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Natural remedies

Menopause Oasis
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We are often asked which "natural" remedies we recommend. Since we are not doctors and we can only go by what we have personally experienced and what has been shared by other women who visit our board we hesitate to be very explicit on this topic. But, here is some information based on our experiences and some that I have gleaned from other informational sites! 
 
Please do not get caught up in the word "natural".  You need to understand that no product that has been altered and put into a pill or capsule form by man is truly 'natural' any longer. Much of it may be very close to 'natural' but some of it is not!

 
Hot Flashes
Mood swings and anxiety
Breast tenderness
Headaches
OTC Products
Vitamins
Minerals, Botanicals, etc.
Foods that increase estrogen levels

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Hot Flashes:   ~~ for more, in depth, coverage of this topic please visit our 'Hot Flashes' page ~~
• Vitamin E (400 IUs) morning and evening along with Citrus Bioflavonoids (1200 mg).
• Vitamins B5 and B6 are both good for hot flashes and other symptoms. A B-complex vitamin should also be taken to prevent the other B vitamins from becoming imbalanced.
• Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Flaxseed Oil are sources of essential fatty acids that help with many of the symptoms of menopause
• Black cohosh (a phytoestrogen)
• Chasteberry (a phytoestrogen)
 
A discussion of various supplements and medications used for 'treating' hot flashes begins on page 13 of this on-line booklet produced by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) titled 'The Changing Body'You will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to read this PDF.

Mood swings and anxiety:
• Vitamin B-6: (50 mg) 2x per day - anti-depressant (never more than 100mg / day)
• Vitamin B complex 50 - anti-depressant
• Inositol (500 mg): Vitamin B8 - Nature’s own tranquilizer
• L-Tyrosine (500 mg) 1 tablet per day - anti-depressant
• L-Taurine (500 mg) 1-2 tablets per day): - anti-anxiety

Also useful for relaxation are Hops and passion flower.

Breast Tenderness:
• Flaxseed oil
• Chasteberry (a phytoestrogen)
• Evening Primrose Oil -- helps to normalize the fat levels in your tissues making them less sensitive to circulating hormones
• Borage Oil -- helps to normalize the fat levels in your tissues making them less sensitive to circulating hormones
• Red clover/mint tea
• take a good multivitamin supplement that contains B complex vitamins, zinc, Vitamin E, magnesium and Vitamin C
• Large cabbage leaves wilted in hot water and applied (as warm as can be tolerated) as a poultice to the breasts.
Things to avoid:
• All caffeine
• Dairy products

Headaches:
A 'cocktail' of Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc is beneficial in staving off headahes. One taken daily may suffice, but it may be taken 3 times a day.
Magnesium (250mg) If taken when a headache begins may stop it in its tracks, or at least minimize it greatly. (This appears to work for both migraine and sinus type headaches equally well!) One is usually sufficient, but a second may be taken later if needed.

OTC Products:

• Estroven
• Healthy Woman
• New Phase
• Promensil
• Rejuvex
• Remifemin
• Wisdon Menopause Formula

 For information regarding the ingredients in these products click here!

Next is a fairly complete list of Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs etc.

Vitamins:

Vitamins A, D, E & K are fat soluable vitamins and should be taken with a meal that contains fat, or with milk.

Vitamin A (4000 IU per day): Vitamin A is required for night vision, and for a healthy skin. It assists the immune system, and because of its antioxidant properties is great to protect against pollution and cancer formation and other diseases. It also assists your sense of taste as well as helping the digestive and urinary tract and many believe that it helps slow aging. It is required for development and maintenance of the epithelial cells, in the mucus membranes, and your skin, and is important in the formation of bone and teeth, storage of fat and the synthesis of protein and glycogen.

Natural sources of Vitamin A:  fish liver oils, egg yolks, butter and cream, and dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables (especially carrots, asparagus, apricots, spinach, yellow squash, and sweet potatoes).

Vitamin B complex: (Complex 50, recommended) For energy, depression, essential for the maintenance of healthy nervous tissue. The B vitamins play a role in energy metabolism in the body. The contents of a B Complex 50 may vary by distributor, so be sure to check the label!  The B vitamins should be taken early in the day to avoid interference with sleep.

All *should* include:
Thiamin (B-1)
Riboflavin (B-2)
Niacin (B-3)
B-6
Folic Acid (B-9)
B-12
Biotin (B-7)
Pantothenic Acid (B-5)
50mg
50mg
50mg
50mg
400mcg
50mcg
50mcg
50mg

Some may or may not include:
Choline Bitartrate (B-4)
Inositol (B-8)
PABA (B-10)
50mg
50mg
50mg
Note: Be prepared to notice a "neon yellow" color to your urine when taking Vitamin B complex - it is a harmless side effect of the riboflavin (B-2).

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)
(50mg per day):
Thiamine may enhance circulation, helps with blood formation and the metabolism of carbohydrates. It may aid in digestion. It is also great for the brain and may help with depression and assist with memory and learning. In children it is required for growth and has shown some indication to assist in arthritis, cataracts as well as infertility.
 
Natural sources of Vitamin B1:  pork and other lean meats; enriched and fortified cereals; oatmeal, corn, nuts, beans, cauliflower and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) (50mg per day). Also known as Vitamin G: The body uses it to facilitates the use oxygen and in the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. It is also needed to activate vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), helps to create niacin and assists the adrenal gland. It may be used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration, and growth. It eases watery eye fatigue and may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cataracts. Vitamin B2 is required for the health of the mucus membranes in the digestive tract and helps with the absorption of iron and vitamin B6. Although it is needed for periods of rapid growth, it is also needed when protein intake is high, and is most beneficial to the skin, hair and nails.

Natural sources of Vitamin B2:  lean meats, fortified cereals, yogurt, milk, cheese, eggs, broccoli and spinach.   Because riboflavin is destroyed by exposure to light, foods that contain riboflavin should not be stored in glass containers that are exposed to light.

Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) (50 - 100mg per day): It is required for cell respiration, helps in the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, proper circulation and healthy skin, functioning of the nervous system, and normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. It is used in the synthesis of sex hormones, treating schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and as a memory-enhancer.

Natural sources of Vitamin B3:  fish (particularly mackerel and swordfish), chicken, veal, pork, salmon, milk, eggs, fortified cereals, avocados, and some nuts.

Vitamin B-4 (Choline) (50mg per day): Maintains condition of the liver and memory, and regulates cholesterol levels. It may assist in controlling weight as well. It aids in keeping cell membranes healthy and in preventing gallstones. It is also most useful in the maintenance of the nervous system, assisting memory and learning, and may help to fight infections, including hepatitis and AIDS. Choline is critical for normal membrane structure and function.

Natural sources of Vitamin B4:  fish (especially sardines) are a rich source along with eggs, liver, soy beans, peanuts, and other nuts.

Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic acid) (10 - 100mg per day): It plays an important role in the secretion of hormones, such as cortisone because of the role it plays in supporting the adrenal gland. These hormones assist the metabolism, help to fight allergies and are beneficial in the maintenance of healthy skin, muscles and nerves. Some are of the opinion that pantothenic acid is also helpful to fight wrinkles as well as graying of the hair.

Natural sources of Vitamin B5:  whole grains, beans, milk and eggs are considered excellent sources. Other sources include broccoli, cabbage, and white and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal) (50 mg) 2x per day: An excellent natural diuretic that aids in the removal of excess fluid of premenstrual and menopausal women. Works well as an anti-depressant. Necessary for the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Aids in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and in the formation of antibodies. Maintains the central nervous system promotes healthy skin. Reduces muscle spasms, leg cramps, hand numbness, nausea & stiffness of hands and helps maintain a proper balance of sodium & phosphorous in the body. (Do not exceed 100mg. per day! - it can lead to nerve damage!)

Natural sources of Vitamin B6:  best sources are meats, oily fish (especially tuna), poultry, legumes and leafy green vegetables. Other good sources include potatoes (with skins), avocados, watermelon, bananas, carrots, brewer's yeast and fortified cereals.

Vitamin B-7 (Biotin) (50 - 100 mcg per day). Also known as Vitamin H: It is necessary for both metabolism and growth in humans, its primary function of the vitamin is to regulate body processes that manufacture and break down fats, amino acids, and carbohydrates. It also aids in the prevention of hair loss among men. There have been suggestions that biotin may aid in alleviating muscle pain and depression, and relieving dermatitis.

