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Menopause: Complementary and
Alternative Therapies

Complementary and alternative therapies for menopause are medical treatments that are considered non-traditional. They include dietary and herbal supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy, biofeedback, homeopathy, and eating certain foods that are thought to prevent disease or heal.

Alternative treatments are often used alone, while complementary treatments are alternative treatments that are used in combination with traditional treatments, such as drug treatments or surgery.

Herbs and foods that may help women deal with their menopause symptoms include:

  1. Black cohosh: The herb of choice for flushes and night sweats. It is often the most effective choice for balancing hormones.

  2. Dong quai: Nicknamed the “female ginseng,” dong quai is one of the foremost herbs used in treating symptoms of menopause.

  3. Vitex: Another hormone balancer. Use alone or with black cohosh for flushes and dryness.

  4. Red clover: Contains chemicals called isoflavones, which mimic the effects of oestrogen to help ease flushes.

  5. Phytoestrogens: Plant hormones found in soya, chickpeas and lentils can help ease hot flushes. They may be why women in other cultures, especially Far East, have fewer menopause symptoms.

“What works may depend on you and the severity of your symptoms,” says menopause expert, Dr Marlyn Glenville. “If you see a practitioner, always check their credentials and ask in advance how many sessions you’re likely to need.”

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