I am delighted to have been invited to talk to the women at Kyra’s ‘Pause for Menopause’ group about the role of herbal medicine in the management of menopausal symptoms. Kyra supports local women to make positive changes to their lives and offers a wide range of activities and support. Visit http://www.kyra.org.uk/ to view their events. Whilst the menopause can be a significant time of transition in a women’s life, it is often seen as a negative medical condition. Whist many symptoms are distressing and cause inconvenience, rethinking the menopause may help the transition. Herbalist Susun Weed provides advice on re-thinking the menopause in her book ‘New Menopausal Years; Wise Woman Ways’, and Maryon Stewart others advice on how to manage the menopause naturally in her book, ‘The Natural Menopause Plan’. Australian Bush Flower Remedy ‘Woman Essence’, is blended to harmonise any imbalances during menstruation and menopause, supporting transition. Herbal medicine can provide some relief from symptoms, such as hot flashes. These are thought to be caused by declining estrogen levels and phytoestrogenic herbs such as Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare) and sage (Salvia) boost declining estrogen levels. Night sweats commonly accompany hot flashes and can be managed by herbs such as Ziziphus. Anxiety and palpitations are also experienced by some women, so gentle heart tonics such as Leonurus or Motherwort, and Melissa or Lemon Balm for anxiety can help. For aching joints Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemose) and Devil’s claw or Harpagophytum can be useful. Black cohosh is also used to managed hot flashes. In addition to herbal remedies, good nutrition and bone support is essential as estrogen declines. Lamberts offer Osteguard and Osteguard Advance, providing additional calcium, magnesium and Vitamins D and K. Nettle tea (Urtica dioica) can also help strengthen bones as it contains vitamins A, C, K and B; minerals including iron and calcium and polyphenols which also help protect against cell damage. Lamberts also have a formula designed specifically for menopausal women called FEMA45 which contains a range of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. If you are taking medication it is important to consult a qualified Medical Herbalist before taking herbs. A herbalist will be able to formulate a bespoke prescription to address your symptoms and needs to help you transition through the menopause. The prescription designed for you will be adjusted and revised according to your changing needs and progress.