Menopause and me!
By Jeannette Antonelli
I spent years wondering when will I begin menopause? How old will I be? How will I know? Will it be a rough or smooth? In this article I will touch on how those questions got answered for me. I will address herbs recommended for menopause, as well as herbs and the direction I feel drawn to.
As a woman who began my reproductive journey at a very early age (11), while unfortunate for me the way kids tease and pick, it was my lot in life. I fearfully approached menstruation and all my bodily changes and now I fearfully approach menopause. Looking back, there was nothing at all to fear. Now that I’ve embraced my body and experiences it’s time to bring it to an end. What I fear about menopause isn’t the that I’m reaching this milestone in my life, instead its can I control mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain and other unknowns. I have for all my adult life chosen natural remedies and fixes, so when I “stumbled” across my herbal fixes. I have been reading, the foods my grandmother ate directly affect my health. While I’d rather blame Grama for these newfound illness’s it’s become more important to notice the foods I eat. As a woman who ate so horribly 25 years back, I have since altered my food choices and my mind (more importantly). I have herbal infusions all day long in between my tall glasses of water. I eat very little sugar, almost no meat, lots more veggie’s/fruit than ever before. I have come to realize just how important herbs and exercise can be.
In Susan Weeds book New Menopausal Years, she instructs menopausal women to consider herbs rich in key nutrients that will assist on their journey. Those being calcium for strong bones which becomes important in the later years for women (men too). Great sources of calcium are Nettle and Kelp. Along with these herbs grab hold of your leafy greens for excellent calcium too. To protect your bones, avoid carbonated drinks, preserved and processed foods, excess salt will steal calcium from your bones, taking magnesium with calcium is suggested. That would explain why when shopping for supplements I can only find them in the same bottle and rarely separately. Remember, divide your supplemental doses throughout your day. Other good herbs to include are Oatstraw, Red Clover, Comfrey. I’ll begin to add infused vinegars to my salads, I’ll blend Burdock, Garden thyme, Garden Sage, Yellow Dock, Dandelion and Peppermint to make a nutrient dense dressing.
While Calcium holds at tops of the list for nutrients and menopausal women, let’s not make light of iron. Rosemary Gladstar gives us excellent fun recipes to assist us. I’ll make her lovely Iron-Plus Syrup, she also has a Calcium-Plus Tea. For the sake of hot flashes and mood swings I will be making her Hormone Regulator tea. These herbs and the nice recipes seem to be a great start and I’ll be busy in my “lab” brewing all these teas for my menopausal health and wellbeing. Here’s to the change.
Recipe by Rosemary Gladstars Herbal Iron Syrup….3 parts Dandelion leaf, 3 parts dandelion root, 3 parts nettle, 3 parts raspberry leaf, 2 parts alfalfa, 2 parts yellow dock, 1-part hawthorn berry, honey. For every 2 cups of syrup ¼ C brandy, ¼ C of fruit concentrate, 2 TB blackstrap molasses, 2 Tea nutritional yeast, 2 Tea Spirulina. Keeps for several months in the refrigerator.
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, Storey Publishing 2001,2008 p 200
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women, published by Simon & Schuster 1993 p 62, 117, 180
Weed, Susan. New Menopausal Years, The Wise Woman Way. Ash Tree Publishing, 2002 p 24-34, 261
I am just a city girl, I grew up a free-range kid, I was unsupervised and took total advantage of it by wandering my home town just like a gypsy. Fast forward 15 years to when I was handed a book, called Fit for Life, by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. a great start entering adulthood with this knowledge deeply embedded into my soul. 15 years later, I begin to restore the earlier teachings. For what was to become the rest of my adult life I have been forever hooked on being a health guru. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in nutrition late in life for which I take great pride in myself for having done so, instead of taking advise of others warning me I was too old. I continued my health guru type educations to take 600 hours of Aromatherapy Certification Courses and then returned advancing still to receive my Clinical Aromatherapy Certification, additionally I proceeded to work towards my Master Herbalist Certification.
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