Natural sources of Vitamin B7:  eggs, milk, mushrooms, bananas, tomatoes, whole-grain cereals, nuts, yeast, broccoli, potatoes (white and sweet) and lean beef.

Vitamin B-8 (Inositol) (500 mg): Dr. Robert Atkins once called it "nature's own tranquilizer". Two to four capsules/tablets daily, depending on stress level. Also necessary for the formation of lecithin; aids in the breakdown of fats, helps reduce blood cholesterol, and helps prevent thinning hair.

Natural sources of Vitamin B8:  nuts, beans, citrus fruit (especially cantaloupes and oranges), nuts, rice, veal, pork and wheat germ.

Vitamin B-9 (Folate/Folic Acid) (400-800 mcg. per day). (Also listed as Vitamin B11 and VitaminM): Your body needs this to produce red blood cells, as well as norepinephrine and seratonin (chemical components of the nervous system). Folic acid deficiency may cause poor growth, graying hair, inflammation of the tongue, mouth ulcers and diarrhea. Studies have found a correlation between low folate levels and higher rates of depression (although most data is from European/Caucasion populations). Some recent studies show that folic acid may help protect women and men from heart disease, cervical and colon cancer and possibly breast cancer.

Natural sources of Vitamin B9:  citrus fruits and juices, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, spinach, baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils contain folic acid. Flour, rice, pasta and cornmeal can also be important sources because they are often fortified with folic acid. Other good sources are brewer's yeast, barley, brown rice, cheese, chicken, dates, whole grains, salmon and tuna.

Vitamin B-10 (PABA para-aminobenzoic acid) (50 mg. Per day): It is increasingly used as a permanent skin protection against the damages caused by pollution and the sun. It also has alleged anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. This B-complex vitamin is important for the skin's growth and normal color.

Natural sources of Vitamin B10:  bran, kidney, liver, molasses, wheat germ, and yogurt.

Vitamin B-11 (see Vitamin B9)

Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobamin) (50mg. per day): It is needed in the manufacture and maintenance of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. It stimulates appetite, promotes growth and releases energy. It is often used with older people to give an energy boost, assist in preventing mental deterioration and helps with speeding up thought processes. Some people are also of the opinion that it helps with clearing up infections and provide protection against allergies and cancer. This vitamin is also used in the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Natural sources of Vitamin B12:  animal products such as meats, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and fish. Clams and oily fish such as tuna, cod and sardines are particularly high in B12. Most fortified cereals also contain high quantities of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B-13 (Orotic Acid) (no RDA has been established): It is primarily used for metabolization of folic acid and vitamin B12. It helps with the production of genetic material and may be beneficial after a heart attack. It is also used in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and chronic hepatitis.

Natural sources of Vitamin B13:  whey and root vegetables, such as beets, turnips, and carrots. Orotic acid is easily destroyed by water and sunlight.

Vitamin B-14: Very little is known about this; it might be similar to B10 and B11. Perhaps a substance isolated from wine that prevents cancer.

Vitamin B-15 (Pangamic acid): This has not been qualified as being essential to our diets. Very little is known about this ingredient and therefore our information is very sketchy. Until further research is available, be careful of supplements containing pangamic acid, calcium pangamate, DMG or B15.

Vitamin B-16: (Not much yet know about this one - being studied along with vitamin B17.)

Vitamin B-17 (Amygdalin) (also known as laetrile): Found in stones of apricots etc. Breaks down into poison cyanide. Sometimes called vitamin B17. This is used in the production of the proported cancer cure "Laetrile". It is NOT to be taken by the average person.

Vitamin C: From 1,000 to 10,000 mg. per day. Vitamin C is an excellent anti-oxidant and serves as a powerful protection against cancer as it wards off cancer cells. It's excellent for the skin. It's a water soluble vitamin. It is eliminated from your body in your urine, thus taking even 10,000 mg. of vitamin C cannot harm you.  However, it is not stored in the body and thus should be taken at 3-hour intervals or with meals.  It can act as a stimulant for some, so should be avoided at night.

