July 2007 Ageless herbal newsletter
Menopause is the term used for when a woman enters the stage of her life when she
stops menstruating. Menopause is also known as “the change” or “the change of life” and although some women sail through this stage with very little change, many women experience
physical and emotional changes, which are very challenging.
There is no definite time when a woman may stop menstruating for good, but this usually occurs
around the age of 50, but may naturally occur when a
woman is in her 40’s or in her late 50’s.
Male menopause, also known as andropause, is a contentious term, sometimes thought to be incorrect, as menopause actually refers to the
cessation of menses or periods and men cannot have a period. This term is meant to describe the state of life in an older man, where the
levels of testosterone drop and many symptoms shown in menopause may also be present, such as
sweating, irritability and hot
Aging causes normal physiologic menopause, where the
ovaries stop producing eggs, the levels of the
hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease and
monthly periods end.
It is the decrease in the levels of hormones, particularly
estrogen that is the cause of many of the symptoms associated with the
Premature menopause, or the early gradual or abrupt cessation of menstruation, may occur before the age of 40, and the cause of this can sometimes not be identified. This is known as
idiopathic menopause, but most cases of early menopause are usually caused by
damage to the ovaries, or disease, which targets or influences the health of the ovaries. A
hysterectomy and other surgery to the reproductive system will also cause premature menopause. Exposure to high levels of radiation may damage the ovaries, and extreme emotional stress, debilitation and malnutrition are also known
causes of early menopause.
Periods become less frequent or regular and finally cease.
A fall in the levels of estrogen stops ovulation and may cause the following symptoms:
Other symptoms, which are also long-term and may be life threatening are:
- High blood pressure, which may lead to a heart attack or stroke
- Osteoporosis, which may lead to an increased risk of bone fractures
This is usually the replacement of
estrogen, which can be administered via tablets, patches, creams, pessaries (a
vaginal suppository) and other intra uterine devices.
Concern has risen that long term HRT may increase the risk of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. There is also evidence that this therapy may be linked to an increase in heart attacks, strokes and thrombosis.
Due to these concerns HRT is usually only prescribed where the symptoms of menopause radically affect a woman’s quality of life.
Estrogen may be prescribed together with
synthetic progesterone (progesterone is a hormone that prepares the uterus for the fertilized ovum and maintains pregnancy). This is usually prescribed for women who have
not had a hysterectomy, as this is thought to
reduce the risk of cancer of the uterus from developing.
Sequential combined hormone
replacement therapy is the term used when progesterone is taken after
estrogen. This may cause vaginal bleeding that resembles a period, but is not a period.
Continuous Combined HRT is the term used when estrogen and progesterone are taken at the same time. This does not cause vaginal bleeding.
A doctor will usually assess the need to continue HRT very year. While using
HRT, a woman should have her breasts and cervix examined regularly, due to the possible increased risk of cancer.
Besides the possible increased risk of developing cancer or cardiovascular diseases, nausea, hair loss, weight gain and depression have been reported as common side effects of HRT.
These are various types of drugs, which prevent the bone from reabsorbing bone tissue, and are seen to be very effective when used to
prevent osteoporosis, which could lead to an increased risk of hip, spine and other bone fractures.
Bisphosphonates can be taken daily, weekly or monthly in capsule or tablet form, or may be administered via injections that are normally given every quarter.
Supplements containing calcium and vitamin D are also usually prescribed; as they are thought to help the bones make new bone tissue.
Other treatment options
Nutrition and lifestyle
Following a balanced diet that keeps the ingestion of animal fats to the absolute minimum and which includes a variety of fresh green and dark green vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish is reported to help alleviate or help prevent the symptoms of menopause. Regular moderate exercise is also thought to help alleviate or help prevent symptoms.
Although your medical practitioner will advice you to rather get all your nutrition through natural food sources – through a balanced healthy diet, our modern lifestyles tend to limit our diet and some supplementation may be necessary. Most commonly, a doctor may recommend a
calcium supplement, which contains vitamin D, as this helps increase calcium absorption. A magnesium supplement may also be recommended, as this is thought to minimize cramps and to help you sleep at night.
The following vitamins are thought to be of help during menopause and may help prevent symptoms:
(for hot flushes, Vitamin E may be depleted when using HRT)
Food sources: nuts, oils, vegetables, sunflower seeds, whole grains, spinach, oils, seeds, wheat oils, asparagus, avocado, beef, seafood, apples, carrots, celery.
Vitamin B Complex
(to help keep a normal balance of vitamins in the body – thought necessary to help promote a correct balance of calcium in the body)
Food sources: Present in many food sources, but various B vitamins are abundant in liver and yeast.
Plant estrogens or phyto
(natural plant substances, similar to the hormone estrogen)
Food Sources: Found in many plants, but are abundantly present in linseeds, Soya (Soy) proteins and clover extracts.
Calcium and Vitamin D
(to help with bone density and general health of bones)
Food sources: Milk, milk products, beans, nuts, molasses and fruit contain good amounts of calcium. Fish and seafood, as well as green leafy vegetables supply good amounts of calcium.
(also necessary for building bones and is said to help you sleep - a deficiency is said to cause cramps)
Food sources: Magnesium is found in dairy products, fish, meat and seafood, as well as in legumes, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals, nuts, dark green vegetables, and cocoa, while hard water and mineral water may also supply it in fair quantities.
Although we believe that a registered medical practitioner should treat any medical condition and that no treatment should be undertaken without your doctor’s approval, the following supportive therapies may be found to be of benefit:
Certain herbal treatments are suggested for relieving symptoms of menopause. These are:
The German Commission E approved the use of black cohosh root for premenstrual discomfort and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) or climacteric (menopausal) neuro-vegetative ailments.
Occasional gastric discomfort is reported as a side effect when using Black cohosh root medicinally.
Dong quai or Chinese Angelica, Milk Thistle, Red Clover, American Ginseng and Chaste Tree Berry have also been reported as being effective in relieving hot flushes and sleep disturbances in menopause.
Some studies done on the aroma-therapeutic effects of Chaste tree berry or leaf suggest that the essential oil may be beneficial when used in aromatherapy to relieve common symptoms of menopause.
Other essential oils, such as Clary Sage, Lavender,
Cypress, Geranium and Petitgrain are also widely reported to be beneficial, although no clinical studies proving their effects on menopausal symptoms have been discovered.
For more information on these oils, please visit www.essentialoils.co.za.
Some women find other alternative treatments to be of benefit as well, such as:
Menopause is usually a normal change of
life, which is natural and common to all women. When entering this change of
life, a woman commonly has to face many challenges, which can be overcome with a positive attitude and through help and support from friends, family, professionals and support groups. Constant research is being done to develop and understand various treatment options for the symptoms presented during this time of life.
Many alternative therapies abound, and it is best to rather consult a professional about these, and to consider advice from a trusted friend or friends who are experiencing menopause as well and know what the challenges are.
A healthy balanced diet, limiting the consumption of animal fats, moderate exercise and a healthy lifestyle are reported to alleviate
symptoms experienced during
- Healing cream
- To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
- Face wash
- This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
- Moisturizing day cream
- This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
- Nourishing night cream
- This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
- Eye gel
- An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
- Mud face mask
- With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
- Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
- Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
- Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
- We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.
- Hand and body lotion
- When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
- Stretch mark gel
- Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
- Cellulite gel
- Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.
- Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
- The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
- Digest capsules
- If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
- Detox capsules
- Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
- Urinary and bladder health capsules
- Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
- Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
- If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
- Olive leaf extract capsules
- This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
- Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
- Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.
- Jojoba oil
- This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
- Almond oil
- This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.