What Natural Supplements Work Best For Severe Menopause - Dana LaVoie, LAc

What Natural Supplements Work Best For Severe Menopause?

One of the most popular topics in my facebook group is always, "What are you using that's OTC, thats natural, that actually works for menopause misery?"

In this blog I'll show you

  • How natural menopause remedies fall into 3 categories
  • What each category of natural menopause treatment does to help relieve menopause & post menopause discomfort
  • The big mistake most women make when using these remedies
  • How using natural menopause supplements from all 3 categories in the proper ratio will give you the most complete relief
  • And insider info & tips about one of the least known about OTC remedies that I find actually works the best IF you know how to use it correctly: Chinese herbs for menopause

FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE VIDEO
0:50 The 3 categories of menopause remedies

1:05 Category 1

1:48 My insider tip for using remedies from category 1

3:45 Category 2

4:40 Examples of remedies from category 2

6:50 Category 3

7:55 Meditation vs herbs for stress during menopause

8:30 Examples of remedies from category 3

8:55 My insider tips for using remedies from category 3

What are the three categories of menopause remedies? 

Each one is related to a different imbalance or struggle your hormones are having.


Whats the big mistake?

The biggest mistake women make when using the OTC remedies for menopause is using remedies from one or even two categories - but not from all three.  

Category 1: Low Hormone Levels

The Hormonal Struggle: Hormones levels are going too low. 

The Remedy: Supplements that support your body in bringing those hormone levels back up.


This is the most common type of menopause remedy you'll see.  They're usually rich in plant estrogens, which are like raw hormone material that your body can easily turn into usable hormones.


HRT (hormone-replacement therapy) is also a remedy in this category.


Examples: Soy, Dang Gui, Black Cohosh, Pueraria Mirifica


Insider Tip:  Not all plant estrogens are the same.  


The most basic way of using remedies from this category is just choose one herb rich in plant estrogens and take it. 


learning about menopause

My preferred way is to choose from among all the herbs rich in plant estrogens & other phytochemicals that can support your body in bringing your hormone levels up.


When you choose, find the one that is best for you right now.  

For example:

  • Some herbs support progesterone most and are great for perimenopause, mood swings, stress, and estrogen dominance symptoms.
  • Some herbs support estrogen more and are great for dryness, brain fog, and bone health.
  • Some support testosterone and are great for libido and metabolism 

When you choose, make sure your choices match your temperature. 

For example:  

If you're feeling hot choose herbs that are cooling. (Dang gui, commonly used as a rich source of phytoestrogens, is actually a bit warm and drying so it's not Chinese medicine's first choice for phytoestrogen support during menopause) 


Another example:

Some of the herbs that are targeted at estrogen support are sticky and hard to digest,  so in Chinese medicine they're used in formulas with other herbs that make them easier to digest, break down, and use.


So that's my insider tip for category 1:  Supplements that support bringing your hormone levels back up when they've gone too low.

Learn to master your hormones naturally with my comprehensive guide:  4 Steps To Get Out Of Menopause Overwhelm 
Learn to master your hormones naturally with my comprehensive guide:  4 Steps To Get Out Of Menopause Overwhelm 

Category 2: Out of balance hormones


The Hormonal Struggle:  Your hormone levels are out of balance with each other, because your body is struggling to fine tune bringing hormone levels up or down.   Often this is due to:

  • The liver not activating hormones or detoxifying used hormones well OR 
  • The endocrine system not sending out the right signals at the right times to micromanage relative hormone levels

The Remedy:  Support liver function and support the endocrine system in its job micromanaging those hormone levels.


Examples:  For detox you'll often see milk thistle.   For endocrine support you'll see adaptogens, the one most often recommended for menopause is maca.


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Insider Tip:  Milk thistle not my go to for menopause, because it's drying and draining to your energy - the opposite of what we're trying to do in menopause!  Also it's only stage 1 liver detox support - so it helps get toxins out of your liver.  But those toxins will float around in your blood then go back into your liver if it's not use with stage 2 detox support at the same time. 


Instead  Use herbs that support stage 1 and stage 2 detoxification and rebuild your energy levels at the same time (instead of draining energy.)


Insider Tip:  Not all adaptogens are the same.  For example, maca is adaptogenic, but it's a bit warm and hard to digest (even when gelatinized.)  It works for some women but used alone is too warm for others.  


The art & science of Chinese Tonic Herbalism is about choosing from among all the different adaptogens to find the right ones at the right times.  Adaptogens that matche your temperature and your specific needs.  It's also about combining a few of the right herbs for broad-spectrum adaptogenic support for your endocrine and immune systems!!


