Perimenopause and menopause are natural parts of every woman’s health journey and one that every woman hopes to be a smooth and pleasant transition. Providing natural support before and during the menopausal period involves optimising health overall to ensure the body has everything it needs to support this time. There are a range of botanicals that have demonstrated significant potential during this transitional period and here we take a brief look at a few of them.
Symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats are among some of the most common symptoms affecting women during the perimenopausal and menopausal period. Sage has a long history of traditional use in supporting a reduction in these uncomfortable symptoms. A 2019 study demonstrated that 100mg sage extract daily for 4 weeks reduced the severity of hot flashes and nights sweats compared to the previous 4 weeks in 30 women aged between 46 and 58 years.1
This wild plant is a rich source of phytoestrogen isoflavones and is a commonly used traditional remedy to reduce cholesterol, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal atrophy and dryness. A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found that red clover may decrease the frequency of hot flashes and may reduce other menopausal symptoms in addition.2
As hormone levels decline it is crucial to pay attention to the adrenal glands, since they can produce a form of oestrogen to help compensate for its decline in production from the ovaries. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb classified as an adaptogen, which describes its ability to regulate physiologic process and stabilise the body’s response to stress.3,4
Rhodiola is another herb with a long history of traditional use as an adaptogen for enhancing mental and physical performance and for its stress-protective effects. Research has also shown that rhodiola can improve many of the neuropsychological symptoms experienced by menopausal women, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, stress intolerance, cognitive dysfunction, memory decline and reduced executive functions.5
Considered to be one of the most important herbal medicines in Ayurveda; shatavari is believed to be both a general tonic and a female reproductive tonic. It is commonly recommended to nourish the ovaries, promote production of reproductive hormones and maintain female libido. It is also often used as a natural support for the reduction of menopausal symptoms due to its natural phytoestrogenic properties.
In addition to these botanicals, there are also some key nutrients including magnesium, vitamin C and selective B vitamins that may provide support during this natural stage of life that every woman will go through on the journey of female health.
Health Professional Resource
To learn more about the benefits and research on these nutrients and botanicals read our fully referenced How to Naturally Support the Menopausal Transition with Key Nutrients and Botanicals technical paper.
1. Dadfar F & Bamdad K. The effect of Saliva officinalis extract on the menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women: An RCT. International Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine. 2019. Apr; 17(4): 287-292
2. Ghazanfarpour M, Sadeghi R et al. Red clover for treatment of hot flashes and menopausal symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Obstet Gynaecol 2016; 36(3)
3. Provino R. The role of adaptogens in stress management. Aust J Med Herbal 2010; 22:41–49
4. Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Withaniasomnifera : an Indian ginseng. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008;32(5):1093–105.
5. Cropley M, Banks AP et al. The effects of Rhodiola rosea extract on anxiety, stress, cognition and other mood symptoms. Phytother Res. 2015 Dec; 29(12):1934-9