Menopause is a period of transition and metamorphosis, like puberty.
It consists of three stages: isolation, melt down, and emergence.
Each stage calls forth new energies and new perceptions of ourselves.
Each stage has different demands, different tasks, and different needs.
Startling facts about menopause:
The Grandmother Hypothesis maintains that “menopause, like a big brain and an upright
posture, is one of the essential traits of the human which allowed us to colonize the world.”
Menopause is not a recent phenomenon, but an ancient women’s mystery, with special gifts
for the woman who uses its energies wisely.
Estrogen is not one hormone, but many, and our bodies continue to make estrogens all of our
lives. The adrenals, the fat tissues, and perhaps the uterus make estrogens.
Herbal hormone (phytosterols, or phytoestrogens) are usable by the body and, in contrast to
prescribed hormones, protect against breast cancer.
The levels of hormones in a woman’s blood are never higher than when she is in menopause.
Favorite herbs for menopausal women:
Oatstraw (Avena sativa) infusion strengthens the nerves, helps reduce emotion distress, promotes sound sleep, keeps the bones and heart strong, and strengthens libido. The tincture is a stronger sedative but not nourishing to the bones and heart. Oats for breakfast is an excellent way to “take” this herb, but avoid pills and capsules. Oatstraw baths are exceptionally calming. Instructions for making one are in my green book: Healing Wise
Nettle (Urtica dioica) infusion strengthens the adrenals, eases anxiety, increases energy, helps prevent night sweats, builds blood, protects bones and heart. Eating cooked nettle is another excellent way to gather its benefits, as is nettle vinegar. I avoid freeze-dried, encapsulated, or tinctured nettle, believing all these forms ineffective and over-priced.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) — tincture of the fresh flowering tops — is a favorite with menopausal women, their daughters and their mothers. A few drops (up to 25 at a time) will calm emotions, relieve heart palpitations (and strengthen the heart), reduce the severity of hot flashes, increase vaginal lubrication, moderate and eliminate PMS and menstrual cramping. Motherwort vinegar is a fantastic tonic, and tasty, thank goodness. The tea is violently bitter and disliked by 99 out of 100 women, including me, yuck.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)– any part, in any form — is a superb strengthener for the liver, the control center for hot flashes. Dandelion improves digestion, especially of calcium, helps relieve headaches, and sees to it that the liver provides steady blood sugar supplies. Dandelion wine (from the blossoms) is the most elegant way to take this remedy, but the cooked leaves and vinegars (as well as the pickled parts) of the roots and/or leaves are also excellent nourishing digestives. The tincture, especially of the root, is considered the strongest medicine, but doesn’t contain bone-building nutrients, so is less ideal than the other forms.
Written by: Susun S. Weed, POBox 64, Woodstock NY 12498 1-845-246-8081