What can I do to decrease the chance of having a tough time with menopause?

Q. Dear Terry, “I’m in perimenopause and started noticing some intermittent hot flashes. My mother had really severe hot flashes and other symptoms when she went through menopause. What can I do to decrease the chance of having a tough time with menopause?”– Elinore S., Beaverton, OR

A. Dear Elinore, Menopause symptom severity can be influenced by many factors such as certain medications, surgeries (like hysterectomy), genetics, stress, and adrenal function. I think there are some botanicals that can really help support the menopause transition and reduce the likelihood of severe menopause symptoms.

Black cohosh has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. Over the past 50 years, black cohosh has been the focus of clinical research on perimenopause and menopause relief. Black cohosh has been scientifically proven to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other troubling menopause symptoms.

The effectiveness of black cohosh comes down to many things, and foremost among them are concentration, standardization, and dosage levels. I’ve heard from many women that they tried black cohosh and either it didn’t work, or it stopped working after a short period of time. I believe this is because they were not using the correct amount or standardization of black cohosh.

Many black cohosh products on the market today are using hundreds of milligrams, but it appears that black cohosh may actually provide less benefits as you increase the dosage. That’s because the herb works on a bell curve. Once you pass the peak of that curve, it’s just not effective anymore.

In fact, clinical studies have found that the best dose of black cohosh is much less than you may expect – 13 mg daily. Be sure to use it consistently each day for best results.

I also believe that the adaptogenic herb Rhodiola rosea is very beneficial for all phases of menopause. Rhodiola is known to help with improving focus, mood, energy levels, the ability to cope with stress and supports adrenal gland function. Look for a rhodiola that is clinically studied and standardized for rosavins and salidroside.

In a recently published study, a combination of black cohosh and rhodiola relieved menopause symptoms better than black cohosh by itself in just twelve weeks. The combination group was found to reduce menopause symptoms by 71%, including hot flashes, fatigue, stress, and restless sleep. I would take 413 mg of a combination of black cohosh and rhodiola once or twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally