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Perimenopause occurs naturally in all women who will soon be entering menopause. Though the symptoms can be uncomfortable, in most cases they are not dangerous and do not require treatment. Women who find the symptoms bothersome, however, can take a number of medications or herbs for perimenopause. Chinese medicine often uses a variety of different herbs, including yam, angelica, and black cohosh. Other herbal treatments can include maca, unicorn root, and sage.
A variety of herbs can be used to treat the symptoms of perimenopause. The herbs used often depend on the symptoms that a woman wishes to eliminate or lessen. When determining which herbs to take, it is important to consult with an herbalist and a doctor because herbal treatments can interact with other medical treatments or have adverse effects on a patient. In many cases, herbal treatments have not been thoroughly evaluated for their potential benefits or risks and should be taken cautiously.
Some herbs for perimenopause are able to help regulate the amount of estrogen in a woman's body. The fluctuation of this hormone and its male counterpart, testosterone, is responsible for the symptoms experienced by women going through perimenopause. Medically, these fluctuations can be treated with progesterone supplements, but it is also possible to take herbs to regulate hormonal levels. Many plants, including sage, unicorn root, yam, and angelica are excellent sources of plant-based estrogen and can be used to supplement the estrogen a woman produces naturally.
Some of the most common and uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause are hot flashes. This symptom is caused by a sudden dilation of the blood vessels and occurs when hormone levels fluctuate. Black cohosh is one of the herbs for perimenopause that can be used to relieve this symptom. Liferoot, licorice, and red clover can also be taken to reduce the frequency or intensity of hot flashes.
Irregular or heavy menstruation can also be treated with the use of herbs. Shepard's purse has been used to help regulate a woman's menstrual cycle, especially if she is menstruating too frequently. Liferoot or yam are taken by some women to control excessive menstrual bleeding and to lessen the pain associated with menstruation.
Sexual activity can help with many of the symptoms of perimenopause as well, though many women experience a decrease in sex drive at this time. In order to improve the sex drive, a number of herbs can be taken. Maca, damiana, and horny goat weed are all commonly used herbs for perimenopause that are believed to increase the libido.