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Ashwagandha for Menopause Relief: Benefits and Uses

ashwaganda menopause Doctor Kay Bloom

Ever heard of Ashwagandha?


5 years ago, I hadn't!


This ancient herb is an evergreen shrub found in parts of India, Africa, and the Middle East. It’s often called Indian Ginseng.


Ashwagandha has been a medicinal plant for thousands of years, especially in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.


Is there any scientific truth to claims that it's beneficial for menopause and perimenopause symptoms?


Let's find out!


 


 


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Ashwagandha contains several bioactive compounds, including a group of substances known as withanolides.


Withanolides are far from simple fluff jargon; they are naturally occurring steroids credited with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, beneficial for the treatment of menopause symptoms.

And which are the best Ashwagandha supplements?


Let's find out!



ashwaganda menopause hot flashes

A brief glimpse of menopause and its symptoms

Menopause is the phase of life marking the end of menstrual cycles (woohoo!), leading to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone for a woman (uh oh!).


The subsequent hormonal changes may lead to symptoms such as hot flashes, hot flushes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.


While most women don't officially enter menopause until their early 50's (the average is 52 years), pre-menopause (perimenopause) can begin as early as your late 30's.


This early stage of menopause can last over eight years! (Most women experience 3-5 years of perimenopause)


Here at LifeBloom we are dedicated menopause coaches and advocates who research to get the best treatments and care available for you.


We don't want you to survive your menopause but actively encourage and support you to thrive!

 



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Ashwagandha: A Historical Perspective

Tracing its roots (quite literally!), Ashwagandha finds itself imprinted in the annals of history as a harbinger of holistic healing.


 

The history and origin of Ashwagandha

For over 3,000 years in India, Ashwagandha has been considered a cornerstone of Ayurveda medicine. The name means "smell of the horse," indicating its extraordinary power and strength.


In the Vedas, India's ancient scriptures, Ashwagandha was celebrated as a "Rasayana," a herb that promotes longevity and vitality. It was a revered elixir for its rejuvenating properties, believed to balance life energies and harmonize the body, mind, and spirit.


The herb was also used to treat a variety of ailments, from stress and anxiety to inflammation and insomnia, showcasing its versatile healing properties.

Historically, its use was not confined to medicinal purposes alone. Ashwagandha also held a crucial place in spiritual and ceremonial practices.



 

Traditional uses in Ayurvedic medicine

Traditionally, Ashwagandha was used to rejuvenate and revitalize.


It was believed to impart the strength and vigor of a horse to those who consumed it. This powerful imagery aligns with how it can invigorate our bodies during menopause.


In the traditional Ayurvedic system, Ashwagandha was a cornerstone used to rejuvenate and revitalize the body and mind. It was often prescribed to strengthen the immune system, enhance stamina, and combat the effects of aging.


The ancient practitioners valued Ashwagandha for its ability to enhance ‘Ojas’ – the subtle essence that's responsible for life, radiant health, and longevity.


It was also used as a nerve tonic to improve mental health, enhance clarity of thought, and promote a calm and stable mood – benefits that align perfectly with the needs of women undergoing menopause.

 

 


LifeBloom Menopause Masterclass Dr. Kay Bloom





Understanding Adaptogens and Menopause

Adaptogens are nature's answer to stress, and menopause is undeniably a stressful time.

 



What are adaptogens, and how do they work?


Adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha, help the body to increase its resistance to all kinds of stressors.


They act like a thermostat, normalizing our body's reactions to stress and returning us to a balanced state.

Adaptogens, coined in 1947 by Russian scientist N.V. Lazarev, are nature's ingenious response to stress. These unique herbs, including Ashwagandha, can help the body adapt to physical, chemical, or biological stressors.


They work by modulating the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, helping the body maintain an optimal balance during stressful times.

Adaptogens stand out for their ability to normalize bodily functions. Unlike other substances that might stimulate or inhibit specific functions, adaptogens enhance the body's resistance to stress without disturbing its natural balance.


This makes them particularly beneficial during menopause, a period characterized by significant hormonal changes and stress.

 

 



The role of Ashwagandha as an adaptogen in menopause


During menopause, our bodies undergo a significant hormonal upheaval, often leading to a cascade of physical and emotional symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.  


Ashwagandha steps in as a stress-balancer, helping to mitigate the rollercoaster of hormones and emotions.


Think of it as a calming agent in the storm of menopause.

Scientific research has begun to uncover how Ashwagandha achieves this balance. Its active components, such as withanolides, have been shown to help regulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays a critical role in stress response and hormonal regulation.


By modulating this axis, Ashwagandha helps in reducing stress and anxiety, common issues during menopause, and, in turn, easing other menopausal symptoms.

 




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Ashwagandha and Hormonal Balance

Hormonal balance is critical during menopause, and Ashwagandha can be a key player in achieving it.

 


How Ashwagandha helps in maintaining hormonal equilibrium during menopause

Ashwagandha works by modulating the stress hormone cortisol.


High cortisol levels can exacerbate menopausal symptoms.


By regulating this hormone, Ashwagandha helps in easing symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.


 

Impact on common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings

Hot flashes can feel like an unending battle.


Through personal experience and testimonials from many women in my LifeBloom courses, Ashwagandha has shown to significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, bringing much-needed relief.

 

 






Stress Management with Ashwagandha

Managing stress is crucial during menopause, and Ashwagandha offers a natural way to do it.

 


Ashwagandha's role in reducing stress and anxiety during menopause

As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha directly impacts our body's stress response system.


It helps in managing anxiety and stress, common companions of menopause, making this journey more manageable.

