Natural alternatives to oestrogen cream

Written by bryan cohen
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Natural alternatives to oestrogen cream
Natural alternatives can be used to improve hormone balance (Wikimedia Commons)

Oestrogen cream is used to improve hormone balance during menopause and to relieve vaginal dryness. Natural alternatives can achieve a similar effect and have been used for many years to improve the same symptoms.

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History

Tradition American Indian medicine used herbal remedies such as black cohosh to treat conditions such as menopause and problematic menstruation. In the 1940s, around the same time that hormone therapy was taking off, a group of Australian farmers noticed fertility changes in their sheep that had grazed on certain plants. These plants were found to contain phytoestrogens, natural compounds that act similarly to oestrogen in the body.

Phytoestrogens

Two main types of phytoestrogens are isoflavones and lignans. Isoflavones are found in soybeans, kudzu root and red clover, while lignans are in flaxseed, some fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Because of the oestrogen-mimicking properties of these compounds, they may be able to ease symptoms of menopause. These compounds also may be able to prevent oestrogen-stimulated cancers because of their ability to bind to oestrogen receptors in the body.

Herbal remedies

Red clover has a very high phytoestrogen count and can complement soy products such as soy milk or tofu that might already be part of your diet. Liquorice can boost the efficacy of red clover and soy because of its ability to increase the production of the endocrine system and its own mild oestrogenic effect. Other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and depression, may be curbed by black cohosh, which decreases the amount of progesterone in the body.

Methods

Consume red clover as a tea, a dried capsule or a tincture. Create the tea by putting three teaspoons of dried red clover flowers into 250 millilitres of boiling water, then covering and steeping the cup for 10 to 15 minutes. Capsules and tincture are available at natural food stores. Liquorice is available in powder and capsule form. Black cohosh is available as a dried root, a capsule or an herbal tincture. These products are similarly available at natural food stores.

Warnings

Some experts believe that high doses of phytoestrogens may promote certain kinds of cancers. Post-menopausal women with undiagnosed breast cancer especially may be at risk. Herbal remedies may cause allergic reactions and may react negatively with medications that you might be taking. Consult a health care provider before adding herbal remedies to your diet. Liquorice may raise blood pressure, so avoid the herb if you already have high blood pressure.

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