Menopausal Symptoms (Other Than Osteoporosis)
Menopause is when a woman has not had a period for one year. It is a normal part of aging that happens between the ages of 40 to 58. It can cause hot flashes, problems sleeping, and vaginal dryness.
Hormone replacement therapy and other medicines can be used to manage symptoms. Healthy habits may also help. Natural therapies have been used to ease symptoms as well.
These herbs and supplements are likely to ease symptoms:
- Black cohosh is an herb that can be taken as a supplement. ( Note : It should not be taken by women who have problems with their immune system.)B2. B5, B7, B10, B38
- Genistein is found in soybeans, soymilk, and other soy products. It can also be taken as a pill. ( Note : It should not be taken by women who take hormone medicine or people with bone problems.)B6, B21
- Ginseng is a plant that can be made into a drink or taken as a supplement. ( Note : Ginseng may not be safe when taken for a long time or by women with certain health problems.)B22, B39
- Isoflavones are compounds found in plants.B6, B15, B16, B27, B30-B32
- Omega-3 fatty acids are a class of essential fatty acids found in fish oils.B29
- Red clover is a plant. The flowers can be taken as a supplement or made into a tea. ( Note : It should not be taken with contraception. It may also not be safe to take with blood thinners.)B3, B9. B13, B18, B19, B24
- St. John's wort is a plant that can be taken as a supplement or made into a tea. ( Note It may not be safe when taken by women with certain health problems.)B11
These therapies are also likely to ease symptoms:
May Be Effective
These therapies may ease symptoms:
- Flaxseed can be used in cooking or taken as a supplement.B17, B37
- Hops are small flowers that can be taken as a supplement or made into a tea. ( Note : Hops should not be taken with medicine to treat sleep problems.)B23
- Lemon balm is an herb that can be taken as a supplement or made into a tea.B8
- Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are substances found in fruits such as grapes.B12
- Phytoestrogens are an estrogen found in foods such as legumes.B28, B33, B35, B36
- Tribulus terrestris is a vine that can be taken as a supplement. ( Note : It may cause stomach cramping and diarrhea.)B20
- Valerian is a plant. The root can be taken as an extract or made into a tea. ( Note : It should not be taken by women who take medicine for diarrhea, pain, anxiety, or problems sleeping.)B4, B8, B25
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:
- Black cohosh may make the immune system more active. Talk to your doctor before taking it if you have problems with your immune system.
- Genistein may interact with hormone medicine and medicine for bone problems. Talk to your doctor before taking it.
- Ginseng may not be safe when taken for a long time or by women with certain health problems, such as auto-immune diseases or bleeding problems.
- Hops should not be taken with medicine to treat problems sleeping. It may cause a bad reaction.
- Red clover may block the effectiveness of contraception. It should also not be taken by women who are taking blood thinners.
- St. John’s wort may not be safe when taken by people with certain health problems, such as HIV or heart problems.
- Tribulus terrestris may cause stomach cramping and diarrhea.
- Valerian may react with medicine used to treat diarrhea, pain, anxiety, or sleep problems. Talk to your doctor before taking it.
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A5. Dodin S, Blanchet C, et al. Acupuncture for menopausal hot flushes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 30;(7):CD007410.
Herbs and Supplements
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B6. Taku K, Melby MK, et al. Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. 2012;19(7):776-790.
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E1. Daley A, Stokes-Lampard H, et al. Exercise for vasomotor menopausal symptoms. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Nov 28;(11):CD006108.
Last reviewed October 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 6/8/2020