Natural sources of Vitamin C:  citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mangos, etc.) are great sources of vitamin C, also many green vegetables (especially asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green peppers, and peas). Other good sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, potatoes and cabbage.

Vitamin D (Calciferol) (400 IU per day): Vitamin D helps with increasing the absorption of calcium, assists in bone growth and the integrity of bone and promotes strong teeth. It also helps regulate the amount of phosphorus in the body as well as assisting in a healthy heart and nervous system. In some recent studies it has also shown great promise in assisting psoriasis, the immune system, thyroid function as well as normal blood clotting. In old age the ability to produce the vitamin decreases, therefore, the need for longer exposure to sunlight increases and there is greater dependency on dietary sources for its intake.

Natural sources of Vitamin D: exposure to sunlight is the easiest way to build up stores of vitamin D. Exposing the face, hands and forearms for between 15-20 minutes two or three times per week allows most people to manufacture all the vitamin D they need.

Vitamin E: (Tocopherol) (200 IU's, 3-4 per day): It is a powerful antioxidant, protects your cells from oxidation, and neutralizes unstable free radicals, which can cause damage. It has been shown to be excellent for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, heart health, palpitations. Vitamin E is fat soluble and must be taken with food to be properly absorbed. If the 200 IU gelcaps are available you should take one capsule with each of your three meals and a 4th one at bedtime, with an apple or fruit before bedtime. If that dose is not available, take one 400 IU gelcap with breakfast and a second with your evening meal. The d-alpha tocopherol, or natural vitamin E, is recommended over dl-alpha-tocopherol, the commonly sold synthetic version. 600-800 IU's per day is adequate. Vitamin E should not be taken in large doses, especially in one dose. Warning: This is a good example of when "more is not always better."
** Before starting a vitamin E regimen, anyone with hypertension should consult their health care provider or nutritionist. Vitamin E has the potential side effect of raising blood pressure.

Natural sources of Vitamin E: vegetable oils (most notably wheat germ oil), sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, sunflower seeds and soybeans. Smaller amounts can be found in egg yolks and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin F (fatty acids) (100 - 150mg. per day): Its primary functions are to maintain the function and integrity of cell membranes, transport, breakdown and excrete cholesterol, and help form hemoglobin. Besides this, it also regulates oxygen use, blood pressure, and aids in the prevention allergies.

Natural sources of Vitamin F: avocados, meat and fish like salmon, trout, mackerel and tuna. May also be found in evening primrose oil, grape seed oil, flaxseed oil, and oils of grains, nuts and seeds, such as soybean, walnuts, sesame, and sunflower.

Vitamin G see Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin H see Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin K (Menadione) (65mg per day): It is used in the body to control blood clotting and is essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls the clotting. It is also involved in bone formation and repair. In the intestines it also assists in converting glucose to glycogen, this can then be stored in the liver. There are some indications that Vitamin K may decrease the incidence or severity of osteoporosis and slow bone loss.

Natural sources of Vitamin K: canola oil, soybean oil, and green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage and turnip greens) are the best sources of vitamin K. It can also be found in milk, eggs, beef liver, bran and citrus fruits.

Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone) (65 - 80 mg. per day): This level that can be achieved without supplementation by eating green leafy vegetables. Like vitamin K, this vitamin facilitates calcium in coagulation of blood and bone formation. Vitamin K1 is an even more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E and coenzyme Q10.

Natural sources of Vitamin K1: green leafy vegetables, cheese and liver. It is also found in asparagus, coffee, bacon and green tea.

Vitamin M see Vitamin B (Folic Acid)

Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids) (500mg. per day): These are are not, strictly speaking, a vitamin, but for easy classification they are listed as a vitamin. Bioflavonoids enhance the action and absorption of Vitamin C and for this reason they should be taken together. Bioflavonoids are effectively used in the treatment of sport injuries as they are pain relieving. They may also be used in relieving pain in the legs, across the back and can lessen the symptoms of prolonged bleeding, a low serum calcium as well as oral herpes.

Natural sources of Vitamin P: the white membrane just beneath citrus peel, as well as in peppers, grapes, pine bark, onions, garlic, blue and red berries, green tea as well as buckwheat.

Minerals, Botanicals, OTCs, etc.!

