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Perimenopause is the time of fluctuating hormones, and maybe changing periods, that leads up to menopause; it can last 5-15 years or longer. Medical menopause is menopause brought about by medical treatment - typically hysterectomy or cancer treatment. After your period, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is sent by the pituitary gland to the ovaries, to stimulate new follicles. If fertilization does not occur, there is a rapid decline in both estrogen and progesterone.
Production of progesterone stops, and much less oestrogen is manufactured – but it is usually still more than the (non-existent progesterone.
Cholesterol levels rise in the blood (oestrogen and progesterone are both made from cholesterol) so that post-menopausal women carry a similar risk of heart disease to men. Hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, fatigue and loss of libido, aching joints, constipation, breast tenderness, itchy skin or increased facial hair (due to relatively higher testosterone). Theory 4: some research indicates that hot flushes may be triggered when declining oestrogen and progesterone cause a withdrawal of naturally occurring opiates (endorphins), chemicals in the brain that affect mood, pain control, and hormone modulation. Theory 5: A recent Detroit study showed that REM or rapid eye movement sleep (dream sleep) suppresses thermoregulatory signals in the brain. The idea of controlling the unwelcome symptoms with drugs becomes very attractive, and we are conditioned to believe that the menopause is some kind of illness.
Regular exercise directly decreases hot flushes, by decreasing the amount of circulating LH and FSH. Consider natural therapies such as homeopathy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture or shiatsu, reflexology, herbalism or aromatherapy.
It’s the male menopause, properly known as the andropause, formed by combining two Greek words, andro meaning male, and pause meaning stop. It begins with hormonal, physiological and chemical changes that occur in men between around 40-55. One notable difference between menopause and manopause is the decline of testosterone is gradual in comparison to women, where the decrease in oestrogen is sudden, ceasing in a matter of years. Physical signs of low testosterone include: decreased beard growth, increased fat, decreased muscle and bone mass, and breast enlargement or tenderness, and hot flushes. The following symptoms are common in manopause, but are often dismissed as a normal sign of aging: loss of energy, fatigue, night sweats, joint aches and stiffness in hands, changes in skin quality, anxiety, memory loss, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, irritability and mood swings, sleep deprivation, decreased bone density and depression.
In the medical cases, the condition would have existed before you experienced the hot flushes. Men may have hot flashes when they experience a sudden and substantial drop in the sex hormone testosterone — such as after surgical removal of the testes (orchiectomy or orchidectomy) or when taking medications to decrease testosterone levels for treatment of prostate cancer.
Men may have a sudden drop in testosterone after surgical removal of the testes (orchidectomy) or when taking medications to decrease testosterone levels for treatment of prostate cancer. Agnus Castus (chaste tree) has a rather different action from other herbs commonly used for female hormones.
Agnus Castus influences the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, the major controls on all hormones. At other times, excess prolactin may increase PMS, benign breast cysts, painful breasts, and even benign enlargement of the prostate in men.
Other studies have shown this herb to useful with menstrual problems such as heavy periods, lack of periods, or irregular cycles. Agnus Castus is sometimes used by herbalists to treat fibroids, ovarian cysts or endometriosis, and it may be used in fertility treatment as it stimulates progesterone levels, often low in infertility. Last but not least, this herb also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and may help combat candida by improving the balance of bacteria in the bowel.
Agnus Castus may aggravate spasmodic dysmenorrhoea (menstrual cramps) if not associated with PMS. Black Cohosh is the first herb most women try for menopausal symptoms, and many are happy with it. Black Cohosh originates in North America, where native people have long used it for menstrual or hormone problems, and arthritis. Some clinical studies demonstrate that Black Cohosh can lower levels of Luteinising Hormone. Black Cohosh has also traditionally been used for painful or irregular periods, arthritic symptoms, and osteoporosis; these results have not yet been confirmed by research.
I do not advise using this herb if you are taking any conventional treatment for hormones, including the contraceptive pill, HRT, or tamoxifen. Some research indicates that Black Cohosh may be useful for hot flushes following breast cancer treatment: please consult a qualified herbalist.

