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St.John`s Worth, Ginseng, Ginko Biloba, Dong Quai and Black Cohosh

Ginko leaves, have you tried the supplement?
What are there to consider from "alternative medicine" in the treatment of hot flashes, sleeplessness, night sweating, depression and other common signs of menopause.

St. Johns wort is called Naturs Own Happypill.  It is  most widely known as a herbal treatment for major depression. In some countries, such as Germany, it is commonly prescribed for mild depression. Standardized extracts are generally available over the counter — however, in some countries (such as Ireland) a prescription is required. Extracts are usually in tablet or capsule form, and also in teabags and tinctures.  Read more at Wikipedia.

Ginseng is commonly used when you are tired and weak to give you some new energy both mentaly and physical.  Traditional use:  American and Panax (Asian) ginseng roots are taken orally as stimulants, and in the treatment of type II diabetes, including sexual dysfunction in men. The root is most often available in dried form, either whole or sliced. Ginseng leaf, although not as highly prized, is sometimes also used; as with the root it is most often available in dried form.  More on Ginseng here.

Ginkgo Biloba: The seed has been used for approximately 3000 years in China for it''s curative powers. It was traditionally used for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory ailments. More recently, extensive research on the herb has been conducted on the healing properties of the leaf extract. Germany and France have run literally hundreds of studies on the leaf extract. These studies along with similar studies in America, have shown significant results. The extract of Ginkgo biloba has been studied for its effectiveness in the treatment of Acrocyanosis, Alzheimer's disease, Cerebral atherosclerosis, Cerebral insufficiencies, Cochlear deafness, Dementia, Depression, Menopause, Peripheral and cerebral circulatory stimulation, Peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's syndrome, Retinopathy, Senility, Short-term memory loss, Tinnitus, Vascular Diseases, and Vertigo (see Clinical Studies).

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) Dong quai has been called the "female ginseng" and is excellent as an all purpose women's herb. It has been used for centuries in China for regulating the menstrual cycle and easing menstrual pain and cramping. It can be used to help women regain normal menstrual cycles after taking "the Pill." It has proven helpful for relieving hot flashes during menopause. Dong quai can be used for insomnia and blood pressure stability for both men and women.

Black Cohosh – Black cohosh is an herbal treatmentthat has been popular in Europe for the relief of hot flashes. This herb is becoming more and more popular in the U.S., and the North American Menopause Society does support the short-term use of black cohosh for treating menopausal symptoms, for a period of up to six months, because of its relatively low incidence of side effects when used over the short term. Some studies have shown that black cohosh can reduce hot flashes, but most of the studies have not been considered to be rigorous enough in their design to firmly prove any benefit. There have also not been scientific studies done to establish the long-term benefits and safety of this product. Research is ongoing to further determine the effectiveness and safety of black cohosh.

Soy / Isoflavones.  Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in soy and other plants (such as chick peas and lentils) that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. They have a chemical compsition that is parallell to the estrogens naturally produced by the body, but their effectiveness as an estrogen has been estimated to be much lower than true estrogens.

Some studies have shown that these compounds may help relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. After having had breast cancer women may not want to take hormone therapy  with estrogen and they sometimes use soy products for relief of menopausal symptoms.

Saturday 7. February, 2009
Alternative Medicine


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