Aspirin:One aspirin tablet per day (1/2 a regular dose) as a natural anti-coagulant. Antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of any serious vascular event by about one quarter; risk of non-fatal heart attack by one third, non-fatal stroke by one quarter, and vascular death by one sixth. Low dose aspirin (75-150 mg daily) seemed to be as effective as higher doses for long term use. If heart attack symptoms occur, take one aspirin immediately as it can make the difference between life and death.

Black cohosh:  (200 - 250 mg. per day). a hormone precursor and some find it excellent for treating menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Black cohosh is said to relieve vasomotor symptoms and depression. Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) has been valued by many societies, including the American Indians, for its nutritional support of the female reproductive system. Remifemin is a popular brand, but you can use standardized black cohosh and get the same effects at a lower cost. Some women can't tolerate the estrogenic or stronger herbs, such as Dong Quai and Black Cohosh, which can be beneficial to many women in menopause as they are estrogen and progesterone precursors.  Now, in 2007, it is being reported that this herb may not actually have estrogenic qualities. But this is not yet a "known" fact, so do be careful and talk with your doctor before using it if you have problems with estrogen.

Calcium and Vitamin D: (200 IU). Perimenopausal women require 1,250 mg. and postmenopausal women, 1,500 mg. per day to retain bone mass and provide bone strength and protection from osteoporosis. A study by The National Institute on Aging has found that postmenopausal women with too little vitamin D in their diets have an increased risk of hip fracture - so be sure your Calcium is combined with Vitamin D.    Calcium is best used by the body at night and can actually help you sleep better.  It also needs magnesium to facilitate its best use.

Chamomile: An excellent relaxant for the nervous system and menopause-related anxiety. Helpful for a number of disorders ranging from the common cold and flu to insomnia, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, nerves, and drug withdrawal. Chamomile contains the amino acid tryptophan. The plant also contains flavonoids.

Chaste berry (Vitex): Chaste tree berry extract is a source of phytoestrogens, and a popular herb among women who need extra support during premenstrual and menstrual cycles. Chaste Berry Extract is particularly beneficial for premenstrual stress syndrome.

Citrus Bioflavonoids: 1200 mg of bioflavonoids taken in the morning and again before bedtime (especially if taken in conjunction with Vitamin E) has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

CO Q10 - Coenzyme Q-10 capsules: 50 mg, (2 per day). Another anti-oxidant against free radicals (the garbage in our society.. pollutants, preservatives, etc.) said to improve energy utilization and keep the body's functions running "in tune" and excellent for maintaining heart health.

Cranberry (fruit or juice): Is excellent in preventing and soothing urinary tract infections/inflammations.

Dong Quai: Helpful for various menopausal complaints. Good for hot flashes, natural estrogen, hormone balancer, nerves, spasms. Dong quai is a hormone precursors and helps some women with anxiety and night sweats.

EPO or Evening Primrose Oil: excellent for hot flashes, breast tenderness, other menopausal and PMS symptoms. A rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), has recently been touted as being helpful for a number of women's conditions, including PMS, menopausal symptoms, and dysmenorrhea.

Feverfew: For reducing pain of migraines associated with perimenopause. Dilates peripheral bloods vessels helping high blood pressure. Used for migraine headaches, menstrual discomforts and digestive disorders.

Fresh Flaxseed and/or Flaxseed Oil softgel (organically grown): Flax is good for your heart, for maintaining healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, one of the "good fats" our bodies need, has anti-carcinogenic properties to protect us from various forms of cancer.

Garlic or odorless garlic tablets: Coated tablet containing 100 mg. specially processed garlic (Allium Sativum) which is equivalent to 300 mg. fresh garlic from natural garlic cloves. Immune System/Circulatory System. Used in all lung ailments, for high and low blood pressure, parasites, fungal and bacterial infections, headaches and nervous disorders. Classification: Aromatic herb. Warm energy. Excellent source of chromium, phosphorus, selenium and thiamine. Garlic is a member of the family that includes onions, leeks, and shallots, is native to Europe and Central Asia. An old Welsh saying goes, "Eat leeks in March and wild garlic in May, And all the year after physicians may play." Olympic athletes in ancient Greece chewed a clove at the start of a competition, believing it increased their stamina. Garlic's strong odor is due mostly to a sulfide called allicin. Garlic is a source of selenium, which must be present in the body for proper immune response and which acts as an antioxidant in combination with vitamin E.

