Herbal remedies and complementary medicines for menopause symptoms (2024)

Health shops sell a variety of products to treat menopause symptoms. But they're not tested and regulated in the same way as medicines such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), so it's not known how safe and effective they are.

It's a good idea to ask a GP or pharmacist for advice if you're thinking about using a complementary therapy.

Herbal remedies that are sometimes taken for menopause symptoms include:

  • evening primrose oil
  • black cohosh
  • angelica
  • ginseng
  • St John's wort
  • red clover

Herbal remedies such as red clover contain plant hormones that can act in a similar way to oestrogen, while black cohosh is believed to balance oestrogen and progestogen levels. These may help with some menopause symptoms but this is not supported by scientific evidence.

Even when there is some supporting evidence, there's uncertainty about the right doses to use and whether the health benefits last.

Some of these remedies (especially St John's wort) may also cause serious side effects if they're taken with other medicines.

These products are often marketed as "natural", but this does not necessarily mean they're safe. The quality, purity and ingredients cannot always be guaranteed, and they may cause unpleasant side effects.

Find out more about herbal remedies

Bioidentical or "natural" hormones

Bioidentical hormones are made from plant sources and are described as being similar or identical to human hormones.

Some people claim that these hormones are a "natural" and safer alternative to standard HRT medicines.

However, bioidentical hormones are not recommended because:

  • they're not regulated and it's not clear how safe they are – there's no good evidence to suggest they're safer than standard HRT
  • it's not known how effective they are in reducing menopause symptoms
  • the balance of hormones used in bioidentical preparations is usually based on the hormone levels in your saliva, but there's no evidence that these levels are related to your symptoms

Body identical hormones are different. Because they have been regulated, tested and thoroughly researched, they can be prescribed to treat menopause symptoms.

Many standard HRT hormones are made from natural sources, but unlike bioidentical hormones, they're closely regulated and have been well researched to make sure they're as effective and safe as possible.

Herbal remedies and complementary medicines for menopause symptoms (2024)

FAQs

Herbal remedies and complementary medicines for menopause symptoms? ›

Evening primrose oil, black cohosh, red clover and sage promise to relieve hot flushes; St Johns Wort offers an alternative to antidepressants; valerian is said to reduce anxiety; ginkgo biloba may improve memory; and agnus castus may help regulate hormone fluctuations and premenstrual tension.

What is the best herb for menopause? ›

Herbal remedies that are sometimes taken for menopause symptoms include:
  • evening primrose oil.
  • black cohosh.
  • angelica.
  • ginseng.
  • St John's wort.
  • red clover.

What are complementary therapies for menopause? ›

Evening primrose oil, black cohosh, red clover and sage promise to relieve hot flushes; St Johns Wort offers an alternative to antidepressants; valerian is said to reduce anxiety; ginkgo biloba may improve memory; and agnus castus may help regulate hormone fluctuations and premenstrual tension.

What is the best alternative medicine for menopause? ›

12 natural remedies for menopause
  • Anise. ...
  • Fennel. ...
  • Pollen extract. ...
  • Black cohosh. ...
  • Ginseng. ...
  • Maca root. ...
  • Wild yams. ...
  • Hypnosis. Hypnosis, a therapy used to relax and focus the mind, may also help manage menopause symptoms including hot flashes, problems sleeping, and sexual function, according to some studies.
Mar 19, 2024

What herbal helps with menopause mood? ›

John's wort and black cohosh appear to be the most useful in alleviating mood and anxiety changes during menopause.

What are the top 3 vitamins for menopause? ›

There are 3 vitamins that are best for menopause: vitamin D, B vitamins and vitamin E. Vitamin D and B vitamins are important for supporting the nervous system which gets put under pressure during menopause. Vitamin D is also important for your bone health, whilst vitamin E is an essential nutrient for heart health.

What is the Chinese medicine for menopause? ›

Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae sinensis), a commonly used Chinese herb, was most frequently cited. This herb has traditionally been used to treat dysmenorrhoea, irregular menstruation and as a supportive herb for menopausal complaints (Geller 2006; Luo 1986).

How to reverse menopause naturally? ›

You can't reverse menopause or make your ovaries function normally again. However, your provider can help reduce the symptoms and side effects of menopause. In the case of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), there's a small possibility you'll regain ovarian function.

What is the best natural hormone replacement for menopause? ›

Traditional Natural Hormone Replacement Therapies
  • Folate.
  • Phytoestrogens.
  • Black cohosh.
  • St. John's wort.
  • Valerian root.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Evening primrose oil.
  • Licorice root.

What is the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms? ›

Estrogen is the most effective treatment available to relieve bothersome symptoms of menopause. However, some people cannot take estrogen; for example, those with breast cancer. Other people choose not to take hormone therapy.

Are there any natural remedies for menopause? ›

Natural remedies, such as eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein and staying hydrated, can help reduce menopause symptoms — and they are good practices for your overall health. Adding certain supplements to balance hormones may also help. However, it can take some time to find what works for you.

What is the safest thing to take for menopause? ›

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) HRT is a safe and effective treatment for most going through menopause and perimenopause. Your GP will discuss any risks with you. HRT involves using oestrogen to replace your body's own levels around the time of the menopause.

What can I take instead of estrogen for menopause? ›

Medication
  • Antidepressants (SSRI and SNRI) Certain antidepressant medications are prescribed to treat hot flashes and other symptoms.
  • Clonidine. Clonidine (Catapres) is a blood pressure medication. ...
  • Gabapentin. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is a drug often prescribed for pain relief and seizures.
Oct 26, 2018

Which herbs are good for menopause? ›

The results of the study showed that the medicinal plants, which include Sage herb (Salvia officinalis), Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Valerina officinalis, Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Black cumin (Nigella sativa), Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ...

What herbal drink is good for menopause? ›

Certain elements in tea, such as phytoestrogens and antioxidants found in herbal tea varieties like chamomile, black cohosh, and red clover, are believed to assist in relieving menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

Is ashwagandha good for menopause symptoms? ›

Ashwagandha's ability to balance hormones can be particularly beneficial for women's health, impacting aspects like the menstrual cycle, reproduction, and menopause. 2019 research suggests ashwagandha impacts the endocrine system, which governs mood, stress responses, and reproduction.

What is the best thing to drink for menopause? ›

Water: It's really important to stay hydrated during menopause. Not only will it help keep your weight in check, it will also help your body flush out toxins and absorb nutrients.

What is the best thing to take for menopause? ›

Estrogen is the most effective treatment available to relieve bothersome symptoms of menopause. However, some people cannot take estrogen; for example, those with breast cancer. Other people choose not to take hormone therapy.

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