By Lucy Gornall
Going through the menopause is part of life’s natural rhythm and marks the beginning of a new chapter in a woman’s life.
During this time, the change in a woman’s two key sex hormones - oestrogen and progesterone - can create an unwanted challenge, with both emotional and physical symptoms to deal with, such as hot flushes, night sweats, loss of sex drive, weight gain and mood changes.
Jo Webber, Head of Herbal Education at Pukka Herbs, reveals that it would be "unusual for a women to not experience any form of change at all whether it be physical or emotional".
"The main difference is in the severity of the symptoms," she adds.
This World Menopause Day on the 18th of October, Jo shares her simple advice on naturally easing the symptoms of menopause using herbs and daily practices…
"One of the very best herbs for supporting hormonal change throughout a woman’s lifecycle is Shatavari. The name shatavari is derived from the Sanskrit words shat, which means ‘100’ and vri, which means ‘root’.
"The word vari can also mean ‘husband’, which may explain why shatavari is often referred to as ‘she who has a hundred husbands’," reveals Jo. For centuries, this root has been used to treat and nourish women’s health.
Jo adds that Shatavari is a renowned tonic for the female reproductive system and contains natural precursors to female hormones to help to balance them and reduce menopausal symptoms.
"It’s also naturally cooling and moistening to the reproductive tract, making it perfect for the hot, dry symptoms of menopause."
We love Pukka's Womankind Menopause supplement, which contains Shatavari along with a blend of botanicals.
Watch Your Diet
Look at foods that help to balance oestrogen levels within the body, says Jo. Try…
Cruciferous veggies: Such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, which contain several powerful nutrients to help metabolise oestrogenic molecules.
Healthy fat-rich foods: These are foods rich in saturated and omega-3 fatty acids, including plant-based fats such as coconut oil, hemp seed oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocados. Raw nuts (other than peanuts) and seeds contain oestrogen balancing plant sterols.
Allium family: The alliums include garlic, onions, scallions, chives and leeks. These are all rich in sulfur-containing amino acids and the powerful flavone anti-oxidant quercetin that both help the liver detoxify and reduce the production of oestrogen.
Herbal Teas: Green tea and liquorice specifically balance oestrogen levels.
Lentils: All lentils contain appreciable amounts of phyto-oestrogens that help to balance oestrogen-progesterone levels. Soy is well known for this but all pulses are helpful.
Jo explains, "As a practitioner, one of the primary influencing factors I have noticed on the severity of symptoms of menopause is stress. Incorporating daily practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness can be helpful. But also listening to what your body needs, being in tune with your energy levels and making sure you are not overdoing it."
And for post menopause…
"Lower levels of oestrogen can impact on bone density, so increasing key minerals to support bone health and incorporating herbs that boost circulation to the muscles, such as turmeric, can be especially helpful," says Jo.
Lucy Gornall is the former Health & Fitness editor at Future and a personal trainer specializing in pre and post-natal exercise.
Prince William admits that his son Prince George gets 'annoyed' and 'confused' when people litter
The eight-year-old is learning about the environment and how to make the world a nicer place to live in
By Sarah Finley •
Nectar mattress review—does this memory foam mattress deliver on the support it promises?
In our Nectar mattress review, our tester reveals whether the product—which has a huge online following—actually lives up to the hype, and assesses how supportive it really is...
By Linda Clayton •
Menopause support groups—how to find the right community for you
Menopause support groups are a fantastic resource for people experiencing the hormonal change
By Amy Hunt •
The health benefits of protein powder for women over 50, according to a nutrionist
They can be particularly beneficial if you are menopausal
By Lucy Gornall •
Peri, post, or just plain meno - here’s the lowdown on your stage of the ‘pause’
These are the three stages of menopause - do you know what they are?
By Grace Walsh •
The menopause needs an image rebrand – let’s celebrate it for what it really is
You have nothing to fear, my friends.
By Michelle Hather •
What causes night sweats for women - as well as the menopause?
We're all used to perspiring a little more in the warm weather, or getting drenched in sweat during a workout - but what about night sweats?
By Amy Hunt •
Menopause magnets: what are they and do they really help ease menopause symptoms?
Menopause Magnets are said to ease menopause symptoms - in particular, hot flushes. But do they work? We investigate the evidence...
By Lauren Hughes •
Menopause weight gain: why it happens and what you can do about it
What actually causes menopausal weight gain?
By Lauren Hughes •
Think you’re at the Menopause age? Join Davina McCall as she reveals what drove her to seek help
Hot flushes, night sweats and difficulty sleeping - if these symptoms are getting you down it could be a chance that you’re going through the change...
By Selina Maycock •