Normal doses appear to be safe for long term use, although some sources recommend limiting use to 6 months. Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) and Burdock (Arctium Lappa) form a helpful duo of liver detoxifying herbs. Both Dandelion and Burdock are tonics for the digestive system; their bitter ingredients stimulate the digestive juices.
Burdock is also traditionally used for general skin disorders, and has anti-microbial properties. Because of their gentle diuretic, detoxifying and hormone balancing effects, Dandelion and Burdock are often included in weight-loss programmes. Diuretics and Hypoglycemics: Theoretically, dandelion or burdock may heighten the action of these drugs, please take medical advice. You can also buy pure dandelion leaf or root from companies such as Cotswold Herbs, or Baldwins. Milk Thistle will also assist the liver to clear other toxins known to aggravate menopausal flushes, such as caffeine and alcohol. Milk Thistle has been shown to improve the solubility of bile, which may help during treatment for gallstones. Local applications of special sexual lubricant gel, or pure aloe vera gel, can make life much more comfortable.
This herb, grown in many gardens, can help in so many areas of health: menopause, infections, indigestion, mouth problems, and brain health.
In one double-blind study of people with Alzheimer’s disease, Sage significantly improved brain function. In laboratory tests, Sage has demonstrated anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. This unusual complex has 75mg each of 4 major herbs, to balance female hormones and help cope with stress and change. Viridian Organic Female complex is a combination of natural remedies to benefit both natural hormone balance, and herbs to balance anxiety, stress, adrenal function and the liver. Menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, emotional irritability, vaginal atrophy, weight gain, depression, joint pains, poor libido, headaches, nervousness, and fatigue. Benefits have also been also noted for depression, headaches, and cardiovascular and circulatory disorders. Women taking oestrogen therapy (HRT) should consult their healthcare professional before using this formula.
Due to the liquorice content, this is not recommended in the following: hypertensive patients unless under physician supervision (adverse effects are rarely observed at levels below 400mg liquorice per day). Eating high potassium, low sodium diet normally prevents the side effects of glycyrrhizin, one of the active constituents of liquorice..
Due to the Astragalus content, this is not recommended for patients using anticoagulants, antiplatelet, or anti-thrombotic drugs. Due to Artichoke content, not recommended in patients with known allergies to artichoke and similar plants (Compositae=Daisy family), nor in cases of closure of the gallbladder. Changes in UK law have obliged me to remove suggested usage from specific homeopathic medicines.
Although I cannot give general guidelines on the website, you may still consult me, or another qualified homeopath, as an individual client.
We know that fluctuating oestrogen levels are part of the picture, because many women experience relief while taking synthetic oestrogen. This really shows how much the mind and emotions are involved, and this is something we can turn to our advantage. Both oestrogen and progesterone play a role in temperature regulation, but we do not fully understand how. A study at the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney (2000) involved women not taking HRT and meditating twice daily for 8 weeks.
With or without a partner, giving yourself sexual pleasure is a healthy and creative way of keeping your reproductive parts toned and with a good blood supply. If things seemed normal up to this point, it is possible you are experiencing a male version of menopause, or andropause. It increases progesterone production and acts to improve the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone. Studies in PMS sufferers using Agnus Castus have shown up to ninety percent having improvement of symptoms.
Current evidence does not suggest that the use of Black Cohosh and tamoxifen together is contraindicated, but professional guidance by a physician is recommended.

Large amounts (several grams) may lead to abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and miscarriage.
They are both extremely safe, having few known drug interactions, and appear safe for long-term use. Dandelion does not deplete the body’s potassium, so it does not have some of the potential side effects of other diuretic drugs.
They stimulate the liver and kidney to detoxify unwanted chemicals, including excess oestrogen. It has an anti-inflammatory effect that may be helpful in conditions involving joint and skin inflammation, for example, arthritis with psoriasis. It is usually extracted from Sea Buckthorn seed (around 40%), also in Macadamia oil (around 20% but cheaper). Some women recommend using a Vitamin E capsule as a pessary, but I have no evidence for this. Not many products are available yet, though you can buy macadamia oil from good health stores.
It is a useful herb to try if you have found the more common herbs (black cohosh, red clover) ineffective.
It is thought to affect acetylcholine, one of the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
It can be used as a gargle for sore throats, mouth ulcers or inflamed gums, or a douche for thrush.
Menstrual irregularities, such as amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, PMS and ovarian pain, cysts (PCOS), and in conditions of oestrogen excess e.g.
No homeopathic medicines mentioned on this site should be taken as prescriptive, and you should always seek qualified advice before selecting homeopathic medicines for yourself or your children. What you may notice is that a small temperature change, which wouldn’t have bothered you before, now triggers a big compensation: your body tries to lose heat by flushing the skin and sweating, and you feel very hot!
The researchers noted that during the first half of the night, the women were awakened by the hot flushes, whereas later in the night, the women woke up first, and then experienced the flush.
6 out of 10 women experienced effects similar to using HRT, with a 65 per cent reduction in their hot flushes.
Studies have shown Agnus Castus increasing milk production by up to three times that of control group, after 20 days of use. Research evidence is contradictory: some studies suggesting that 70% of women find relief from menopausal problems with Black Cohosh, while others suggest it is no help. Black Cohosh contains isoflavones that bind to oestrogen receptor sites, and other chemicals acting on the pituitary and hypothalamus.
These herbs are sometimes used to aid symptoms of oestrogen excess, such as menopausal symptoms, PMS, or symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, with a high content of vitamin A as well as moderate amounts of vitamin D, vitamin C, various B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Milk thistle has even been recommended as a treatment for itching due to poor gallbladder function during pregnancy (physician’s guidance recommended in pregnancy).
Sage is a common ingredient of herbal deodorants, and one study in Germany suggests that taking Sage can reduce excessive perspiration (unrelated to hormones) by up to 50%.
Take up to 3 times a day for hormone problems, or use as a gargle or douche where appropriate.
My own experience is that I always have the flush after I wake – I have never been woken by it! Black Cohosh has a complicated action on several female hormones, and research has not yet clarified its exact mode of action. This last property makes Milk Thistle potentially very helpful in menopausal problems due to an apparent excess of oestrogen, because it is the liver that clears this oestogen from our bodies. Sometimes, hormone changes around menopause result in differences in the vaginal tissues and lubrication. It is my opinion that restricting this information makes the use of homeopathic medicines less accurate and reliable for the general public.

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