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October 13, 2021

Menopause Part 10: Characteristic of Herbal Derivatives used to Alleviate Menopause Symptoms

Welcome to part 10 of the ODX Menopause Series. This post reviews the specific effects and potential side effects of herbal therapies used to address some of the common symptoms of menopause.

The ODX Menopause Series

  1. Menopause Part 1: A Quick Overview of a Slow Process
  2. Menopause Part 2: Biology and Physiology of Menopause
  3. Menopause Part 3: Increased Risk of Disease Associated with Menopause
  4. Menopause Part 4: Identifying Menopause: Signs and Symptoms
  5. Menopause Part 5: Laboratory Evaluation of Menopause
  6. Menopause Part 6: Cardiovascular Risk in Menopause
  7. Menopause Part 7: Beyond Hormone Testing in Menopause
  8. Menopause Part 8: Natural Approaches to Menopause
  9. Menopause Part 9: Diet and Nutrition Intervention in Menopause
  10. Menopause Part 10: Characteristic of Herbal Derivatives used to Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
  11. Menopause Part 11: Lifestyle Approaches to Menopause
  12. Menopause Part 12: The National Institute on Aging Addresses Hot Flashes
  13. Menopause Part 13: Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in Menopause
  14. Menopause Part 14: North American and European Guidelines for Hormonal Management of Menopause
  15. Menopause Part 15: Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
  16. Menopause Part 16: Optimal Takeaways for Menopause
  17. Optimal The Podcast - Episode 10

Herbal Derivatives

Scientific Name

Common Name

Effects

Side Effects

Actaea racemosa

Black cohosh

Treatment of menopause symptoms such as hot flash, insomnia, irritability, but also musculoskeletal pain, fever, cough.

Gastrointestinal discomfort.

Evening Primrose Oil

Oenothera biennis oil

Treatment for menopausal and premenstrual symptoms, but also for atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Gastrointestinal disorders and interaction with antiepilectic drugs.

Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel

Treatment of hot flashes, anxiety, and vaginal atrophy.

No side effects reported.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo

Treatment of attention disorders in postmenopausal women.

Gastrointestinal disorders, allergic reactions, headache, and lowering of seizure threshold.

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Licorice

Treatment of hot flash duration.

Cardiovascular disease, hypercortisolism, hypokalemia, and hypernatremia.

Hypericum perforatum

St. John’s Wort

Treatment for the vasomotor symptoms of postmenopausal women.

Gastrointestinal disease, sensitivity to light, fatigue.

Medicago sativa

Alfalfa

Effect on neurovegetative menopausal symptoms.

Possible infection with Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Listeria.

Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm, bee balm or honey balm

Effect on anxiety.

No side effect reported.

Panax ginseng

Ginseng

Treatment of sleep disorders, depression, and sexual function.

Possible effect on endometrial thickness.

Passiflora incarnata

Passion fruit

Treatment of vasomotor symptoms, insomnia, anxiety and dysmenorrhea.

No side effect reported.

Pimpinella anisum

Anise

Treatment of hot flashes but it also exerts an antiulcer action.

No side effects reported.

Salvia officinalis

Sage herb

Treatment of hot flashes and sweats.

Possible interaction with diabetes and blood pressure.

Trifolium pretense

Red clover

Treatment of hot flashes and it also exerts a bone preventing loss.

No side effects reported.

Trigonella foenum

Fenugreek

Treatment for hot flashes and osteopenia.

No particularly side effects.

Valerian officinalis

Valerian

Useful for hot flashes, anxiety, sleep disorders and dysmenorrhea.

No side effects reported.

Vitex agnus-castus

Chaste tree, chasteberry or monk’s pepper

Treatment for vasomotor symptoms and sleep diseases.

Not reported.

De Franciscis, Pasquale et al. “A Nutraceutical Approach to Menopausal Complaints.” Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania) vol. 55,9 544. 28 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/medicina55090544 This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

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