Menopause Support is used to support the health of the female reproductive system around menopause, particularly with mild, everyday symptoms. For some women, just the thought of entering menopause conjures up fears of sleepless nights, hot flashes, weight gain and emotional swings. Hot flashes seem to be the most common symptom, affecting 75-85 percent of all menopausal women in America. (1)
As the transition into menopause can be stressful, Menopause Support provides support for the nervous system during this time of life. With Shatavari as the main ingredient, this formula can be used at any time during a woman’s life for healthy menstrual cycle support.*
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule 2 times per day on an empty stomach, or as directed by your health care professional.
Bottle Contains: 90 vegetarian capsules, 500 mg each
Ingredients: Organic Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari Root), Organic Ipomoea digitata (Finger-Leaf Morning Glory Root), Organic Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree Berry), Wildcrafted Dioscorea villosa (Asoka Tree Bark), Organic Saraca asoca (Asoka Tree Bark), Organic Cyperus rotundus (Cyperus Root), Wildcrafted Actaea racemosa (Black Cohosh Root)
(Go to Ayurvedic Herbal Makeup)
Does not contain: Yeast, gluten, corn, soy, milk, fish, animal products, binders, fillers, preservatives or artificial coloring
Kosher Certified: No animal derivatives
Back in the early 90s, I was involved in hosting numerous Ayurvedic doctors from India here in the states. I remember, on a handful of occasions, how they expressed concern at the prevalence of menopausal symptoms here in America compared to what they saw in India.
After seeing patients around the US, a group of the doctors suggested that the underlying cause could be that women in America commonly work, exercise, compete and push themselves excessively during their menstrual cycles, much more than women in India. In India, it is traditional for women to rest and not schedule excessive activities during this time.
This is not to suggest that women are less capable or less productive than men. In fact, I think the contrary. I regularly marvel at how much women accomplish daily as moms, wives, partners, career professionals and social organizers while providing the essential glue that holds most families together. Men rarely take on half of these responsibilities.
According to Ayurveda, the circadian downward flow of prana (life force) during the menstrual cycle is considered an introspective time for women — where they pull back the bow once a month to recharge the body and re-establish a connection to their silent, intuitive, and spiritual center. From this deep state of awareness and insight, they can better lead, govern, and love from a place of peace, wisdom, and calm. This connection to the lunar cycle is something men generally do not experience.
Regularly engaging in excessive activities during the menstrual cycle directs the prana upward, instead of downward, in order to fuel the activity instead of the menses and introspection. With excessive activity, stress-fighting cortisol surges at a time when the biological clock is encouraging an inward, rather than an outward, stroke of activity.
Ayurveda says that, over time, this kind of adrenal stress during the cycle can compromise the efficiency of the menses, leading to more frequent PMS symptoms and difficulty during menopause.
The relationship between stress and a disruption in normal menses has been well-documented. (5-8)
Physical, psychological or metabolic stressors negatively affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, causing a multitude of issues including a moderate increase in PMS symptoms, late periods, longer periods, shorter periods, painful periods and even missed periods. Stress-induced amenorrhea (no menses), usually called functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA), is quite common in women, regardless of age. Other commons causes of irregular menses include undernutrition and excessive physical training. (5-8)
If stress is re-occurring monthly during menses, the likelihood that a woman will experience pronounced symptoms and complications during menopause is increased.
2017 Nobel Prize-winning science showed that ignoring the daily, monthly and seasonal biological clocks plays a significant role in accelerated aging and early degeneration. (4)
Medical schools will soon be training young doctors in the specialty of Circadian Medicine, and doctors will be teaching their patients how to live in sync with the circadian rhythms.
These ancient principles now supported by modern science suggest that we may be able to help prevent menopausal concerns in women still in or just entering their reproductive years.
7 Herbs to Balance Menopause
According to Ayurveda, the best way to support healthy menopausal phases is by introducing hormonal precursors and reproductive tonics to the body during menopause — when the ovaries are naturally dialing down their production of hormones. The liver and skin of the body, among other sites, have to gear up and take over hormonal production.
Supporting the liver during this process is critical and, in fact, the best way to support hot flashes and nights sweats is to detoxify and support healthy liver function. The lymphatic system is important here, as it is the female body’s first pathways of detox and, if congested, toxins will default back to the liver where most of the menopausal concerns arise from.