Category 3: High stress hormone levels


The Hormonal Struggle:  High stress hormone levels are interfering with the balancing of your female hormones. 


This may seem a little off label or not directly related to menopause... But because lower progesterone levels mean we're more sensitive to stress once perimenpause starts, stress is often a significant factor holding you back from feeling better during & after menopause.


In fact multiple studies have shown that meditation or deep breathing exercises, which regulate stress hormones levels, can cut hot flashes by about 50%!


For some women high stress hormone levels are a 10-20% factor holding them back from feeling better during menopause.  For others stress can be 80% of what's holding them back.


What about meditation to manage stress?  YES.  Meditation and deep breathing are really important to do.   BUT if hormonally and energetically you're wired for stress, it's like you're trying to walk through a door that's closed and locked.


Herbal support for stress on a hormonal and energetic level is like opening that door.  Once the door is open, in your meditation you just put a little intention into walking through, and you're there.  You get huge results with much less effort.


Without that herbal support you can meditate a whole lot and still be staring at that closed door.


The Remedy:  Many OTC remedies can help with stress.  


Examples:  Many herbs for stress, like valerian, are sedating, so they can make you tired or groggy.  This is fine at bedtime - but it's not what you want all day long.   Others like magnesium, B vitamins, or l-theanine might be better daytime choices to take the edge off stress. 


Insider Tip:  Chinese herbalism has 3 different ways of supporting healthy stress hormone levels.  and when you use these together, you can get some of the most sophisticated far reaching stress support out there.  

The three types of Chinese herbal support for stress:  Chinese herbal medicine supports healthy stress levels in many ways, here are the top three. 

​​​

#1 Adapatogens:  Life is a series of stresses.  

  • From changes in temperature your body has to respond to to keep your temperature even
  • To the common cold trying to invade (your immune system has to respond appropriately to that or you'll get sick)
  • To healthy exercise.  (Even healthy exercise is a stress that creates inflammation your body has to respond to appropriately. 

Stress is not going away.


Adpatogens help the body respond better to those stresses when they happen.   They help support that healthy stress response on a deep level.


#2 Liver Qi stagnation:  There are herbs in Chinese herbal medicine for Liver qi stagnation," which is associated with lack of patience, anger, mood swings, PMS, muscle tension, TMJ, and even things like high blood pressure headaches.  


These herbs help to free the flow of liver qi, which helps you to feel more relaxed without being sedated.  It's the same kind of feeling you  get after a good cardio workout, because a good cardio workout also frees the flow of liver qi.  But with the herbs you can get that feeling all the time!  (So exercise addicts out there - this one's for you.)

 

#3 Shen Tonics:  The third type of stress support is SHEN TONICS.  These are not as much for acute anxiety or irritability.  Instead they work over time to enhance your mediation practice, your wisdom, and your creativity 


And menopause and post menopause, big picture,  are all about women coming into their wisdom!  So I love including these herbs.  I especially love transitioning more into these herbs when the more acute mood swings and irritability are relieved. 


Conclusion:

So I really hope you'll start thinking big and outside the box when it comes to stress management as part of your menopausal strategy. 


How do you use all 3 categories together? 

The last thing I want to cover is:  How do you choose from the three categories of menopause remedies? 


To get the most complete relief and get the hormonal support you need all during peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause, use remedies from all three categories in the right ratio for you.  And this ratio will change over time.

For some women at some times it will be 80% plant estrogen building blocks, for other women it will be 80% stress and sleep support - but all 3 will be addressed.


Conclusion

The best OTC remedies for menopause will address:

  1. Low hormone levels by giving your body the plant estrogen building blocks or even HRT to help your body bring hormones levels back up
  2. They'll Help your body make use of those building blocks by supporting your body's own hormone-regulating mechanism with adaptogens AND by supporting liver function for hormone activation and detoxification
  3. And they'll help keep stress and stress hormones under good control and help you sleep better if needed

And you'll choose remedies from all THREE categories - in the RIGHT RATIO for you, Which will likely change at each stage of your menopausal transition and change again in your post menopausal years. 


Questions?  Comments?  Let's chat...

Thanks so much for joining me here today!

 I'd love to know what was the one thing that jumped out at you - that you're going to start using right away?  

Please type that into the comments below along with any questions.

Peace & Wellness

 - Dana

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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.  For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/

Dana LaVoie, LAc

Hi, I'm Dana, an Acupuncturist & Herbalist with over 15 years' experience specializing in women's health. I'm here to show you how to use customized Chinese Herbs supported by the best diet and lifestyle for your hormones to feel amazing during & after menopause.

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