Herbal Medicine in Menopause

Over the last ten years, Medical Herbalist Caroline Sheldrick MNIMH has treated women for many problems including PMT, painful or heavy periods, polycystic ovarian disease, endometriosis, infertility and menopausal symptoms. Whatever the problem, each patient has received their own individual prescription, because everyone is different.

The symptoms associated with menopause are a good case in point.

"Certainly herbs can help normalise the hormonal inbalances associate with menopause" says Caroline. "But it's not all down to hormones; each woman experiences this change in life differently because every life is unique."

Every aspect of your life must be taken into account when prescribing a herbal mixture, and Caroline can also advise on lifestyle, diet and supplementation.

Women in their forties and fifties are leading lives that are very different from those of their mothers and grandmothers: very often running businesses as well as homes, and not thinking yet about slowing down. Dealing with menopause is often more than taking a few pills: it requires management by making changes based on a thorough understanding of what each woman needs, both physically and emotionally, to thrive.

Why use herbal medicine instead of HRT?

Women choose herbal medicine for three main reasons:

  • because they do not want HRT
  • because HRT is not recommended for them (risk of breast cancer, thrombosis, heart disease, etc) or
  • because they experience symptoms when they come off HRT

    Does it work?

    Most women get noticeable relief using herbal medicine. It does not override the body's own processes to banish symptoms, but instead uses them. On herbal medicine, you will be able to cope better with whatever symptoms remain.

    Why see a Medical Herbalist?

    You can buy Herbal remedies over the counter, and many women try self-help first. But herbs work best in mixtures. How do you know:

    • which to take, and in what combination?
    • how to deal with any side effects?
    • how much to take?
    • when to stop?

      Medical herbalist are trained not only in the traditional use of plant medicines, but also in Western clinical medicine, so Caroline will understand the whole picture. Herbalists treat you as a whole person, taking into account your life experiences, beliefs and feelings about this challenging stage of your life. They have time to listen.

      Unlike the counter staff in a health food shop, the herbalists will look out for other medical problems which might explain unwanted symptoms. They understand about drug interactions with other medicines you may be taking, and can discuss those with your doctor.

      As a properly qualified (MNIMH) Medical Herbalist, Caroline is also trained in nutrition and will give you good advice about dietary changes and any supplements you may need.

      Caroline says, "Today's women have busy, demanding lives with many roles to play. You are only going to have one menopause: look after yourself properly."

      Self-help in menopause

      Caroline recommends taking the following supplements:

      • Calcium citrate: 1500mg daily
      • Magnesium: up to 800mg daily
      • Vitamin E: 100 to 500 IU daily
      • Vitamin B, especially B6 are helpful for mood changes

        What about diet?

        Reduce caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, chocolate and cola drinks. Caffeine increases anxiety and aggravates insomnia, and reduces mineral retention with increased risk of osteoporosis.

        Eat more phytoestrogens: soya beans, soya sprouts, linseed, licorice and all peas, beans, seeds and whole grains. As the ovaries cease producing oestrogen, phytoestrogens help mimic its effects in the body. Tofu and ground linseed are traditional rich sources of phytoestrogens.

        Reduce spicy foods and alcohol which exacerbate hot flushes. Eat food cooler.

        Good sources of calcium are: dairy foods, fish, soya products, almonds, sesame, parsley and figs.


        Anxiety and worry can bring on a hot flush. Identify sources of relaxation and pursue them. Find things that you enjoy doing and which make life more worth living, and make time to do them.

        Wear natural fibre clothes, and avoid high-necked tops. Wear clothes in layers.

        Herb teas

        Sage tea: chop about six fresh sage leaves and soak overnight in lemon juice. In the morning, strain and drink the juice. Seven to ten days of this mixture will usually reduce hot flushes and sweating, and also improve digestion and concentration. Do not continue its use longer than two weeks. Chamomile, mint and lime flowers are also helpful and pleasant.

        To discuss the options for treatment without any obligation, contact Caroline on:
        Email: cjsheldrick@gmail.com
        Phone: 01453 884 092


        Phone us now:
        01453 884 092

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