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Looking for a greener, gentler approach to easing menopause symptoms? Here are five natural remedies that can help make life with menopause a little easier...

The term ‘natural’ is possibly one of the most over-used words in the English language, particularly when it comes to health products. But what do we mean when we describe a remedy as natural and how can we tell if a product really is natural? Let’s start with a definition: the active ingredient of a natural remedy should come from a natural source –plants or minerals, for example – and involve minimal processing.

A frequently quoted survey in 2005-6 indicated that, when it comes to tackling menopause symptoms, 95 per cent of women in the UK would prefer to try alternative therapies, including natural remedies, before taking HRT. However, that was in the light of reports at the time on the possible risks of HRT – and thinking on HRT has moved on since then. Nevertheless for many women who are struggling with menopausal symptoms, HRT may not be an option either for medical reasons, such as a personal or family history of breast cancer, or because they prefer not to take medication.

In this article, we’re taking a look at a range of natural remedies and products that offer a gentler, greener approach to easing particular symptoms or to supporting you generally during menopause. As you’ll see, several of them are aromatherapy-based, incorporating essential oils that have been used effectively for centuries to treat, ease and soothe a wide range of symptoms, conditions and particular times during life, such as menopause.

If you would like to know more about aromatherapy, we recommend The Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless. It’s a great guide to 165 essential oils and how to use them, which will help you to choose oils that are most suitable for your menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, stress and anxiety, insomnia, or mood swings.

1) Badger Focus Balm – Natural remedy to help poor concentration during menopause

This is a particularly frustrating menopausal symptom and it can make things hard at work, so we were delighted to see that Badger, famous for all manner of wonderful balms, had brought out Focus Balm. It a blend of essential oils such as lemon, rosemary and grapefruit, as well as ginger, flower extracts, Vitamin E, olive oil and cardamom oil. You can rub it onto your forehead and pulse points for a soothing effect, or breathe it in for improved concentration, focus, memory and clarity.

2) Menomagic – Natural remedy to cool menopausal skin (and much more)

‘Recommending to all my friends and deeply grateful for a non-chemical natural option.’ Live Better With customer.

Developed by a reflexologist for his mother, who was going through menopause, Menomagic is an all-purpose cream that you can use day and night. It’s a combination of organic essential oils: peppermint, rose geranium, clary sage and lavender - and it’s paraben free. Menomagic can help to cool your skin round the clock; it also acts as a skin moisturiser, and it can help you relax and sleep more soundly.

 It’s certainly popular with our customers, who have found it very effective in reducing symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. You can read more about the Menomagic story here.

3) Organic Surge – Natural remedy for dry and sensitive menopausal skin (and ideal for vegans!)

Our skin texture can change quite dramatically as we go through menopause, becoming much drier and far more sensitive. If this has happened to you, try Organic Surge Intensive Moisturiser. It’s a face cream packed full of natural humectants - water-rich ingredients that mimic skin sweat, and that work by hydrating the skin. It also contains organic rose geranium oil, which helps skin balance and can lift a dull complexion, and aloe vera to repair, sooth and moisturise.

Ingredients include coconut, grape seed, karite and almond extracts, as well as may chang essential oil, which has a citrus fragrance and is used to ease fatigue, lethargy and mental fogginess. What’s more Organic Surge Moisturiser has impeccable eco-credentials! It’s certified by ECOCERT Greenlife; 99% of the total ingredients are of natural origin, and 62% are organically farmed. It’s cruelty-free and contains no animal products so it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

4) YES – Natural remedy for vulval and vaginal dryness during menopause

'The applicators are so easy to use and the gentle and soothing formula has helped me SO much - I have my life back!' Live Better With customer

Over half of all women between the ages of 51 and 60 experience vaginal dryness, as do many younger women. It’s uncomfortable and distressing, and can make sexual intimacy difficult. Despite the fact that it is such a common symptom of menopause, it is often overlooked – a recent primetime TV programme on menopause omitted any mention of vaginal dryness – and women are often reluctant to discuss it with their GP.

That’s why we – and many healthcare professionals - recommend Yes Water-Based Organic Vaginal Moisturising Gel and Applicators, part of the world's first Soil Association certified organic range of intimate moisturisers and lubricants. The applicators are easy to use, and the moisturising gel, which contains aloe vera, is hormone free and hypoallergenic, specially formulated to reduce itching and burning caused by vulval dryness.

If you are experiencing pain with vulval and vaginal dryness, do consult your GP, to check if you have a specific medical condition, such as lichen sclerosus – it’s important to have a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Read Live Better With articles on vaginal dryness and atrophy here.

5) MacaPause – General natural remedy for every aspect of menopause

It’s always reassuring when there is firm evidence to show that a natural remedy is effective. That’s certainly the case with Femmenessence MacaPause tablets - a blend of vitamins and nutrients clinically proven to reduce menopausal side effects, including hot flashes, night sweats, low energy, libido changes, weight gain, sleep problems, and mood changes. It’s a plant-based supplement, made from organic maca root and comes highly recommended by our menopause expert, Maryon Stewart, and other menopause specialists.

In clinical trials, 8 out of 10 women reported that MacaPause eased their menopausal symptoms and it is now the world’s most successful herbal product for treating menopause symptoms. It has also been shown to support bone and heart health, so you may want to continue taking MacaPause even when are out the other side of menopause. It’s great for post-menopausal hair, skin and nails too!

Read more about maca root here.

Do consult you GP before taking any supplements, to make sure that won’t interact with any medication you're on, or affect any existing conditions you may have. Please note that MacaPause is not suitable if you are pregnant or taking hormone-suppressing drugs, for example, as part of cancer treatment.

Visit the Live Better With Menopause Community Forum for information, advice, and tips, and to share your own questions and suggestions.

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