effects, because it contains natural estrogen.

In fact, Black Cohosh was an official drug in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1926. It is a tonic for the central nervous system and it is an excellent, safe sedative.

Black Cohosh balances the hormonal system naturally. It is an all round muscle relaxer. It helps bring on menstrual flow, relieve menstrual cramps and ease low back pain that often accompanies menopause. It is indeed one of the premier menopause herbs.

Menopause Herbs – WILD YAM

This can also be called Mexican Wild Yam. The American Indians used the Mexican Wild Yam for birth control. Wild Yam contains a progesterone precursor and these progesterone precursors are used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce progesterone.

Wild Yam, or dioscorea, contains the plant hormone diosgenin which is similar in structure to the adrenal hormone DHEA and the ovarian hormone progesterone.

The plant hormone diosgenin has a balancing effect on the body’s hormones similar to the effects of DHEA and progesterone; therefore, Wild Yam can help overcome the negative effects of declining levels of DHEA and progesterone that occur with ageing.

Natural plant hormones such as diosgenin can be converted into progesterone that very closely matches the molecular structure of the progesterone produced by our own bodies and so is safer to take long term than synthetic hormones.

Wild Yam can also help with fatigue, depression and loss of sex drive. Again, this is one of the primary menopause herbs.

Menopause Herbs – DONG QUAI

A Chinese herb, Dong Quai has been called the queen of all female herbs. This herb has a tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system and gives nourishment to the brain cells. It has been acclaimed to be very effective against almost every type of complaint of the female system.

Dong Quai contains phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens, and has been effective in relieving hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other menopause and PMS symptoms.

Menopause Herbs – CHASTE BERRY

Chaste Berry hails from the Mediterranean and is a herb that has been used for years as a treatment for hormonal imbalances in women. The Chaste Tree Berry is a natural flavonoid that has a progesterone like effect.

It also is effective in altering the neurotransmitters that modulate hormonal levels; consequently, the chaste Tree Berry acts to regulate heavy menstrual flow due to insufficient progesterone production and alleviate mood changes associated with erratic hormone production.

Chaste Berry helps restore a normal estrogen-to-progesterone balance. Chaste Berry has proven effective in relieving symptoms like headaches, breast tenderness, anxiety, mood alteration, bloating and fatigue.

The most important use of Chaste Berry in England is for treating menopause symptoms.

 

 

Menopause Herbs (part 1)

Damiana has stimulating properties and has been used for treating nervousness, weakness and exhaustion, restoring the vital powers of the system. It helps to balance the hormones in women.

Damiana has been useful in increasing sexual prowess in women who suffer from sexual weakness. It has been said to be one of the most popular and safest herbs to restore natural sexual capacities and functions.

Menopause Herbs – GINSENG

In the Orient Ginseng is called the “King of the Herbs.” It is indeed the most famous Chinese herb. Ginseng has been used for seven thousand years to restore the YANG quality, or vital force. It stimulates the entire body energy to overcome stress, fatigue – physical and mental – and weakness.

Ginseng is very beneficial for heart and circulation. It is used as a preventative tonic in China and it is said to slow down the ageing process. It is said to improve vision and hearing, and to help check irritability, giving one more poise and composure.

Ginseng is a very important herb in the treatment of menopause symptoms. One major benefit of Ginseng is the prevention of the thinning of the vaginal membranes.

Menopause Herbs – CRAMP BARK

Cramp Bark is considered to be one of the best female regulators in nature…a very valuable herb. It is recognized as a uterine sedative and is the best relaxant for the ovaries and uterus… hence its name Cramp Bark.

Menopause Herbs – MOTHERWORT

Motherwort is a valuable herb in the treatment of female weakness and is helpful in treating nervous irritability, inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system.

Motherwort is very useful during menopause. It helps to normalize uterine musculature which can often become more spasmodic and uncontrolled during peri menopause.

