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The following is a guide for those of us experiencing the changes of menopause, and wish to turn to herbal treatments instead of the traditional medical treatments.

As with all herbal healing, diet is just as important as the herbs being ingested. This is all the more true when dealing with menopause. Nutritional support can go far to aid us in dealing with the affects of menopause on our bodies.

At this time in our lives, calcium becomes very important. Get your daily amounts from natural organic dairy products (especially yogurt), calcium supplements, seaweeds (such as kelp and spirulina), dark leafy greens such as spinach, and herbs that provide additional calcium. If using supplements, try to obtain those that are from natural sources, rather than synthetic, as the body will assimilate them more completely, and make better use of the supplement. Additional iron is nessary, as is Vitamin E. Do your best to avoid alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars, processed foods, and salt. A high fiber low fat diet is best.

And very important - don't forget to get adequate exercise!!

Ginseng and sage, taken daily as capsules or teas, can help alleviate hot flashes.

Chickweed, nettle, and uva ursi helps alleviate water retention. Don't stop ingesting fluids due to retention - your body still needs liquids! Not doing so can cause problems for the kidneys. Cranberry juice is also effective in aiding retention.

Estrogen replacement doesn't have to be in the form of synthetic medicines. Try using a combination of 2 parts wild yam, 2 parts licorice, 3 parts sasparilla, 2 parts spirulina, 1 part vitex, 1 part ginger, 1 part false unicorn root, 2 parts sage, 1 part cinnamon, 2 parts gingko, 2 parts gotu kola, and 1/2 part black cohosh, daily. This can be made in tea form, or the powders can be blended and made into capsules, or you can mix together the tincture forms of these herbs, and take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily. Take plenty of Vitamin E, 400 to 800 milligrams (half that if you have diabetes, a rheumatic heart, or high blood pressure). Two capsules daily of dong quai, bee pollen, royal jelly, and/or ginseng, along with the above formula, can be very effective.

Do remember that growing older doesn't mean growing slower. Stay active. Find new interests. Don't be afraid to be sexually active! Think of yourself in a positive manner, and the effects will be wonderful!

Information within this article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose nor treat. Seek guidance from a health care professional.

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Copyright 1996-2002 Rev. Dr. Lisa Waltz, ND, DD, CNC
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