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Health

Menopause: A “Hot” Issue for Both Women and Men

Menopause is ‘too taboo’ an issue to be openly discussed. There are various social reasons why, but here we are going to discuss what ‘does happen’ and how you can ‘help’ someone going through this new stage of life.

Menopause or climacteric (from the Greek ‘klimacter’, the rung of a ladder) is a stage where the fertility of individual human beings changes. In women there is a sudden drop in sex hormones in the perimenopausal stage. This is the reason why the phrase ‘male menopause’ is not appropriate because in men, the drop of their testosterone levels is not so sudden. In women, estrogen production declines more quickly.

Of course, the symptoms vary a lot between individuals, but general symptoms exist, such as depression, nervousness, ‘hot flashes’ and sweats, decreased libido, fatigue, and poor concentration and memory. Also, there are sometimes other diseases interlinked with menopause, due to endogenous and exogenous hormones. Cardiovascular diseases are among them, because of the increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels. An increased waist-hip ratio can be observed also. There are studies that prove that users of prescribed hormones as a ‘remedy’ seem to have lower risks and symptoms. Can we also help the conditions naturally?

Black cohosh extract, which is widely found in America, relieves the symptoms of menopause due to its high concentration of phytoestrogens, substances similar to estrogens. It acts mainly on hot flashes and the sweats. It reduces blood pressure (a lot), so it is a better control this factor also. Although it is a plant, it must not be used for more than six months, and it is better to first be advised by your doctor. Women with history in breast or ovarian cancer, or on hormone therapy are advised not to use it.

A Greek plant that helps is Crocus (crocus sativus) or saffron, which is a wild plant, that is now widely grown and famous, even in Greece, which produces some of the best-quality saffron worldwide. It is truly effective against the headaches of menopause. It also helps with sudden mood changes. Adding 1-2 flower stigmas in your ‘good-nighty tea’ is a good way to avoid all these symptoms – as far as possible. Another Greek plant traditionally used is viscum album (mistletoe), a parasite of trees that works miracles! Famous from the time of Hippocrates and helping with neurosis and hysteria, it is effective, like valeriana, for many menopause symptoms like hot flashes, cold sweats, and melancholia.

From Chinese traditional medicine we have ginseng, which is a panacea plant, but which also enhances libido. This root works wonders!

These are ‘hot issues’ for ‘hot changes’ in life – but with these interventions, you can calm down and enjoy your next steps in life with the support of nature!

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.

 

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