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Menopause: Trading HRT for Herbal Therapy
The side effects of menopause are usually treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but as with most allopathic remedies, there is a natural alternative that is frequently overlooked.
About 13.5 American women use HRT to combat menopausal symptoms, taking a combination of progestin and estrogen or estrogen alone. While some symptoms may be tempered with HRT, the treatment may also increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and may worsen already existing conditions like high-blood pressure and varicose veins.
The natural alternative involves phytoestrogen, plant-derived estrogen that has a similar structure to the estrogen produced by the body. Several herbs used in Indian medicine are rich in phytoestrogen and may be a legitimate option for women who want to take a holistic approach to balancing menopausal side effects.
- Ashoka (Saraca indica) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) are both rich in estrogen, but ashoka also has antibacterial qualities and shatavari is associated with stress-reduction and the management of free-radicals.
- Yashtimadhu helps to manage hot flashes with antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Glycyrrhiza glabra may help lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots.
A number of Indian herbs may also help manage the mood swings, depression, and anxiety that often accompany menopause. Mandukaparni and haritaki are at the top of the list.
As with all medical treatment, it's important to consult with an experienced Auyurvedic doctor before taking any medicinal herbs.
[via: The Star]