It protects the heart and circulatory system and helps relieve anxiety and tension. It is the hormone levels that keep a woman’s heart contractions smooth and the blood clean, but as hormone levels drop during menopause a woman can experience heart problems. Motherwort can help keep these diseases at bay

Menopause Herbs – GOLDEN SEAL

Golden Seal is useful in boosting a sluggish glandular system and promoting youthful hormone harmony. This herb goes directly into the bloodstream and helps regulate liver functions.

It has a natural antibiotic ability to stop infection and kill poisons in the body. It has the ability to heal mucous membranes anywhere in the body. It is useful in menopause to prevent vaginitis.

Golden Seal ranks high as one of the best general medicinal herbs and when it is taken with other herbs it increases the tonic properties of whatever ailment is being treated.

“Some Other Herbs You Should Know About”

The following is a short list of other herbs that can be useful for specific conditions like: headaches, heart disease, memory, anxiety, depression or insomnia.

Breathe Your Way To Peace And Health With Yoga Hatha

The yoga training DVD will give you step-by-step instructions which can help you exercise right in your home.

However, getting the exercise right is the only way one can make it work to his or her benefit.

Since yoga is a very useful practice for human health, it is beneficial to consider different types of yoga and their influence on one’s health, physical condition, and psychological well-being. One of the types we will analyze is yoga hatha. Yoga hatha is the most basic type of yoga, and is that branch of yoga that most people usually begin with when they start practicing. Invented by a yogi sage named Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century, yoga hatha (coming from the Sanskrit term ha meaning sun and tha meaning moon) is the practice of uniting opposites, and the negative and positive energies of the sun and moon.

Here are the goals, practices and benefits of practicing yoga hatha:

Basics

Because yoga hatha is the practice of uniting opposites, it attempts to connect the body and the mind and find the balance between the two. This is done through meditation, including breathing techniques as well as different postures. The two major postures of yoga hatha are asana and pranayama. These combined, result in a combination of mental and physical harmony.

Asana

One major aspect of yoga hatha is asana which literally means seat in Sanskrit. This is the practice of remaining in a seated position, as well as other yogic positions. Daily practice of asana will result in higher muscles flexibility, bone strength, as well as the mental benefits of higher concentration, stamina and will power.

Pranayama

The other major part of yoga hatha is pranayama, which is the practice of using breathing control. The word comes from prana (source of life) and yama (control). This is important because it is believed in the yogic practice that controlling your breathing can help to control your mind as well as your body.

Benefits of Yoga Hatha

The effects of yoga hatha are many -mentally, it can help you handle stressful situations much better by increasing your concentration and physically, yoga hatha will help increase muscle strength and flexibility, as well as tone internal organs that can help treat and prevent such illnesses as diabetes and arthritis. The breathing exercises in yoga hatha also help with bronchial ailments such as asthma and bronchitis.

If you are curious about yoga, consider joining a class, or at least watching one where they are practicing this simplest form of yoga. By combining breathing and body movement, you will find that you can have control over your movements and find inner strength you never knew you had. This is a wonderful step to take if you find yourself stressed, or wanting to try something different. You will be amazed at what your body can do with the help of yoga, and how will your life change.

Menopause Herbs (part 2)

FEVERFEW

Feverfew has proved to be a useful herb for treating migraine headaches. There were two doubleblind studies done in Great Britain proving the effectiveness of Feverfew for treating headaches.

EVENING PRIMROSE

Evening Primrose Oil is an excellent source of Essential Fatty Acids Gamalinolenic Acid and Linoleic Acid. An essential fatty acid is a nutrient that the body cannot make but is essential for good health.

Evening Primrose Oil contains hormone-like substances called prostaglandins.

It lowers blood pressure and slows down the speed at which cholesterol is made. It can help inhibit the formation of clots. In short a very good herb for the heart and circulatory system.

GINKO BILOBA

Ginko Biloba is another Chinese herb. It has had favourable effects on vascular insufficiency and age related decrease in brain function. Ginko may be useful for the forgetfulness many menopausal women complain of.

KAVA

Kava is used throughout the world as a remedy for anxiety and insomnia.

