Menopause symptoms–Hot Flashes, High Cholesterol, Low Blood Pressure–All-natural cures

Having done much personal research on the following specific symptoms that are some of the many side effects associated with menopause, I have found the listed herbs, foods, and vitamins and minerals to be extremely effective in relieving hot flashes, high cholesterol, and low blood pressure.

Recently, a friend confided that she was experiencing these exact same maladies as she enters menopause, and is reluctant to take HRT or prescription drugs that are so quickly prescribed by our medical profession. In conversation with others women, I found that this specific combination of symptoms seems to be quite prevalent an occurrence. Therefore, in order to help more women across the country that are also suffering, I am sharing the benefit of my extensive research and accumulated knowledge here.

Hot FlashesDandelion leaves (use as a salad green), help to relieve menopausal symptoms by stabilizing hormones; also aid in preventing age spots and breast cancer by supporting the liver in eliminating accumulated body toxins and wastes. Dandelion has a very high iron content which is crucial for women, particularly at this stage in their lives.

Cinnamon—contains phytochemicals beta-carotene, mucilage as well as the nutrients calcium, chromium, iodine, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B1, 2, & 3, and Vitamin C. Because of this, it is also an useful herb in menopause because it warms the body and enhances digestion while aiding in peripheral circulation (thereby helping relieve hot flashes and uterine hemorrhaging).
Ginger is useful in deterring hot flashes. Drunk as an herbal tea, eaten as a condiment raw or pickled, used as a powdered spice in cooking, or eaten candied on a daily basis reduces/eliminates ‘hot flashes’ caused by hormonal fluctuations.

Real licorice, (not the red or black ‘sugar-syrup’ commonly sold as licorice ‘twizzlers’), also helps relieve menopausal symptoms in general, and has proven to be particularly effective for relieving hot flashes and eliminating the sweat that also goes hand in hand with the hot flashes. Because licorice has estrogen and progesterone like effects, it thereby helps stabilize the hormone fluctuations associated with menopause. (Caution has been expressed in some research for consuming real licorice daily over long periods of time. However, I have been enjoying real licorice all my life, with no adverse side effects. But, I must admit, that I do go for periods where I do not want to eat licorice at all. It is important here to be ‘in tune’ to what your body ‘craves’ and follow that lead.)

Sage also has estrogenic effects where estrogen deficiency is present due to menopause or a hysterectomy.

Anise, a licorice flavored herb, is also very effective in relieving menopausal symptoms in general. (Anise is tasty eaten as a side dish by either brazing or lightly frying the ‘white bulb’ of this herb. The feathery leaves can be chopped and used as a flavouring in salads, or as garnishes on the main meal.)

Wild yam has proven to be very effective in relieving menopausal symptoms, also particularly in helping to relieve hot flashes. (Do not boil yams as you would a potato, because boiling leaches out the beneficial effects of wild yams/sweet potatoes. Cooked and eaten as a soup with either vegetable or chicken stock during winter months, is both good for the soul and for the body! Baked yams, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar enhance the beneficial properties contained in yams, while exciting the taste buds!).

The Chinese herb Don Quai, over all, is extremely effective for most women in relieving symptoms associated with menopause. Don Quai has been safely used for centuries in treating menopausal women because it assists the female body in using and regulating remaining hormones effectively. The Chinese, and now generally accepted by North American medical practitioners, have long used this herb to treat female problems, particularly the hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms and maladies associated with premenstrual syndrome.

High CholesterolAlfalfa, thyme, and turmeric have long been known as effective herbs to lower cholesterol levels.

Alfalfa, (taken either as a tablet, or use alfalfa sprouts in salads), detoxifies the body, lowers cholesterol levels, balances blood sugar and the hormones, and is effective in stopping uterine hemorrhaging. (The isoflavones and coumarins in alfalfa give the estrogenic properties so helpful during menopause)

Magnesium has also shown promise in helping to reduce cholesterol levels.

Selium has been proven to be helpful in reducing high cholesterol. (Consuming as little as 3 Brazil nuts daily supplies the required RDA of selium).

Turmeric contains phytochemicals beta-carotene and curcumin amoung others, which help fight free radicals, protects the liver against toxins, aids circulation, lowers cholesterol levels, and improves blood-vessel health giving it antibiotic, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Vitamin C is extremely beneficial in reducing levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and in lowering high blood pressure, so take it sparingly if you have low blood pressure and high cholesterol. Vitamin C works synergistically with both Vitamin E and beta-carotene.

