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Planning Retirement Online

Natural options for the menopause                                                                       November 2009


menopauseMenopause can arrive at a wide variety of ages and it affects everyone so differently. Some lucky women simply sail through with minimal problems; others find it all totally over-whelming with serious effects on their life style.

A visit to the doctor is essential to learn the best way to cope, and for many women hormone replacement therapies can provide the best relief. However, there is also a range of non-hormonal options available and some women say natural nutritional supplements can really help to reduce menopausal symptoms.

There is a mass of information available about the menopause, but a new leaflet just out concentrates on managing symptoms in the most natural way possible. The leaflet is called: I’m Not Mad, I’m Menopausal and has been put together by doctor Dr Dawn Harper together with assistance from nutritional specialist Wassen.

The leaflet contains a wealth of information and ideas about natural and effective ways to help reduce and manage symptoms and readers can request a free copy by contacting Wassen on 01372 379828, emailing or downloading a copy from

If you are interested in seeing if you can manage symptoms through natural methods, it can be difficult to know exactly what the various products do that line the shelves in the chemist of supermarket. So we decided to look at a few of the top sellers to find out a bit more about them...

Femal is based on flower pollen extract. It contains two special extracts of standardised pollen combined with vitamin E. Femal reports that clinical trials show the pollen can help reduce the frequency of hot flushes and night sweats and also help reduce the irritability that often accompanies menopause. Femal is available from most good pharmacies and costs around £16.

While 75% of Western women experience hot flushes, menopausal symptoms in Asian countries are virtually unknown. Scientists have attributed this to the fact that Japanese diets include a high level of isoflavones from foods such as tofu and miso soup.

Isoflavones are plant compounds (phytoestrogens) which occur naturally in foods such as soya, tofu and nuts. Unfortunately in the UK, our diets are very low in isoflavones, with surveys showing that the average UK diet provides less than 3mg per day. In comparison, consumption in Asian cultures can be as high as 100mg per day.

A product called Menovone provides 60mg of slow release isoflavones around the clock in each one-a-day tablet. It also contains the essential vitamins and minerals folic acid, vitamins D, E and B vitamins, to help maintain a woman’s well-being before, during and after the menopause. It costs around £9.95p for 30 capsules and again is available from most mainline pharmacies and supermarkets.

The cohosh is a tall perennial plant from the buttercup family that grows in eastern and central areas of the United States. Black cohosh was used by Native Americans as a traditional folk remedy for women’s health conditions and for a longtime it has been a favourite to help treat the symptoms of menopause; it is said to make a real difference to hot flushes, night sweats and temporary changes in mood.

MenoHerb is based on Black Cohosh root extract and is sold in a simple one-a-day tablet. It costs around £9 99p for 30 tablets and again is available from Boots and most good pharmacies. More information is available on


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