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The practice of Chinese medicine has its foundation in the balance of yin and yang. As we age, it is normal for this balance to shift, especially during menopause. When our bodies are weak or imbalanced, the transition through menopause results in more severe and long-lasting symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, anxiety, dryness, mood swings, migraines, and general discomfort can be overwhelming for many women. To fight these symptoms, Chinese medicine focuses on reestablishing the body’s natural balance.
The most common imbalance during menopause is a lack of yin. Yin provides nourishment to the body, but naturally declines as we age. When yin is too deficient, we experience issues like brittle hair and nails, dry skin, vaginal dryness, wrinkles, excessive aging, insomnia, anxiety, anger, and more. Chinese medicine recognizes and nourishes yin to maintain a healthy balance.
Many people think of irritability when they think of menopause, but this transition can have a wide range of effects on our mental health. Menopause can also trigger anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
Menopause occurs when menstrual cycles stop, but reproductive issues can continue past the menopausal years. Vaginal dryness, pain, and irritation are common, as are issues with uterine fibroids or abdominal pain. Chinese medicine supports the entire reproductive system during and post-menopause to ensure genitourinary health.
The Kidney is the core source of yin and yang for the whole body, especially the reproductive system. Through aging, the Kidney’s resources wane and imbalances in yin and yang occur. A wide range of symptoms and health conditions can result.
The Liver is in charge of regulating the menstrual cycle and managing hormone balance. During menopause, any weaknesses or imbalances in the Liver system will show up as symptoms. Common Liver-related symptoms include depression, anger, hair loss, and pain.
Addressing menopause symptoms takes a whole-body approach. Lifestyle and habits have great power when it comes to reducing the fluctuations of adjusting hormones. Acupuncture is a common treatment for issues like hot flashes, weight gain, and irritability. Diet can play a big part in managing metabolism, temperature balance, and mood. Chinese medicine recommends adjusting the diet to balance out your constitution. Exercise is also recommended to combat stress and maintain a healthy weight during hormone shifts.
The most powerful way to combat menopause symptoms is with herbal medicine. Healing the body from the inside out with an herbal formula directly impacts the body’s yin-yang balance, soothes the organs, and provides daily support and nourishment. Many herbal formulas are aimed at rebuilding the body’s yin resources to keep hot flashes, night sweats, and dryness at bay. In some cases, however, the problem rests more with an imbalance in yang. These formulas work to boost yang and prevent sluggish metabolism, lethargy, depression, and water retention.
Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan: Addresses Liver qi stagnation w/heat signs and is most often associated with treating PMS, dysregulated menses, and peri-menopausal/menopausal presentations.
Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan: Addresses Kidney Yin deficiency symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia.
Da Bu Yin Wan: Addresses night sweats (accompanied by hot flashes and insomnia) associated with menopause. Use also for “steaming bones” disorder.
Qing Gu Wan: Another formula that addresses excess deficiency heat manifesting as “steaming bones” syndrome
The following are important herbs used in our popular formulas for men’s health conditions:
Shu di huang/ Rhemannia root (wine-fried): Shu di huang is a tonifying root that is used to deeply nourish yin. This herb helps to improve hot flashes and sleep disturbance.
Shan zhu yu/ Cornus fruit: Shan zhu yu is a sour and cooling herb that works to nourish yin while also reducing excess heat in the body. It is a common addition to formulas that focus on hot flashes and night sweats.
Mu Dan Pi / Tree Peony cortex: a bitter, cooling herb that disperses heat and cools the blood and is a commonly used herb for hot flashes, night sweats, and “steaming bones”.
You don’t have to suffer through menopause. With the help of Chinese medicine, this transition can be a comfortable and enlightening experience for all women. Shop our collection of Chinese herbal formulas dedicated to menopause relief.