Genistein and Daidzein: These are soy isoflavones which are a type of phytoestrogen which have the ability to bind to estrogen receptor (ER) sites inside the human body. If estrogen levels are low, as is often the case with menopausal women, they can have mild pro-estrogenic effects, engaging many receptors which otherwise would have no estrogen reception at all. But because these isoflavones act as adaptogens they can lower estrogen levels in premenopausal women, which can be beneficial in cases of estrogen dominance.

Ginger: Can be helpful in reducing the nausea assocatied with perimenopause and PMS. Another anti-nausea solution is drinking hot water with lots of lemon.

Ginkgo Biloba:60 mg.(2-3 per day). It's great when you remember to take it! Improves circulation to cold hands and feet and to treat depression. Is helpful for menopausal "brain fog." Be sure, as with all other herbs, it's 24% "standardized."

Warning: Ginkgo Biloba, can increase the effects of prescription blood thinners. If you're using an anti-coagulant, consult your health care provider before using this herb.

Ginseng - Korean (Panax): Energy, longevity, age spots, nerve tonic.

Ginseng - Siberian: Helps the body respond more quickly to stress. Stimulates the adrenal, pancreas and pituitary glands to lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Used for anemia, impotence, insomnia, diarrhea, low energy, increasing endurance, weak digestion and failing memory.

Ginseng - Wild American: Energy, longevity, age spots, nerve tonic. American ginseng is considered to have more cooling properties than its Asian counterparts.

Warning: With all the excellent benefits ginseng provides, not many mention that it has the potential to elevate blood pressure, especially in those predisposed to hypertension. In addition, Ginseng, can increase sugar levels, which can be dangerous to diabetics.

Glusosamine Sulfate: 500 mg. A nutrient for connective tissue and joint integrity. Glucosamine is a building block for the connective tissues and other cementing materials that pack the cells together. Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate may be used for rheumatic/arthritic issues.

Kava Kava: 150 mg. (as needed). Herb for anxiety, but be careful not to overdo this one. Has been found to cause liver problems if taken in large doses. Also, if you're using prescription sedatives, anti-depressants or tranquilizers, do not use kava kava simultaneously. It can have serious side effects.

L-Carnitine: 500 mg. (1 tablet per day). Can be beneficial in both losing weight and maintaining weight loss. No chemicals - no gimmicks, just natural amino acids. L-carnitine is absolutely necessary for the transport of long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, the metabolic furnaces of the cells. Fatty acids are the major sources for production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, structures that are particularly vulnerable to L-carnitine deficiency.

L-Taurine: 500 mg. (1-2 tablets per day). A specialized amino acid which is an ion and pH buffer in the heart, skeletal muscles and central nervous system -- good for the anxiety of menopause. Taurine is also a potent antioxidant and antitoxin, and in these roles is particularly important to the liver and immune system.

L-Tyrosine: 500 mg. (1 tablet per day). Tyrosine has been found to play a role in controlling depression. Possible uses of tyrosine may be to control appetite and fatigue. It is also suggested that tyrosine may help with allergies and headaches. This amino acid aids in the production of melanin (pigment of the skin and hair) and in the production of the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands.

Magnesium: 500 mg. (1-2 per day). You can take one or two 500 mg. tablets of magnesium daily as needed for palpitations or migraine, even for anxiety and depression. Magnesium is necessary for the absorption of calcium by the cells and is essential for proper nerve, heart and muscle function. It also plays a role in the transmission of hormones and is required for over 300 enzyme reactions.

Melatonin: taken occasionally for insomnia. 0.03 mg. Remember that Melatonin, like DHEA, is a "hormone." albeit natural, and should be used sparingly. Can be very helpful for sleep problems.

Pantethene: 300 mg. (2-3 tablets, 2-3x per day). Pantethene and Pantothenic acid are excellent aids for lowering cholesterol. Participates in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein, aids in the utilization of vitamins, improves the body's resistance to stress. Helps in cell building and the development of the central nervous system. Helps the adrenal glands, fights infections by building antibodies.