 


The effect on cortisol levels and emotional well-being

By regulating cortisol levels, Ashwagandha helps reduce physical symptoms and improves our emotional well-being.


It's like having a shield against the emotional upheavals that often accompany menopause.

 

 






Cognitive Benefits of Ashwagandha During Menopause

Menopause can fog our brains, but Ashwagandha helps clear the mist.



Addressing memory lapses and brain fog

One of the lesser-known menopausal symptoms is cognitive decline.


Ashwagandha has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, which can be a boon during menopause.



 

Neuroprotective effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha's neuroprotective properties help enhance cognitive functions and protect the brain from degeneration, a concern for many as we age.







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Boosting Energy and Vitality

Ready to get the pep back in your step?



Combatting Fatigue Associated with Menopause

Let's face it, ladies, menopause can leave us feeling like we've run a marathon every day.


This is where Ashwagandha steps in as a natural energy booster.


During my own menopausal journey, I discovered that incorporating this herb significantly reduced my fatigue.


Ashwagandha supports adrenal function, combating the adrenal fatigue often associated with hormonal changes. It's not just about feeling less tired; it's about regaining that zest for life.

 



How Ashwagandha Enhances Overall Energy Levels

Ashwagandha doesn't just fight fatigue; it enhances overall energy levels, fostering a sense of well-being.


This is crucial for us, especially when balancing work, family, and personal growth.


Studies have shown that Ashwagandha improves physical performance and endurance, vital for keeping up with our busy lives.

Imagine not just surviving but thriving through menopause!

 

 






Scientific Evidence: Ashwagandha in Menopause

 


Overview of Clinical Trials and Studies

The science behind Ashwagandha is as compelling as its history.


Clinical trials and studies have begun to unveil its efficacy in menopausal symptom relief.


For instance, a study in the Alternative Medicine Review surveyed 56 research publications on Ashwaganda and reported encouraging results (read more here). It has even been reported that Ashwaganda has positive results with many neurological and psychological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ischemic stroke, sleep deprivation, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (read more here)


This isn't just folklore; it's evidence-based effectiveness.

 



Effectiveness of Ashwagandha in Improving Menopausal Symptoms

These studies aren't just numbers and data; they're a testament to the real relief experienced by women like us.


Research indicates Ashwagandha's potential in balancing hormones, reducing hot flashes, and improving sleep quality.


This herb isn't just a supplement; it's a scientifically backed ally in our menopausal journey.

 




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Different Forms of Ashwagandha Consumption

 


Tea, Tinctures, Capsules, and Powders

Ashwagandha comes in various forms - tea, tinctures, capsules, and powders.


Each has its own advantages.


Personally, I enjoy the ritual of brewing Ashwagandha tea, a calming practice in itself.


On days when I don't have time for tea, capsules and powders offer convenience and dosage accuracy, which are critical for consistent benefits.


Here are our recommendations: tea, capsules, powder.

 


How to Choose the Right Form for Your Needs

Choosing the right form depends on your lifestyle and preferences.


If you're always on the go, capsules might be your best bet.


If you enjoy integrating herbs into your meals, powders are versatile and easy to use.


Listen to your body and choose what resonates with you.

 

 






Potential Side Effects and Precautions

 


Understanding the Safety Profile of Ashwagandha

While Ashwagandha is generally safe, it's crucial to understand its safety profile.


In some cases, it can cause mild side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort.


I emphasize the importance of moderation and listening to your body. Always consult with your trusted healthcare provider.



 

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.


Remember, the path to wellness is about holistic care and informed choices.

 

 







What’s Next?

 

I encourage you to consider Ashwagandha as part of a holistic approach to menopause.


Combined with lifestyle changes and informed choices, it can significantly improve your quality of life.


For those seeking more guidance, the LifeBloom Menopause Masterclass offers comprehensive support and knowledge, empowering you through this transition.


Remember, knowledge is power. It's key to flourishing during menopause, not just surviving.

 




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Ashwagandha FAQs

 


Does ashwagandha help with menopause?

Yes, ashwagandha can be beneficial for menopause. Many women find that ashwagandha helps alleviate some common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and stress. Its adaptogenic properties aid in balancing hormones and managing stress levels, making it a popular choice for menopausal support.

 


What is the best medicine for menopause?

The best medicine for menopause varies for each individual, depending on their symptoms and overall health. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is commonly prescribed, but natural supplements like ashwagandha, black cohosh, and soy isoflavones are also considered effective. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to find the best option for your specific needs.


 


What is the best thing for menopause?

The best approach to managing menopause is a holistic one, incorporating a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and possibly supplements or medications. Natural herbs like ashwagandha have been found effective in managing symptoms like hot flashes and mood imbalances.

 

What supplements are good for menopause?

Apart from ashwagandha, other supplements beneficial for menopause include black cohosh, which can help with hot flashes, vitamin D and calcium for bone health, and omega-3 fatty acids for heart health. Each of these supplements addresses specific aspects of menopausal health.


 


What are the top 3 vitamins for menopause?

The top 3 vitamins for menopause are:

 

  • Vitamin D: Essential for bone health and immune function.

  • Vitamin B12: Important for maintaining energy levels and cognitive function.

  • Vitamin E: Known for its antioxidant properties and potential to alleviate hot flashes.

 


What vitamin do you lack during menopause?

During menopause, many women may experience a deficiency in Vitamin D. This vitamin is crucial for bone health, which is especially important as the risk for osteoporosis increases after menopause. Ensuring adequate Vitamin D intake is essential for overall health during this phase. Find your comprehensive menopause article here and download our free menopause guidebook.

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