Garlic is extremely helpful in reducing high cholesterol. It is also known to specifically be effective at both lowering blood pressure, and helping those with low blood pressure. Along with its many other positive attributes, garlic remains a time-honored staple towards your good health.

Low Blood Pressure: the obvious here, is to increase your salt intake. Salt, or potassium chloride, has long been known to increase blood pressure. With all the bad press about consuming too much salt so prevalent in the news in the early 80’s, many families have all but cut out the use of salt in their households. The end result has seen an increase in individuals plagued with low blood pressure. Because all household table salt has been enhanced with trace amounts of iodine, there are also an increased number of individuals, particularly women with low if not deficient, iodine levels. Although the body requires only trace amounts of this mineral to remain healthy, Iodine helps to metabolize excess fat, is important for physical and mental development, and is also needed for a healthy thyroid gland and for the prevention of goiter. Iodine deficiency has been linked to breast cancer and is also associated with fatigue, and weight gain.

This is not an endorsement to go overboard on your salt intake, however. The RDA is 1 teaspoon daily–2,400 milligrams. And providing that one drinks the RDA amount of water daily (64 ounces/8 glasses), the chances of bloating from water retention becomes minimal. When you are properly hydrated, you will not retain water. Bloating due to excessive water retention, is actually due to dehydration when your body attempts to ‘conserve’ and ‘reserve’ water for future use. So drink up, and use iodized salt sparingly as a seasoning.

Dill is rich in minerals, potassium, sulfur and sodium. Use in dips, pickles, fish (particularly good with salmon), chicken, vegetables, potatoes, salads and pasta.

Rosemary has proven beneficial in helping to balance both high and low blood pressure problems. It is a warm herb, which is also effective in treating circulatory problems, and reducing pain associated with menstrual cramps.

PLEASE NOTE: Lower levels of Potassium, or a deficiency, have been noted to be prevalent in individuals with both a high cholesterol level and low blood pressure.

For those entering peri-menopause, or already in or through the symptoms of menopause, it is essential to keep your bones strong. Osteoporosis rears its ugly head for women particularly at this stage of their life. Therefore it is so important to eat foods that promote bone strength, such as celery, bok choy, and rhubarb. It is easy to remember to increase intake of the amounts of these foods to support our bone strength and density as we enter menopause, because these veggies actually look like bones!

As always, the bottom line in reducing or eliminating most annoying symptoms associated with menopause, is to eat a healthy balanced diet consisting of several small meals throughout the day, drink plenty of water and of course, keep exercising! By eating 5 to 7 servings a day of the colourful fruits and vegetables, (particularly the green leafy veggies; and yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables), women entering menopause are able to keep those nasty side effects at bay.

Foods high in iodine: include dairy products, iodized salt, seafood, saltwater fish, kelp, asparagus, lima beans, mushrooms, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.

Foods high in magnesium: found in most foods, especially dairy products, fish, meat and seafood. Also in apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, brown rice, cantaloupe, figs, green leafy vegetables, kelp, lemons, nuts, peaches, tofu, soybeans, salmon and whole grains. Herbs: alfalfa, cayenne, chamomile, dandelion, licorice, paprika, parsley, peppermint and sage.

Foods high in potassium: includes dairy foods, fish, fruit, legumes, meat, poultry, vegetables, and whole grains. High amounts are found in apricots, avocados, bananas, lima beans, brown rice, dried fruit, nuts, potatoes, raisins, spinach, yams, yogurt and sage.

Foods high in selenium: found in Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, brown rice, chicken, dairy products, kelp, liver, onions, salmon, seafood, tuna, vegetables, wheat germ and whole grains. Herbs: alfalfa, cayenne, chamomile, fennel seed, ginseng, parsley, and peppermint.

Cinnamon–-Use with pork, breads, sweet potatoes, squash, in oatmeal, creamed wheat and as a sweetener for most foods where sugar is used.

Ginger—Is a main ingredient in Eastern cookery. Use it in curries, pickles, spiced meats and fish, rice and vegetable dishes. The warming rich and pungent flavour is also used in sweet dishes, cakes and in biscuits.

Rosemary—Use with poultry and meats, especially veal. Use also in gravies, soups, salads and stuffings, fish, sauces, potatoes, peas, lima beans. (Rosemary is also said to restore the memory).

Sage—Use with veal, lamb, and especially goose or pork. It is tasty in bean dishes and meat loaf.

Thyme—Goes well with almost all meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, eggs, and cheese.

Turmeric—goes well with any dish containing eggs. It is the main ingredient in curries.

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