My business cards are all about the Red Clover and now my website is headed by the Sage! And the message in this?
Yes, ladies, treating the menopause is something that medical herbalists excel at... it's that middle ground between HRT and doing nothing...but unlike HRT you go through the menopause and come out the other side, with support and rebalancing via our herbal helpers.
And what helps? Any hormone balancing herbs will make a big difference for many patients to start off with. We are looking at Vitex, Black Cohosh, and Peony here.
Then adding things to the prescription for any nervous or energy depletion is imperative. The pituitary gland reads what your hormones are up to and feeds back what's needed. The adrenal glands take over as your ovaries wind down. And both the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland are affected by chronic stress...if you've done too much or being too stressed for too many years any time in the last decade of your life before peri/menopause, then it may show on your ability to go through this transition easily. For the pituitary, supportive herbs like Verbena or Oat straw or St John's Wort or Ziziphus may be just what works for you, if it's support for a tired nervous system that you need. For the adrenals I would be considering Liquorice, Rehmannia, Withania, Bacopa or Siberian Ginseng.
Then I could also consider things which are more symptom based. Like Sage which is recommended for hot flushes but also has a reputation for supporting the adrenals and brain function. And Valerian/Skullcap/Passionflower/Hops/Wild lettuce...all herbs that can be made up as a bespoke sleep tincture for you.
Red clover, Wild Yam, and several other herbs contain plant hormones (phytooestrogens) which are similar to oestrogen and taking these plants in liquid or tablet form is helpful to many. Many over the counter remedies are based on this thinking. But if our prescription is already full, you and I would consider adding foods to your diet that are rich in plant hormone substances...linseeds and soya products can make a large difference in my experience.
Yes, there are a host of plants and food and lifestyle choices which might ease you through a transition your body may be finding uncomfortable. And herbalists have many tools to help get things more comfortable in what could otherwise be a difficult time.