The following are my favorite seven herbs to support healthy peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
1. Cyperus rotundus (Musta)
Cyperus rotundus, also called musta in Ayurveda, is primarily used to address liver and lymph stagnation, and spleen, reproductive and liver congestion. (9) Musta has been traditionally used to support healthy reproductive function, such as addressing PMS, mild to moderate menstrual pain, and supporting regularity of the cycles. (10)
2. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Shatavari, also known as wild asparagus, has been shown to be an effective reproductive tonic for women. Studies show it boosts sex drive in both men and women, while also combating vaginal dryness and balancing menstrual concerns such as heavy bleeding or discharge. (11)
In one study, Shatavari was shown to enhance physical stamina and endurance, as well as increase the weight of fatigued adrenal glands after exercise stress – this suggests its adaptogenic support for adrenal health. Taking the stress off of the adrenals allows Shatavari to effectively play its role as a reproductive tonic. (14)
This herb balances the production of adrenal cortisol, making it a natural adaptogen. (11) Shatavari contains steroid saponins such as sarsaponin, protodioscin, and diosgenin, which are the estrogenic components extracted from asparagus roots. These compounds also act as a precursor of progesterone and increase secretion of this hormone.
In one study, the chemical constituents of Shatavari positively affected the production of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone hormones. (11-13)
Shatavari has been over-simplified to only support healthy estrogen levels, but clearly, it supports healthy progesterone as well and acts as Ayurveda predicted – as a powerful reproductive tonic for women from adolescence to post-menopause.
3. Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex angus-castus)
Chaste tree berry is used to support female reproductive health, in particular, symptoms of PMS and early menopausal concerns. (29) In Europe, it is an approved treatment for menstrual cycle irregularities, breast tenderness and the numerous other symptoms associated with PMS. (15, 16) Chaste tree berry is a natural hormonal precursor for progesterone which is commonly suggested to support a healthy transition into menopause.
Studies link Chaste Tree Berry along with Black Cohosh (see below) with supporting the following PMS and menopausal-related concerns: (17, 18, 29)
- Mild headache
- Breast swelling
- Hot flashes
Other studies have found Chaste Tree Berry to support menstrual cycle-related occasional constipation and water retention. (19)
Chaste Tree Berry has a balancing effect on many of the hormonal changes associated with PMS and menopause, which are: (20, 21)
- Elevated estrogen
- Decreased progesterone
- Elevated prolactin
- Stress-related dopamine imbalance
As Chaste Tree Berry has shown to impact dopamine levels, it is thought to have a harmonizing effect on hormones released from the pituitary gland, suggesting higher brain center support in addition to supporting healthy reproductive hormone levels. (16, 22)
Chaste Tree Berry plays a normalizing role in the hormonal footprint and has been shown to support a healthy transition into menopause. (22)
4. Finger-Leaf Morning Glory (Ipomoea digitata)
Traditionally, this root was used to support healthy menstruation and balanced menstrual bleeding. As with musta, it supports menopause by supporting healthy spleen and liver function which are challenged during menopause. (23)
Finger-Leaf Morning Glory contains beta-sitosterol which is a hormone-supporting antioxidant. (24) Ergonovine, an alkaloid also found in the herb, is used to balance menstrual bleeding and support healthy weight loss. (23, 25, 26) During menopause, this herb supports the natural regulation of menses cessation. (25, 26)
5. Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
Black Cohosh has been used to support healthy menstruation and the transition into menopause for thousands of years. Once thought to be estrogen-supporting, recent studies show that it instead supports healthy dopamine and serotonin levels, which are linked to the healthy management of mood, hot flashes, and night sweats during menopause. (29)
Numerous trials have found Black Cohosh to positively affect the frequency and severity of hot flashes associated with normal menopause. (28, 29)
6. Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa)
Wild yam is widely used as a botanical dietary supplement. It contains steroidal saponins and diosgenin, which is considered a precursor to progesterone. Since the 18th century, herbalists have been using wild yam to treat menstrual cramps and menopausal concerns. Today, dietary supplements containing wild yam extracts are popular among women for the support of menopausal symptoms. (1)
Due to a lack of in-depth research, modern science has yet to identify other constituents that may be responsible for wild yam’s hormone-supportive properties. However, new research has found it to contain diarylheptanoids, a plant metabolite chemically similar to curcumin. This may suggest support for healthy liver function as a potential benefit of this herb. (1)
7. Asoka (Saraca asoca)
The bark of the Asoka tree has been used for thousands of years as a reproductive tonic. Studies have recently confirmed the presence of quercetin, beta-sitosterol, and luteolin, phytoestrogens that support healthy hormonal function during the transition of menopause. (30)
In a recent animal study, Asoka bark was shown to provide a balancing effect on artificially-elevated estrogen levels. (31) This suggests what Ayurveda calls “herbal intelligence.” This is similar to Shatavari, which can support the healthy production of estrogen and progesterone as needed, rather than only one.
Ayurvedic Herbal Makeup