St. John's Wort capsules (1-2 per day or as needed): 0.3% hypericin (300 mg); helps improve mild to moderate depression, which is commonly complained about during menopause. SJW has been used and researched (documented studies) successfully for hundreds of years in other countries and is being touted as nature's Prozac.

St. John's Wort should not be used by anyone using a prescribed anti-depressant. One must also be aware of the blood thinning function of this product.

Selenium: 200 mcg. per day. Selenium is an anti-oxidant and anti-cancer mineral. Selenium and vitamin E facilitate each other's absorption, so take them together. Vitamin C may interfere with the absorption of some forms of selenium so take them separately. Avoid doses above 400 mcg. per day.

Soy Lecithin granules: 1-3 Tbsp in juice per day. A natural emulsifier, excellent for lowering cholesterol and source of soy. Lecithin goes into your blood stream, and the granules attach themselves to the fat in your arteries and absorbs it.

Valerian Root: Can be useful in treating anxiety, and in some cases insomnia, which are common perimenopause and PMS symptoms.

Zinc: 15 - 25mg. per day. It helps strengthen the immune system. It assists in the production of thymulin -- a substance which helps make mature T-cells, some of the body's strongest defenders against infections and cancer. It has been shown that the immune system weakens with age, and zinc deficiency may be partly to blame. Zinc also plays a role in maintaining vision. In particular, it's needed for night vision and it may also slow the progression of macular degeneration, a disorder of the retina that is the leading cause of severe loss of vision in older women. Together with the B vitamins, zinc assists in the utilization of insulin and glucose. There is a growing body of evidence to indicate that zinc is needed for the proper maintenance of vitamin E levels in the blood and aids in the absorption of vitamin A.

For those who are directed to avoid estrogen (for medical purposes) by your doctor ~~~

The following supplements are "phytoestrogens". Sometimes called precursor estrogens. Please ask your doctor about them before beginning to take any of them as a supplement!

Alfalfa
Black Cohosh (this one is now, 2007, in question)
Chaste berry
Dong quai
Flax seed (flax seed oil)
Korean ginseng
Kudzu root
Licorice
Red clover
Soy isoflavones (ALL soy products!)
Wild American ginseng

Please note: many of the foods we eat regularly contain some phytoestrogens. Continuing to eat those foods is probably perfectly safe. Just don't suddenly add a lot of them to your diet in the hopes of beating hot flashes or other 'menopausal' signs and symptoms!

 
Some of the foods you can eat to increase your 'natural' levels of estrogen are:

Beans - soy, split peas, millet, lentils, lima beans, chickpeas, black eyed peas, navy beans, red beans, mung bean sprouts.
Grains and Seeds - barley, brown rice, oats, flax seeds (crushed), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, wheat.
Veggies - celery, beets, bok choy, broccolli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, peas, cucumbers, garlic, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, seaweeds of all kinds, squash, yams, corn, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, soy sprouts.
Fruits - apples, cherries, pears, papaya, plums, prunes, olives and olive oil.
Herbs - ginger, hops, oregano, red raspberry, sage, thyme, tumeric, cloves.
 
 
All are important sources of natural estrogens and as you can imagine they are loaded with vitamins, fiber and minerals essential not only for menopause, but to maintain an overall good health.
 
If you are looking for a "quick estrogen fix" without alot of prep work, try juicing. It is a fast, easy, way to get quick results because the raw juice reaches the cellular level within 15 minutes.

In my search for the various foods that contain phytoestrogens I was able to find some very informative Web sites that actually list the 'amount of' phytoestrogen in each of those foods.  Rather than try to duplicate the information provided there I am going to give you the links to follow.  As you will be able to see when you visit them - they don't exactly agree! But then they all do have their own "agenda" to push!!
http://www.healthilluminationproducts.com/page/1505749 http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/phytoestrogen.php
http://www.hss.edu/files/Soy_Phytoestrogens.pdf

I was also able to find one site that lists the natural herbs that contain phytoestrogens:
http://www.anniesremedy.com/chart.php?prop_ID=82

Due to the fact that each manufacturer of the supplements we can find in store uses its own formulary I think finding a list that would show the level of phytoestrogen in each of them might be near to impossible - and if one were found it would be an extremely large list!!