Supplements & Herbs Helpful in Perimenopause

**I am not a health professional and this is not meant to be medical advice. I’m just a regular woman in her 50’s sharing what I’ve learned and what’s worked for me. I hope you find it helpful**

You can read Part 1 of this series here. I’m writing this series because it’s what I was looking for when I needed help in my own perimenopause.

My personal experience has been that in my 30’s and 40’s I had various symptoms that would widely vary, come and go. Finding different herbs and supplements helped me manage those symptoms really well during that time. For your reference, I was not on any prescription medication. I was living a healthy lifestyle and had been for years prior, and I was a healthy body weight. (In my mid 50’s these remedies were no longer enough, and I’ll address that as well as much more later.)

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Early on, as hormones just begin to fluctuate, finding herbs and supplements to manage any symptoms can be a game changer. Every woman is different, so what works for some, won’t work at all for others. Most of these are affordable and without any serious side effects (on their own). So for most of us that makes it worth a try!

Working on all of the lifestyle habits I talked about in part 1 cannot be overstated. However, if you’re working through those and you’re looking for some extra (non prescription) help in perimenopause, read on….

*If you’re on medication, absolutely consult your doctor as some of these may interfere with prescription medication. And if you have a functional medicine provider, they will be your first stop and a wealth of information on this topic. *

Listed below are some of the most common symptoms as well as the common herbs and supplements that women have reported helping their symptoms. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I’ll link to this scientific study that goes into more depth, and I’ve added any personal experience of my own in this post.

All the products mentioned are linked at the bottom of this post and for convenience they will also be in my Amazon Storefront. I hope that you find this list useful and please leave a comment or a question because this is a topic that we can learn from each other.

Hot Flashes/ Night Sweats

Maca is my favorite adaptogenic herb (root) when dealing with perimenopause. It can be a pretty powerful help and I’ve had really good results using this. Maca root has been used for thousands of years. It can boost libido(in men and women) and increase overall energy. It can decrease cortisol and thereby lessen the effects of stress on the body. It’s also been used to decrease hot flashes. I like to use this powder in my protein shakes and I notice a real difference in my overall wellbeing. The difference is profound enough that I don’t have to remember to take it. I WANT to! It has a malty flavor on it’s own. It also comes in capsule form.

Black Cohosh – This is probably the most studied herb (at least 12 clinical trials) when it pertains to controlling hot flashes. This herb has been used for centuries to treat various issues. MANY women have used this and gotten relief from night sweats and hot flashes.

Vitex (Chasteberry) has been clinically proven to reduce hot flashes. Like Black Cohosh, it has some of the same properties to help regulate hormones tied to sleep issues. *It can slightly raise your progesterone levels and I personally had good results with this herb in my early 50’s.

Red Clover has isoflavones that can produce estrogen like effects in the body. They mimic the effects of our natural estrogen and can help with a variety of perimenopausal symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats. It can be taken in a very pleasant tea form which is a great way to try it for milder symptoms.

Sleep Issues in Perimenopause

Magnesium GlycinateMore than 1/2 of Americans aren’t getting enough of this critical mineral. There are other types of magnesium but I like this one because it’s easily absorbed, doesn’t cause stomach issues and it has a calming effect. This makes it helpful when taken at night before bed. I take this before bed every night. Magnesium can also provide relief from joint pain, Restless Leg Syndrome, anxiety, and more. It’s involved in energy production, blood sugar, blood pressure regulation, bone formation and nerve function.

Valerian Root —In short, this root can increase your brain’s GABA levels to help you sleep but without the morning drowsiness of many other sleep aids. I have found this most helpful if I’ve had several nights of interrupted sleep and just need to get some rest and back on a decent sleep schedule again. I’ve taken it in capsule and liquid (my favorite) and it’s in some teas. I should mention the smell of valerian root is gross, lol.

Passion Flower– This helps to relax the nervous system, which makes it a nice one to take before bed to promote calmness and sleep. It comes in liquid, capsule and tea forms.

CBD– a compound derived from hemp contains low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive compound in cannabis- but cannot cause a high like other cannabis products. CBD can release anxiety and be an effective sleep aid. I’ve had great success in the past with a quality CBD oil taken at night before bed. I currently find the magnesium to be enough for my sleep.

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Hair Changes

I will do an entirely separate post on this because a lot of women suffer with wide ranging, negative changes in their hair due to perimenopause and menopause. I personally feel this issue best hit with a muti faceted approach. But there are a few herbs/supplements that may show promise.

Nutrafol– I have not tried this but there are some peer reviewed studies that show that Nutrafol can help with hair regrowth. It’s chock full of vitamins and herbal ingredients. Their site also notes that it’s helpful for those who have been dealing with hormonal hair loss and shedding from stress. This is an expensive product but there are heavy testimonials.

Multi Collagen Protein– I’ve use this daily for almost 2 years (1 scoop in my coffee in the AM). It’s helped my hair as well as my nails, skin, and my digestion. This has 10 types of food source collagen (for reference, bone broth has 1 or 2 types). I’ve found this extremely beneficial and I’ve not found anything to compare to this particular product.

Hormonal Anxiety in perimenopause

Some of the above herbs and supplements are also good for helping to combat anxiety brought on by hormonal changes in perimenopause. They include Maca, Vitex (Chasteberry), magnesium, passion flower and CBD. A few others that I’d like to mention for anxiety brought on by hormonal fluctuations:

St Johns Wort– this has been used for centuries and is widely prescribed in Europe to combat depression. If you are struggling with depression, please seek medical help. This herb can interfere w/ other medications so please check with your physician before trying this. Having said that, I’ve had relief from temporary anxiety many times in the past by using this herb.

Rhodiola -increases the sensitivity of your neurons, including serotonin and dopamine. This herb can help to increase focus and memory, and to improve your mood without side effects.

Ashwaganda can reduce anxiety, depressed feelings and reduce the effects of stress on the body.

In closing

In early perimenopause several of these, at various times, helped to relieve my symptoms and get on with life. I began perimenopause with estrogen dominant symptoms and taking DIM and Progesterone cream were extremely helpful for me. The supplements/minerals from this list that I take regularly now are Maca, magnesium and collagen.

There is so much to talk about on this subject and the next part in this series will deal with prescription help, precautions, results and how to get it.

I hope that you’ve found this list helpful and I hope that it gives you a jumping off spot to look into herbs and supplements for perimenopausal relief. We need this information to make the best decision for each one of us wherever we find ourselves on this journey.

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