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Meno-pause or Meno-go: How to Get Started with Herbs that Support Menopause and Healthy Aging Part 1


older woman having tea at her table in natural morning light with candles

DID YOU KNOW


that despite the prevalence of menopausal symptoms, studies show that only about one-third of women seek medical treatment or even reach out for advice in managing their symptoms?! 


So that means about two thirds of us are so poorly educated on the topic that we’re just out here wandering around in the dark pretending everything is fine! Seriously...what a dumpster fire.


Well that’s enough of that! Let's talk about how to get started with herbs that support healthy aging, and some things we can do to naturally support our body through peri/menopause. Because honestly? Nobody told me shit about shit regarding this topic and I want better for you!


Alright. Enough about me and on to the topics at hand. I want to touch on:


  • Better Bone health

  • Easing Hot flashes (Besides standing in front of your open freezer)

  • Help to Prevent Organ Prolapse

  • Reducing Mood swings and Anxiety

  • Improved Libido

  • The dreaded vaginal dryness

  • Lymphatic Drainage for Improved Waste Removal

  • Clearing Some of That Infuriating Brain fog

  • Addressing Adrenal Fatigue for Hormonal Balance

  • Liver Support for Improved Hormonal Balance

  • Adrenal support for improved hormonal balance

  • Herbs, foods and habits that can support a more symptom free menopause and longer health span (quality of life as we age)


Seriously. Each of these topics could have a blog post of their own, and in the future I vow to work on that deep dive! 


But for today, I want to just dip our toes into each and scratch the surface of some of the science behind it all. Let’s get through this menopausal chapter and beyond together, shall we?


In part 2 of this post, I will provide you with instructions for how to create herbal infusions, along with a couple of places we love to source our herbs, I mean besides our gardens that is. Depending on your climate, you may find that you can grow or forage for many of these yourself!


I encourage you to embrace the science behind how all of this works, but if you’d like to skip straight to my blog about the herbs and recipes, you can find that post here


These are the chosen herb friends covered in part 2:


  • Nettles

  • Raspberry Leaf

  • Linden

  • Tulsi

  • Red Clover

  • Oat straw

  • Dandelion Leaf/Root


moody alchemy beakers ceramic hand

But first? Science! 


There are some basics about how estrogen metabolism works that I feel are relevant and important to share. The more ya know, right?


Estrogen receptors. 


These are most commonly found in the inner lining of the uterus, breast cells, ovarian cells and in the hypothalamus (our brains). I’ll let you go ahead and fall into that Google rabbit hole on your own time. But for the purpose of this post, they pretty much rule our hormonal balance situation.


These estrogen receptors can accept three different forms of estrogen, the estrogen we make ourselves in our ovaries and in our adrenal system as a whole called endogenous estrogens. The estrogens we receive from plants, called phytoestrogens, you might be most familiar with Soy.


And the chemical/artificial/foreign estrogens in the form of xenoestrogens. Most of us have heard of BPA, a nasty bugger and major endocrine disruptor (endocrine disruptors are definitely another post). But xenoestrogens are the ones we want to avoid. These are the problem children that will cause major hormonal upset. That’s a SUPER basic breakdown. Science.


Moving on. Here in the United States, and in most westernized countries, we tend to be estrogen dominant. This produces a lot of undesirables like:


  • Breast Cancer

  • Endometriosis

  • PCOS

  • Uterine Cancer

  • Painful Periods

  • Symptomatic Peri/Menopause

  • Reproductive Issues

  • And ABSOLUTELY a ton more!


WHAT CAN WE DO?!


Okay. So we have some control over environmental factors. Like most of us know to stay away from BPA. To store our food and bevvies in glass or stainless steel containers. Eat clean meat and organic produce whenever possible. Steer clear of highly processed foods and chemical cleaners, chemical laden body care products, etc etc. This will help us avoid at least SOME xenoestrogens, those aforementioned baddies that we want to avoid clogging up our estrogen receptors with.


Remember Phytoestrogens…? These are the good guys. Aside from your own endogenous (produced in your body) estrogen, they are next in line for maintaining healthy hormonal balance before, during and after menopause!


Post menopausal, phytoestrogens will be your best friends! They help maintain arterial elasticity for good heart health, strong bones to stave off osteoporosis, and even keep our mucosal surfaces juiced up to prevent things like vaginal dryness. So eat your veggies, ladies!


A couple of my favorite sources for those phytoestrogens:

moody tofu bowl with chopsticks

Soy. Soy is a sadly maligned friend. He's gotten a bad rap and that's just not fair. So let's clear that up! Soy is amazing, but it needs to be whole, fermented, or as minimally processed as possible.


A little goes a long way and you really only need about an ounce a day to enjoy the protective benefits of soy. Some good sources are:


  • Tamari (fermented)

  • Miso (fermented)

  • Tofu (not fermented but highly digestible)

Another excellent source of phytoestrogens are lignans. Again, as unprocessed as possible and in moderation.


About 2 Tbsp a day is all you really need!


  • Flax seeds (ground is great. I put that sh*t on everything!)

  • Sesame seeds (Tahini and Gomasio are awesome, look up some fun ways to use these)


One last dietary recommendation. FIBER!

More than an honorable mention here is our liver, my friend! Our liver is our largest and mostest majorest detox organ. She breaks down surplus hormones and spits them into the bile for us to poo out. Without a healthy liver, we’re asking for so much trouble. There’s a lot we can do with herbs to promote liver regrowth and clean her up. The beautiful and delicious Red Clover is one of those mentioned here today.


But our liver needs assistance from our gut. A wondrous place, full of bazillions of little friends that help support and protect us. Much of your immune system lives here and by eating those fermented foods (Like Miso. Yum!) and ingesting good healthy fiber, you will support a strong gut biome, and protect yourself from reabsorption of that estrogen your liver just spat out. So eat your fiber! 10/10 recommend. 


Now in my world, I live a little 80/20. It’s not always realistic for me to avoid fire retardants or fast food and live super granola here in the middle of a big city. I do eat mostly whole foods and try to eat organic as much as possible. Admittedly I can’t always find clean meats and fresh caught fish, but I mostly try. 



messy bedding morning light

There are definitely some things that I don’t compromise on. Like sleep. Don’t mess with my sleep, man. 


There is so much science out there for the importance of sleep. The science is right. Beauty sleep IS a thing. And yes, you have GOT to get your sleep to protect your adrenal health (among literally a bucket load of other benefits).


And adrenals play a major role in your ability to regulate those hormones! Honestly, they mostly take over producing your endogenous estrogen once the ovaries bow out. So get your sleep and make some efforts to reduce your stress!


Honestly if you did nothing more than drink a quart of these infusions and got good regular sleep, you would see a reduction in your peri/menopausal symptoms. SLEEP IS MAGIC!


So… that was a lot… you still with me? Alright! Let’s FINALLY talk herbs!



*It's important to note that while herbs are generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts, individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking medications should consult with a healthcare professional before using them therapeutically. Additionally, pregnant women should exercise caution and seek medical advice before using herbal supplements, as their safety during pregnancy has not been extensively studied.


**We do not own the photos in this post, if you are the original artist please contact us and we will either remove the photos or post photo credit, whichever you prefer. Thank you for your help.


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