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What Are the Different Types of Herbal Estrogen Replacement?

Because herbs are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the strength of herbal estrogen replacement supplements is not standardized in the United States.
Herbal estrogen replacement formulas can be found in capsule form.
A menopausal woman should consult her physician before taking herbal estrogen supplements.
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  • Written By: Lumara Lee
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2014
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Women entering menopause often experience discomfort caused by various symptoms as their estrogen levels decrease. These symptoms are sometimes so severe that a woman will visit her doctor to seek relief. Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) was the treatment of choice for many women until studies showed that ERT increased their chances for getting breast or endometrial cancer. Many women now turn to herbal estrogen replacement therapy. Some of the herbs commonly used for this therapy include dong quai, black cohosh, vitex chasteberry, and red clover.

These herbs contain phytoestrogens and isoflavones, which are naturally occurring hormones in some plants. Ingesting these herbs helps to replenish the estrogen that is lost during menopause. This is turn can ease the discomfort of hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and the myriad other symptoms that a woman undergoing menopause may experience. Phytoestrogens can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. They can also strengthen the heart and reduce the chances that a woman will develop osteoporosis.

Dong quai has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to treat health disorders in women. It is frequently used as an herbal estrogen replacement because it reduces hot flashes and lubricates the vagina, which can become dry during menopause. Dong quai also has a sedative effect, which is beneficial for women undergoing mood swings. It contains vitamins A, B12, and E, which can boost the immune system. A strong immune system can minimize menopausal symptoms.

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Black cohosh is another popular herbal estrogen replacement because it contains a high amount of isoflavones, compounds that mimic estrogen in the body when ingested. This herb has been used for many years to treat both menstrual and menopausal symptoms. Black cohosh can help regulate the body temperature to reduce hot flashes and night sweats, and is also effective for decreasing the mood swings, heart palpitations, insomnia, and depression that afflict some women during menopause.

Vitex chasteberry is often used as an estrogen replacement. Unlike dong quai and black cohosh, vitex doesn’t provide plant estrogens. Instead, it stimulates the pituitary gland to bring female hormones into balance, reducing or eliminating menopausal discomfort.

Red clover is another popular ingredient in herbal estrogen replacement formulas that has been used for hundreds of years for menopausal symptoms. Its high content of phytoestrogens and isoflavones helps reduce hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and vaginal dryness. Herbal estrogen formulas containing these and others herbs can be found in capsules, extracts, and teas, offering women many options to choose from.

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turquoise
Post 3

@burcidi-- I like chasteberry extract, it really works. But I agree with you that just because something is natural, it doesn't mean it's safe. Everyone has to decide for themselves.

burcidi
Post 2

I think herbal hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of cancer as well. Why else would my doctor tell me to avoid herbal products?

I'm in menopause and I have a cyst in my right breast. It's benign but I have to have a check-up and mammogram every six months to make sure it's not turning malignant. I was having a lot of hot flashes last year and asked my doctor if I can take black cohosh. She told me that it's better not to because she's not sure how it would affect my cyst.

literally45
Post 1

Some herbal teas naturally contain estrogen. The ones I know of and use are lemonbalm and sage. I have a cup or two every night and get a good night's sleep. If I don't get any estrogen, I stay up all night. These teas also reduce my hot flashes and mood swings.

I like lemonbalm more than sage because sage increases blood pressure. Lemonbalm doesn't affect blood pressure and it's very relaxing. It makes me sleepy, so it's perfect. I recommend it for those looking for natural estrogen replacement, but make sure to ask your doctor first.

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