Ease Past Menopause Naturally

Menopause is normally a natural phase in a woman's life when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. Typically spanning a period of years sometime between the ages of 45 and 55, menopause also marks declining fertility. (x.23)

Symptoms of Menopause

As ovarian estrogen production slows to a stop, menstruation eventually stops too. Before menstrual periods ends completely they may become irregular. But this is not the only physical sign of menopause and lower estrogen levels. Other symptoms of menopause and post-menopause can include: (x.22-2485)

Did you know menopause could be the cause of your insomnia? Try drinking a cup of hot milk mixed with a bit of dried cardamom, ginger, and turmeric right before bedtime. Ayurvedic experts suggest it promotes sound sleep. (x.80)

Menopause also increases the risks of breast cancer and certain chronic conditions, such as metabolic syndrome diseases and osteoporosis. (x.2385)

Menopause and Heart Disease

Menopause and the phase of life after menopause are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Many physiological markers that contribute to different cardiovascular conditions are found in menopausal women, including: (x.1423)

Some of the factors that may explain this increased risk are also linked to the reduced estrogen production. Loss of estrogen increases fatty acid levels, which increases susceptibility to metabolic syndrome (including insulin resistance). Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing other conditions within the syndrome, including heart disease(x.142386)

Menopause and Osteoporosis

Menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by loss of bone mineral density. Normally, bones constantly turn over their cells. This process carefully regulates the activity of osteoclast bone cells that break down bone. (x.23)

Changes at the cellular level during menopause can detrimentally affect bone activity. For example, studies show the following contribute to the development and progression of osteoporosis: (x.23)

  • Estrogen levels: Estrogen helps protect bone by reducing osteoclasts and their activity. Reduced levels of estrogen in menopause means the loss of that protection.
  • Inflammatory proteins: Increased levels of inflammatory cytokine proteins (such as TNF-α) stimulate osteoclast activity.
  • Hormonal changes: In addition to estrogen loss, high levels of follicle stimulating hormone during menopause promote higher osteoclast activity and inflammatory protein levels.

Menopause and Breast Cancer

Menopause has been associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, according to some researchers. Studies also suggest that being overweight as an adult increases a woman's risk of breast cancer after menopause. (x.1785)

How Can Turmeric Help?

Optimally the adrenal glands should produce enough estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone to keep hormones balanced as ovaries stop producing during menopause. However, factors such as stress, environmental chemicals that behave like estrogen in the body, and unhealthy body weight can all cause hormone imbalances. (x.24)

Hormone Balance

Research suggests that turmeric and its compounds can help keep hormones balanced in a variety of ways. Turmeric is considered an estrogen agonist. It also helps maintain or improve the ratio of beneficial estrogen metabolites to more reactive forms of estrogen that are linked to disease. This means turmeric can help promote healthy estrogen levels and activity, and help stave off many of the symptoms of menopause associated with loss of estrogen. (x.22)

Menopause Symptom Relief

Turmeric also contains compounds that may relieve menopausal symptoms. For example, did you know turmeric contains both vitamin C and vitamin E? Both vitamins stimulate the adrenal gland to produce hormones and reportedly reduce hot flashes. Vitamin C also has anti-osteoporosis effects. (x.2332)

Reduce Risk of Disease

Speaking of osteoporosis and increased risk of disease associated with menopause, turmeric and its compounds could help reduce many of them. For example, studies show that turmeric and its compounds can help maintain heart health and have cancer-fighting effects. (x.1486)

Specific Turmeric Compounds that Can Help



Table X.14: Turmeric Compounds that Could Reduce Risks and Symptoms of Menopause

Turmeric Form or Compound

What It Does

Alpha-linolenic acid (x.32)

Caffeic acid (x.31)

Curcumin

Ferulic acid (x.44)

Folate (x.30)

  • Ratio of "good" estrogen metabolites to potentially harmful forms. (x.24)

Limonene (x.31)

Magnesium (x.30)

Myricetin (x.46)

Quercetin (x.46)

Resveratrol (x.49)

ρ-coumaric (x.31)

Vanillic acid (x.31)

Vitamin C (x.32)

  • Heart health(x.1492)
  • Osteoblasts and osteoclast activity, which slows down bone turnover and reduces bone loss. (x.23)

Vitamin E (x.32)

Turmeric (whole)

Turmeric volatile oil

Turmerones (x.31)

Clinical Studies

Clinical Trial
Table X.15: Clinical Effects of Turmeric During and Post-Menopause

Turmeric Form/Compound

Study Details

Take Away Point

Topical Herbal Formulas Containing Turmeric

Post-menopausal women may be at greater risk of vaginal infection and vaginitis because of lower estrogen levels. Studies show topical herbal gels and creams relieve symptoms and can cure infection. (x.1225)

Turmeric can help relieve the symptoms of and treat vaginitis.

Curcumin

150 mg/day

Results of a clinical trial suggest that combining curcumin with moderate exercise could help reduce the increased risk of heart disease after menopause. The study involved 45 postmenopausal women, and was randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled. (x.697)

Curcumin and exercise together had significantly better effects than those women who took the placebo in reducing aortic systolic blood pressure and heart rate. As an added benefit, the women in the study also showed some weight loss(x.6)

Turmeric's curcumin compounds could help reduce the risks of heart disease and weight gain in woman after menopause.

Curcumin

150 mg/day

In a clinical trial in healthy postmenopausal women, a daily dose of the turmeric compound or regular exercise for 8 weeks significantly: (x.98)

32 women participated in the study. They were divided into 3 groups of 10-11 women each, and assigned to either take curcumin or placebo or to engage in aerobic exercise more than 3 days per week. (x.98)

At the end of the study, participants were walking medium intensity for 40-45 minutes a day 4 to 5 days a week. (x.6)
Neither the researchers nor the trial participants knew who was taking placebo and who was taking curcumin until after the trial was completed. This is a method of avoiding bias in scientific studies. (x.97)
Elettaria cardamomum(ii.15)
Zingiber officinale(ii.15)

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