For every woman there comes a time in her life that marks the end of fertility and the beginning of physical and emotional changes. Whilst some women breeze through this transitional phase, for others it can be a time of challenge. Have you considered Ashwagandha for menopause?
Ashwagandha for Menopause: A Natural Solution
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Ashwagandha, botanical name Withania somnifera, also known as Indian ginseng, has been the subject of various clinical studies and has been found to give safe and significant relief to the symptoms of menopause as well as providing other health benefits.
Ashwagandha has been revered in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, for centuries for its ability to promote female health and well- being. Ayurvedic practitioners view ashwagandha as the holistic approach to menopausal symptoms, addressing not only the physical manifestations but also the emotional and spiritual aspects of women’s health.
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen which is a plant with active ingredients that effects how your body copes with stress, anxiety and fatigue. When you take a supplement with adaptogenic properties, it targets specific areas where stress is present, causing things to be out of balance. For a plant to be recognised as an adaptogen it needs to have certain qualifying factors, namely:
- It must be non-toxic.
- It must help your body deal well with stress.
- It must have a re-balancing effect, a condition known as homeostasis.
The process of homeostasis is achieved by the properties in the herbal supplement either increasing or decreasing chemical reactions in your body. So, if you’re stressed you will have high cortisol levels, and this is where an adaptogen will respond by lowering the amount of cortisol produced by your body. If you are chronically fatigued, this means your cortisol levels may be too low and an adaptogen will boost them to a more stimulating level.
Ashwagandha is a first-class adaptogen which has been used for over 3,000 years by Ayurvedic medicine to balance hormones as well as to support physical and mental wellbeing.
What Symptoms Can Menopause Bring?
It’s very common to experience a variety of symptoms both in the phase of perimenopause as well as during menopause itself. The onset of physical and mental issues that are totally new to you can throw you into a whirlpool of confusing emotions. So, what are the main bugbears of menopause?
You will probably find yourself coping with hot flushes, which are possibly one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of menopause. They can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and occasionally embarrassing in certain situations.
Can turn what should be a peaceful night’s sleep into a real trial. Women have been known to seek the cool of the garden in the early hours of the morning. Think in terms of a duvet with the lowest tog rating available, and a very quiet fan or air conditioning unit.
These are because your hormone levels are everywhere. Low oestrogen levels can cause irritability, tiredness, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Hormonal changes can also alter your levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, and these are linked with mood.
Around the time of menopause your body produces less oestrogen which is the hormone that keeps the vagina lubricated. Oestrogen also maintains the vaginal lining’s thickness and elasticity. When levels of oestrogen decline this causes thinning and drying of the vaginal walls. It can also result in inflammation. This is known as vaginal atrophy, certainly not great for your libido, but it is a condition that can be managed successfully.
During the perimenopause and menopause your hormone levels fluctuate. Oestrogen declines and both progesterone and testosterone also reduce. These changes have a significant impact on your body. The hormone progesterone is responsible for feelings of natural calm, it helps to boost mood and increases pain threshold levels. Progesterone also supports restful and rejuvenating sleep so as your levels diminish sleep may be elusive.
Getting regular exercise helps with a healthy sleep pattern, and drinking plenty of water is necessary as due to reduced oestrogen levels your body struggles to hold onto enough fluid, and this causes cell dehydration.
These can begin during menopause or sometimes, if you already suffer with headaches, they may get more frequent. Low oestrogen levels are one of the causes, along with stress.
You may experience the onset of hormonal migraines. These are more intense than hormonal headaches and they usually affect just one side of your head. Sometimes these types of migraine may be preceded by nausea and vision disruption. A non-migraine headache is more likely to be spread more generally around your head.
If you are taking HRT this can, in some cases, make headaches worse.
This can cause a great deal of frustration as a normally great memory and sharp organisational skills may be temporarily compromised. This is usually a result of lower levels of oestrogen and testosterone. Brain fog is a very common symptom of perimenopause and menopause, and your thinking may be clouded.
This may make it difficult to function well at work, and even when reading you may struggle to concentrate. Many women fear that they have the beginnings of dementia, especially if it is something which has been in their family, but brain fog brought on by decreasing hormone levels is very common and there are treatments, both pharmaceutical and natural, that can help with mental clarity.Oestrogen stimulates the brain, it helps with the growth of new cells and when it diminishes in midlife, your brain goes into a state of deprivation. Research has found that there is a reduction of brain energy during menopause, and this can trigger hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, as well as brain fog.
Testosterone which is produced by the ovaries strengthens neurons in the brain and supports mental clarity. It also strengthens arteries that supply blood flow to the brain, and this is important to protect against memory loss.
Fortunately, it is possible to support brain health with simple lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, sufficient exercise, and good quality sleep.
Lying awake as the hours tick by can be distressing. You may find yourself getting anxious because you can’t sleep, and this only serves to make the situation worse. Fortunately, natural help is at hand.
Hormonal changes, along with trying to cope with fatigue, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings may just make you less amorous than usual.
