Natural remedies for perimenopause and menopause symptoms.Written by Lynn Donn
More and more women are seeking natural alternative treatments for symptoms of menopause, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most compelling reason for many is association between conventional hormone replacement therapy and a number of serious health risks, including an increased risk of breast cancer and blood clots, although link has by no means been proven, and issue is currently subject of serious debate among women’s health experts. Many women have experienced unpleasant side effects resulting from conventional HRT, including nausea, headaches and vaginal bleeding. Many women simply feel apprehensive at thought of taking drugs which have been manufactured synthetically.
The whole notion of returning to old fashioned herbal treatments and folk remedies has a certain comforting, romantic appeal. Some of herbal medicines which are being rediscovered have been used to treat a range of ailments for literally thousands of years. There is a commonly held belief that medicines derived from natural sources are necessarily free from risk of negative side effects, harmful interactions and allergic reactions. This is simply not true. Whatever kind of medication you choose to take, it’s essential that you fully understand how it works, what dosage level is appropriate for you, and what objective research has been done on its effectiveness and its potential hazards. Your doctor is best person to provide you with professional, individual advice and attention. Information you find online and in women’s health publications is a useful supplement to your doctor’s advice, and it’s wise to read as widely as you can to get an overall picture of issues. Your health is most important thing you have, and while you are free to make your own choices about treating menopause symptoms, it’s vital that you make these choices with your eyes open.
Most experts believe that all of common symptoms of menopause are caused by dramatic decline and fluctuations in body’s levels of estrogen and to some extent progesterone, and imbalance between them. Approaches to alleviating symptoms generally focus around restoring these hormone levels. Natural treatments are typically made from extracts of plants containing substances which are very similar to estrogen and/or progesterone produced by ovaries. The effectiveness of these treatments relies on assumption that these phytoestrogens and plant progesterones have a similar effect in body to body’s own natural hormones. Some herbal treatments work by stimulating glands to produce natural hormones more effectively, rather than restoring hormones artificially.
Another approach is to treat each symptom individually. There is a range of natural treatments which focus specifically on alleviating common symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, libido problems, vaginal dryness and fatigue.
By far richest source of phytoestrogens (sometimes called “isoflavones”) is soybeans, and foods made from soy extracts. Soy can be consumed in form of tofu, soy cheese, meat substitute products such as soy burgers, breads and muffins made with soy flour, and soy drinks, sometimes known as “soy milk”. Some studies have shown that consuming soy beverages or breads made with soy flour twice daily can reduce severity or number of hot flashes, but results have been inconclusive and inconsistent. Soy powders and pills contain much higher levels of phytoestrogens than soy foods, and may have a more significant effect in alleviating menopause symptoms than soy foods, but little is known about potential hazards. Consuming soy extracts and soy foods may have a range of other health benefits, including reducing risk of osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease, and lowering cholesterol. Some studies suggest that phytoestrogens may actually help to reduce risk of breast cancer by blocking overproduction of natural estrogen in body.
Herbs containing phytoestrogens
Red clover has been used in Asia for thousands of years to treat skin conditions, asthma, bronchitis, kidney stones, joint disorders and breast inflammation. It is thought to work by improving circulation and stimulating urine and mucous production, or “purifying blood”. Red clover has been recently discovered to contain high levels of phytoestrogens, and its usefulness in treatment of menopause symptoms is being investigated. Some studies have shown herb to be very effective in reducing hot flashes and improving bone density and strength, while others have been inconclusive.
Glow Storm: How to Wear the Hottest Golden Makeup Trend Written by Julie Gabriel
This winter, Midas touched every makeup product he could possibly reach. Soft golden liners and shadows are latest evening accessory to any outfit. In fact, gold is a very easy color to play with: it looks lovely with all skin tones and complements day or party look if used wisely. A touch of gold gives your face a warm glow that enlivens paler winter skin.
“Everybody can wear gold,” says Julie Redfern, Beauty Editor at Sephora. “It’s all about how you apply it. Take just one feature and apply gold on it. If you choose to apply gold on eye, you can add some golden shimmer to your lips, but you don’t want a golden cheek. I would mix it up a little bit.” Sexy and sparkling gold-dusted eye shadows look great worn by itself or with black eyeliner, and with nude lipgloss or a berry-painted mouth.
Eye is best place to play with golden hues. “Your eye captures most attention, because when you talk to someone, they are looking at your eye,” says Julie Redfern. “And you don’t have to reapply eye shadow!”
It is a nearly foolproof trend to apply—just use a light hand and avoid shades that are too yellow. Go for warm gold tones or even gold shades mixed with bronze hues, they work extremely well for all colors of eye irises. Never do an entire eyelid from lash to brow in gold. Keep color concentrated near lash line or work inner corner of eye with a lighter hue. To intensify look, blend shadow up toward brow. Blending different shades of gold from brassy to almost silver we let shade fade naturally toward crease.