This post is a request from my mom, who thought it would be a good topic after a discussion with my sister who just finished her doctorate degree in pharmacy.  It is my sister’s opinion that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), or more accurately alternatives to HRT, are in high demand from perimenopausal women now.

Menopause (perimenopause) is the time in an adult women’s life leading up to the total cessation of regular menstruation when she may experience hot flashes, insomnia, depression, as well as a host of other symptoms.  Perimenopause may last up to 10 years.

As this is the time when body releases less estrogen and progesterone hormones, many women seek Hormone Therapy. HT can help reduce symptoms of menopause; however these treatments can come with a lot of side effects, including increased risk of cancer and stroke.

On the bright side there are a number of herbal Chinese medicines that can ease menopause and reduce or eliminate the need for HRT altogether.  In even better news :), they are produced and packaged as patent medicines and so are easily available for purchase online. Now the caveat, in order to know which one you should choose, you’re best off being diagnosed by a traditional Chinese medicine doctor.

Here is a list of herbal alternatives helpful for women going though menopause and the symptoms they are better at treating–

  • Liu Wei Di Huang Wan 六味地黃丸or Zuo Gui Wan 左归丸
    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Skin flushing
    • Urine leakage, urinary urgency
    • Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
    • Vaginal infections
    • Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
    • Osteoporosis
    • Fatigue
    • Backaches
    • Hair loss
    • Joint aches and pains
  • Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San 丹栀逍遥丸
    • Forgetfulness (in some women)
    • Headaches
    • Irregular menstrual periods
    • Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
    • Breast pain, distension, tenderness
  • Gui Pi Wan 归脾丸
    • Joint aches and pains
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Heart pounding or racing
    • Hot flashes
    • Skin flushing
    • Sleeping problems (insomnia)
    • Osteoporosis
    • Fatigue

If you have all of these symptoms and cannot decide which one to take, and really have no way to go see a TCM doctor, email me for a consultation, or choose the first one, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan.