In 2007, a major clinical trial into the long term effects of pharmaceutical hormonal replacement therapy was ceased due to safety concerns. According to the scientists conducting the trial, the increased rates of breast cancer and heart disease in the women taking HRT, as opposed to the control group (who were not taking HRT), was unacceptably high.
ABC radio Australia reported in late February 2009 that the number of women taking HRT in Australia dropped in both 2007 and 2008, and that the incidence of breast cancer in women over 50 years of age (the age group most likely to be diagnosed) had dropped significantly in 2008. Researchers now recommend that HRT only be taken by women with severe menopausal symptoms, and then only for a period of one to two years.
Given all this, what are the alternatives, other than to go cold turkey and take nothing through menopause? Horror stories abound of hot flushes continuing for years, as well as the spectre of wrinkly skin, osteoporosis and mood swings.
This is where natural therapies can help, for although these symptoms are common, they are not normal. After ten years in practice as a herbalist specialising in womens health, I would have to say that no woman needs to suffer from, nor tolerate, a bad menopause.
There are many herbs which will ease the symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, though what works for each individual woman is always different. Rather than buy something over the counter, you are best to seek the assistance of a professionally qualified herbalist who can give you individualised treatment. Herbs are strongly therapeutic, and our bodies are all different what works for you may not work for another woman, nor even for you in six months time. I rarely give anyone the same herbal mixture twice.
Flower Essences are much more accessible than herbs, because they are self adjusting, which means you cant do any harm to yourself or others with them. This makes them very safe for home use by anyone. That said, many professionally qualified natural therapists, including myself, also use them in their clinical practice.
In regards to menopause, there are several flower essences that work really well. These include She Oak, which assists with female balance and also with hydration so it can be used whenever dryness in the body is an issue. This makes it very useful as an addition to your skin moisturiser. Many women also find improvement in terms of vaginal dryness.
Mulla Mulla can be of great help in any conditions where there is excess heat, and I find it excellent for hot flushes. However it must be realised that hot flushes serve a purpose – to sweat out accumulated toxins.
A question I often contemplate whenever comes to see me with unpleasant symptoms is this: body right? Or body wrong?
Do you think it is a good idea for your body to rid itself of toxins? Might this assist you to enjoy a long and healthy old age?
Your body knows what it needs to do to be well. Of course you will be more comfortable without hot flushes (especially if you live in a hot climate) however in order to support your body to cleanse itself, I would recommend other remedies to stimulate your liver, kidneys, bowel and lymphatics. This way your natural self healing process can be supported at the same time your hot flushes are being reduced.
More detailed information on how flower essences can assist women through menopause is explored in both the Level 1 Workshop and the Women’s Wellbeing Workshop by Australian Bush Flower Essences. Click here for details of when and where these internationally taught workshops will be next held near you.