  1. JOHN’S WORT

St. John’s Wort was used in ancient times to treat menstrual disorders.

This herb is used for the treatment of anxiety and mild depression.

PASSION FLOWER

Passion Flower has been used in Mexico and Central America as a gentle remedy for insomnia for centuries. In Italy it is used to treat hyperactive children. It is quieting and soothing to the nervous system.

VALERIAN ROOT

Valerian Root is used as a mild sedative and helps promote sleep. It contains an essential oil and alkaloids which combine to produce a calming sedative effect. It can be used as a tranquilizer for treating anxiety.

Can Yoga Be Dangerous?

From a concerned Yoga teacher:

A student brought a New York Times article to me, from October 9, 2011, p.11, a column by Maureen Dowd. She quotes the Times Science writer, William Broad, Yoga has produced waves of injuries. Take strokes..Doctors have found that certain poses can result in brain damage that turns practitioners into cripples, with drooping eyelids and falling limbs.

https://www.nytimes.com/

 Is this true? Is there any evidence of this? The book is entitled,The Science of Yoga: the Myths and the Rewards.

The New York Times article mentioned is a free read online here. Broads book, a description of which can found here, looks like it will be entertaining when it arrives on the shelves in February.

While there is some truth to what the book author writes about Yoga and injuries, there is certainly a sensationalistic tone that exaggerates reality.

As with any movement anyone can do at any time, there is a risk of injury with Yoga.

Even simply walking, a normal activity most of us do everyday, can result in stubbed or broken toes, banged shins with bleeding lacerations, sprained ankles, and even serious head trauma if one falls and hits their head on a hard surface. Ive seen all these walking injuries working in the ER. I havent seen Yoga injuries – but thats because way more people walk than do Yoga. As Yoga becomes more popular, the increasing numbers of people participating will lead to waves of injuries showing up in emergency rooms that werent seen before.

One must be careful. Mindfulness is part of Yoga, and being mindful of proper slow transitions and postures prevents most injuries. Never force a posture, and never let a teacher push you into one. Some modern Yoga styles are more like aerobics or calisthenics, and with those increasingly aggressive styles focused on rapid strenuous exercise, injuries are more likely to result. The modern trend of turning Yoga into a sport results in typical sports-related injuries.

Specifically regarding stroke, there is some circumstantial evidence that neck extension, particularly neck extension with rotation, can lead to stroke. Avoid hyperextending and dont roll the head around from side to side while looking way up at the ceiling.

These movements are not unique to Yoga. Originally this type of stroke was called beauty parlor syndrome (because of the extension of the neck over the shampoo bowl with movement side to side with rinsing). Its been reported with playing volleyball and tennis (think serving with the head thrown way back to look up at the ball), painting the ceiling, throwing back shots of liquor, and even driving (looking back and up over the shoulder with reverse).

An explanation of how such movements can cause a stroke is discussed in a previous post here. Basically, the motion of full extension of the neck with rotation can trap a vertebral artery that runs inside a small hole in each of the bones of the neck, lacing them together (see diagram above).  If they get caught or snagged on a bone fragment and then stretched, a tear in the inner lining of the blood vessel wall can occur – and then dissection and stroke.

There are less than a handful of case reports in the medical literature specifically implicating Yoga as a cause of stroke over the past forty years. I emphasize that they are case reports, not prospective studies. Since vertebral and carotid dissections usually present with symptoms several hours after the causal injury, it is a bit of a guessing game to determine exactly what movement caused the injury and when. This type of stroke, a large artery dissection, is quite rare, and determining the exact cause is difficult and inexact. The few strokes thought to have been caused by Yoga may not have been.

Here are two articles Ive written in the past addressing Yoga and stroke:

Can Yoga Cause a Stroke?

Sirsasana: Can You Bleed From the Headstand?

While the link between Yoga and strokes is tenuous, its best to be cautious. Don’t throw the head back too far into hyperextension, and don’t roll or rotate the head when the neck is in extension (when the face is pointed towards the ceiling).

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