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Benefit: Black cohosh is derived from a species of buttercup. Studies indicate it is effective in many women but for short-term treatment only. May lower blood pressure as well. In rare cases, hepatitis has been reported.
Benefit: Soy has isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). Some studies have shown that soy be effective in reducing menopausal symptoms. It also may lower cholesterol. Only food forms of soy, like tofu and soy milk, are recommended. Soy in tablet or powder form is not advised.
REMEDY: FLAXSEED, GROUND OR OIL
SYMPTOM: Night Sweats, Tissue Dryness
Benefit: Flaxseed has omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which act as phytoestrogens. May ease menopause symptoms in some women; not others. Believed good for lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation. Avoid whole flaxseed because it is difficult to digest.
Benefit: Vitamin E oil applied to the vagina helps improve lubrication and may also reduce hot flashes.
Reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, March 2005.
Thacker, MD, chief of Women's Health, The
Cleveland Clinic. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. Joan Starker, PhD, MSW. Nancy Fugate
Woods, PhD, RN, University of Washington. The Cleveland Clinic. The Journal of
Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine. Sunil Wimalawansa, MD, PhD, University
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