Joint and Muscle Pain
Oestrogen receptors are all over your body, including the joints, and declining hormone levels at the time of menopause can add to pain caused by inflammation from wear and tear and ageing.
Anxiety and Depression
Hormonal changes during menopause often bring heightened anxiety and depression. This is not unusual, and it is possible to get understanding help from professionals. The NHS have some excellent contact information where you can get support and the reassurance that you that you are not alone with this problem. This is the web page you need to access this help.
Everyone is different and not everyone will have the same set of symptoms during their menopausal journey. These symptoms can be challenging to cope with and while there are various treatment options available, many women are now choosing more natural solutions to find relief.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Menopause
Various studies have shown that taking ashwagandha can help ease symptoms of menopause, paving your way to a smoother transition from the fertile years to a serene post-menopausal phase in your life.
Research studies into the main reasons why ashwagandha can support the symptoms of menopause have pinpointed its adaptogenic properties which have been found to have a stabilising effect on fluctuating hormone levels, easing symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.
Here are some of the areas where ashwagandha will give support:
Anxiety and Depression
Many women find they suffer with anxiety and spells of depression during menopause. As well as its ability to ease the effects of hormonal changes, ashwagandha will reduce levels of cortisol and this helps to stave off mood swings and eases other side effects of anxiety.
Maintaining a healthy weight during menopause is important for overall well-being, and for preventing other health concerns. Ashwagandha helps you manage weight gain by supporting a healthy metabolism.
Ashwagandha helps you get more restorative sleep, and this promotes fat burning, whereas lack of sleep causes you to store fat.
Reducing levels of the hormone cortisol is a further help as elevated levels are linked to weight gain.
Enhancing Cognitive Function
Keeping your mind sharp is crucial during menopause. Ashwagandha has been shown to support cognitive function, including memory and focus, which are commonly affected during this stage.
Ashwagandha may help to maintain bone health and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, a common concern for menopausal women.
Promoting Restorative Sleep
Due to various factors, such as night sweats and anxiety, menopause can make a good night’s sleep difficult to achieve. Ashwagandha is well known for its properties which help with quality sleep.
Anti-ageing and Stress Reduction
Various factors such as unhealthy lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, mental stress, and environmental pollution, have compromised our DNA replication and repair processes, leading to inflammation and chemical instability. This results in our bodies suffering the signs of ageing long before they should.
Due to a lack of pharmaceutical remedies, scientists are working on solutions to this widespread problem, and are focussing on exploring the expertise of thousands of years of natural and traditional formulations which have the potential to delay ageing.
Ayurvedic medicines have been the subject of these studies and it has been discovered that there are certain traditional herbal formulations, known in Ayurveda as rasayana, which promote heightened immunity, increased vitality and longevity whilst also protecting from excessive stress.
Ashwagandha is the flagship herb of Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-ageing and rejuvenating properties. It is also heralded for its stress reducing capabilities, so providing valuable support in helping manage the emotional and physical stress that often accompanies menopause.
Boosting Libido and Oestrogen Levels
One area that can be significantly impacted by menopause is sexual health. Ashwagandha has shown promise in boosting libido and improving sexual function in menopausal women. This herbal supplement also plays a role in balancing oestrogen levels, contributing to overall hormonal harmony.
Incorporating Ashwagandha into Your Routine
To experience the benefits of ashwagandha for menopause, it is usually taken as a herbal supplement. It is available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and tinctures. It is recommended to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it as you feel necessary. As with any supplement, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting an ashwagandha regimen, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.
Our Ashwagandha Root capsules are made from ashwagandha sourced from India, containing a minimum of 5% withanolides. This ashwagandha is the highest concentration, full-spectrum root extract on the market, retaining all the natural constituents of the herb in the original balance. It has been the subject of the most extensive set of research studies and clinical trials. Read more about Ashwagandha Root Capsules.
Top 10 Key Takeaways
- Ashwagandha is a natural adaptogenic herb with numerous benefits for menopause relief.
- It helps alleviate hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, and sleep disturbances.
- Ashwagandha supports weight management by boosting metabolism and reducing stress related weight gain.
- It enhances cognitive function and maintains bone health during menopause.
- Ashwagandha possesses anti-aging properties and aids in reducing stress levels.
- Ashwagandha is a herb which boosts libido and helps balance oestrogen levels in menopausal women.
- Ashwagandha has its roots in Ayurveda, a traditional healing system.
- It is usually taken as a herbal supplement in the form of capsules, powders, or tinctures.
- It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before using ashwagandha for menopause, particularly if you are already taking regular medication.
- Embracing a holistic approach to menopause can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life without the side-effects of pharmaceutical solutions.
You may be interested in reading some of our other blogs on women’s health and menopause:
When it comes to keeping you informed on health and nutrition, we’re here for you and aim to help where we can. If you would like to discuss any aspect of using natural supplements, or would find advice helpful, please feel free to contact us on 01297 553932.