How red clover can help relieve symptoms of menopause
Red clover is being hailed as a more natural way to deal with those hot flushes and other not-so-nice side effects of menopause.
While menopause is an unavoidable fact of life for women, the symptoms don’t have to simply be endured.
Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries decrease oestrogen and progesterone production, which stops the release of eggs and marks the end of menstruation.
Most often this happens between the ages of 44 and 55 (the average age is 50), though for some women it begins earlier or later.
While it’s not uncommon to skip a period or notice a lighter flow, menopause can be distinguished by a lack of menstruation for 12 consecutive months.
Symptoms of menopause
For many women, menopause brings with it a host of unwelcome symptoms, such as:
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Dryness of the vagina, skin and mouth
- Anxiety and depression
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
- Weight gain
- Lack of energy
It’s estimated that two thirds of women develop menopausal symptoms.
And with menopause lasting an average of seven years, that’s a long time to feel uncomfortable.
But for women who want to avoid hormonal replacement therapy, there are some natural treatments worth looking at.
How red clover can help
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) has long been used for both human and animal health. It is believed to relieve eczema, rashes and psoriasis.
Now its benefits for helping with menopause symptoms (such as hot flushes) are becoming more well-known.
The flowering red clover plant, actually a legume, contains a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones.
Phytoestrogens have a similar chemical makeup to oestrogen, and can therefore help balance female hormones.
This is why red clover is commonly recommended to women experiencing menopause symptoms.
Red clover’s isoflavones may help reduce issues related to falling oestrogen levels.
They are also believed to have a positive effect on the heart and circulation, and able to counter bone loss.
A 2017 study from Denmark’s Aarhus University reported that red clover – taken in fermented form – reduces the number and frequency of hot flushes.
An earlier study from the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine also found that red clover reduced hot flushes.
Other ways to reduce hot flushes
Cognitive behaviour therapy is said to help with menopause symptoms, as does improved sleep hygiene, specifically in the case of hot flushes.
Avoiding hot showers or baths two hours before bed and keeping the bedroom cool can also cut down on night sweats and hot flushes, helping you get a more restful night.
It’s also recommended to wear clothes made from natural fibres (such as cotton, linen and silk) to help your body cool down, and stay hydrated with water throughout the day.
Read more tips on getting through menopause.
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