During the years leading up to a woman’s final menstrual period, she may experience uncomfortable physical, emotional and mental symptoms as her hormones fluctuate. Hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and irregular periods as some of the symptoms of menopause. Drugs to stabilize hormone fluctuations are available, but some women prefer a more natural approach to their menopausal years. Herbal teas may offer relief for some of the symptoms associated with menopause.
Available in tea bags or in bulk, the black cohosh herb (Cimicifuga racemosa) may reduce the intensity and the duration of hot flashes, advises the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. It may also ease painful cramping associated with heavy menstrual periods, which some women experience during menopause. The PDR for Herbal Medicines attributes this benefit to black cohosh’s potential ability to relax uterine tissue.
Brew black cohosh tea as recommended on the package or pour 1 cup of boiling water over approximately 2 teaspoons of the herb and steep for 10 minutes. Do not drink black cohosh tea if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
This herbal tea, sometimes called chaste tree tea, comes from the dried leaves and the dried fruit from the Vitex agnus-castus plant. Brewed at the ratio of 2 teaspoons of herb to 1 cup of water, this tea may reduce hot flashes and control excessive menstrual bleeding, reports Gale. In addition, chasteberry tea may boost your mood if you suffer mild depression related to menopause.
The PDR lists chasteberry’s as “dopaminergic,” meaning it may increase feel-good dopamine production in the brain. Pregnant women or nursing mothers should not take this herbal tea.
Panax ginseng tea offers menopausal women potential relief from hot flashes and night sweats, and it may also boost the ability to focus on daily tasks. The root of the ginseng plant contains the beneficial ingredients. Brew a ratio of 1 teaspoon, of ginseng herb to 1 cup of water and drink up to 3 cups per day. Consult an herbalist before exceeding the dosage. In large amounts, ginseng consumption may cause insomnia, water retention and it may elevate blood pressure, warns the PDR.
The raspberry leaf herb (Rubus idaeus) may normalize a hormone imbalance, according to Gale, offering relief from general symptoms associated with menopause. Steep a raspberry leaf teabag in 1 cup of water and drink 1 or 2 cups per day.
Discontinue use if you experience diarrhea, nausea or vomiting and do not exceed the recommended dosage unless under a doctor’s supervision. The PDR advises that side effects increase with high dosages of the herb.
- WomensHealth.gov: Menopause
- “Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Volume 3”; Jacqueline L. Longe; 2005
- PDR for Herbal Medicines, 3rd Edition, Joerg Gruenwald, PhD, 2000