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Natural Treatments for Menopause Symptoms

Black Cohosh

Symptom:Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Benefit:

Black cohosh is derived from a species of buttercup. Studies have had mixed results on whether black cohosh is effective in reducing hot flashes. Some studies indicate it may help with mild hot flashes and night sweats for short-term treatment. May lower blood pressure as well. In rare cases, hepatitis has been reported.
 

Soy

Symptom:Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Benefit:

Soy has isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Some studies have observed that soy may be effective in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, other studies have found no benefit. Soy may also lower cholesterol. Only food forms of soy, like tofu and soy milk, are recommended. Soy in tablet or powder form is not advised.

Flaxseed, ground or oil

Symptom:Hot Flashes

Benefit:

Flaxseed has omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which act as phytoestrogens. Results from studies have been mixed, but it may help symptoms in some women. It is also believed to help lower cholesterol. Avoid whole flaxseed because it is difficult to digest.

Vitamin E

Symptom:Vaginal Dryness, Hot Flashes

Benefit:

Topical vitamin E oil applied to the vagina helps improve lubrication and may also reduce hot flashes.
 

Yoga, Aerobic Exercise, Breathing Exercises

Symptom:Mood Swings, Sleep Disruption

Benefit:

Exercise and meditation reduce irritability, even hot flashes, in some women. Yoga combines both. Exercise also helps most people sleep better.

Cold Drinks

Symptom:Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Benefit:

Cold drinks help you feel cooler. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics that encourage dehydration. Try cold water or fruit juices with antioxidant vitamins.

Warning

While the supplements mentioned above are among the most commonly used supplements to help control menopause symptoms, It's important to note that research is still ongoing to determine their effectiveness. To date, no supplement has consistently been shown to work better than placebo in managing symptoms.

Also, keep in mind that dietary or herbal supplements may have side effects or interactions with each other or with other drugs. Some may be unsafe to take due to certain medical conditions. Consult with your doctor prior to using them.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on June 01, 2014
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