• The hormonal imbalance that occurs at menopause is temporary, much like the changes that occur at puberty.
• No more than 10 to 20 percent of women going through menopause suffer extreme discomfort.
• The appearance of hot flushes usually last no more than two years, and, as a general rule, is not incapacitating.
Ginseng: Helps alleviate hot flushes (often limiting them to eight weeks). Though containing estriol, a variant of oestrogen, ginseng is an anti-carcinogenic (anticancer) substance. As a supplement, I’d recommend 500 mg., taken on an empty stomach, a.m. and p.m. (Vitamin С has been said to diminish ginseng’s effectiveness; but taking a time-release С supplement will make counteraction less likely.)
Vitamin E (With Selenium): Helps alleviate menopausal symptoms by interacting with thyroid secretions and oestrogen, moderating hormonal fluctuations. Both vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants, slowing down aging and tissue-hardening due to oxidation. They’re also synergistic, which means that the action of the two combined produces an effect more potent than either would alone. I’d suggest starting with 200 mg. and increasing to 400 mg. (mixed tocopherols preferred), 1 to 3 times daily.
L-tryptophan: One of nature’s pharmacy’s best antidepressants and sedatives, and enormously helpful to women going through menopause. As a supplement, I’d recommend 3 tablets, 1/2 hour before bedtime, taken with water or juice (no protein).
Calcium And Magnesium: Aside from being effective natural tranquillizers, calcium and magnesium can help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis (the porous bone disease caused by demineralization due to lack of oestrogen), backache, and muscle cramps that often cause insomnia during menopause. As a supplement, I’d suggest 1 chelated calcium and magnesium tablet, 3 times daily.
B-complex Vitamins: These are your best insurance against the adverse emotional and physical effects of stress. (In fact, there is increasing evidence that an adequate B-complex vitamin intake throughout life helps prevent menopausal symptoms.) As a supplement, I’d suggest taking a stress В complex, 100 mg., 1-3 times, daily.
Herb Teas: For a soothing, mood-elevating drink, chamomile (and chamomile-based) tea is highly recommended. Teas containing passion flower (passiflora) are also helpful and work as effective sleeping aids.
Valerian is another calming herb – and a potent one. If using the root to make tea, add only half a teaspoon to a cup of boiling water, and then let it cool. Drink only one cup a day – and no more than a mouthful at a time.
Exercise: Brisk walking will tone up the circulatory system and can even prevent bone loss and strengthen the ligaments between bones. Swimming and bike-riding are also effective, as is jumping rope. (Caution: Check with your doctor before beginning any sort of exercise regimen.) I’d suggest fifteen minutes a day or a half-hour three times a week.