More and more women are looking towards natural remedies when treating illness and injury, so it’s not surprising that many are turning to supplements when it comes to treating the symptoms of menopause. For women who cannot take Hormone Replacement Therapy (or HRT), there are few options to ease menopausal symptoms.
In terms of non-medical treatments, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown promise in reducing the symptoms of menopause in several studies. Some women, however, think that menopause is best treated with natural products such as Red Clover, Chasteberry (Agnus Castus), Soya, Black Cohosh, and Ginseng. Traditional medicine has often downplayed the usefulness of natural remedies in treating menopausal symptoms, but at least one government agency is putting time and money into investigating these remedies and their potential effectiveness.
In September 2015, the National Institute of Health awarded researchers close to 35 million dollars to study the safety of natural products, how they work within the body, and the development of cutting-edge research technologies. There will be 5 centers, each studying a different aspect of natural products. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Principal Investigator Richard van Breemen, Ph.D. will be conducting research into Botanical Dietary Supplements for Women’s Health with a focus on “characterization and standardization of complex botanical products, and on the interactions of those products with estrogens and with prescription drugs with a continuing focus on safety.” This research team has previously studied supplements such as black cohosh, hops, and licorice, looking at their effects on estrogenic hormones.
Many women feel strongly that they have experienced positive effects from natural remedies and are continuing to supplement with herbal remedies at home without waiting for the results of these studies. It should be noted that any herbal supplement can interact with other supplements or prescription medication, so it is important to talk to a medical professional before beginning to use supplements to ease menopausal symptoms.
"NIH Awards Nearly $35 Million to Research Natural Products." U.S National Library of Medicine. September 9, 2015. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2015/nccih-09.htm. Accessed September 25, 2015.
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