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Your body is already under stress just going through menopause. There are many herbs for menopause that help with stress.
Stress and menopause can wreak havoc in your body. Stress involves our fight-or-flight response. When your body prepares to flee, it brings blood to the places that will help it do that – your heart and the large muscles in your legs, for instance.
It shuts down the systems it won't need for running, like your digestive system. The problem is, our stresses today aren't like the ones our body is designed for. A lot of stresses today we deal with differently.
The result is, while our body is prepared to run for it's life, we sit down to dinner.
What happens? There are no digestive juices secreted, so your food doesn't get broken down as well, you absorb less nutrients and possibly have indigestion or some other symptom. For some herbs that will help with this, see menopause and digestion.
Nervines are herbs that can help your body relax. Some will affect your mind as well, some will just relax the body while leaving your mental state alone.
Some are very mild, others are for people who may be more stuck in the stressed out mode. Some are better for daytime, others will help you sleep. People generally find one or two they like better than the others. I prefer vervain and skullcap most of the time. Some people do really well with chamomile.
Some of the best herbs for menopause and stress
Borage Borage is a plant with beautiful blue flowers. It is best as an infusion. You can take ¼ – 1 oz per day of dried leaves. Borage is high in calcium and magnesium. It is calming and soothing; good for the blues. It's also good for people who've been under long-term stress. It softens the heart on an energetic level. It can be helpful when trying to reduce your sugar intake.
Blue Vervain Vervain (Verbena hastata or lasiostachys) is one of my favorite relaxing herbs for menopause. It is slightly bitter. It is nicely relaxing and can be quite sedating at higher doses. It can bring on sleep, and settle a nervous stomach. Dosage is 25-40 drops as needed. Don't take in pregnancy, with liver disease or low blood pressure.
Bugleweed Bugleweed (Lycopus) is taken as a fresh plant tincture, 15-30 drops 3 – 5 times per day. It can slow an elevated thyroid. It is also good for panic attacks.
Chamomile Chamomile (Matrocaria) is a good daily sedative. You can drink as many cups as you like of tea.
Ginsengs are excellent herbs for menopause stress.
Hops (Humulus) is very bitter. You can take 30-90 drops as needed of the tincture. It will slow you down during the day and settle your stomach. Two to four freeze-dried capsules will put most people to sleep. Don't take if you have depression.
Lavender Lavender (Lavendula) flowers can be used as tea. It is good for grieving and as a mild antidepressant.
Motherwort has its own page. It has become one of my favorite herbs. I use it to de-stress, and to help me get to sleep and stay asleep. It is also nourishing to your heart.
Oatstraw (Avena) is a good herbal tonic for stress. You can use the tincture of seeds, 10-30 drops five times/day, for people beyond their stress edge. Oatstraw tincture is helpful for people who tend to be thin or wiry, who move quickly. If you use the infusion, you will get the benefit of the minerals as well. Oatstraw is high in magnesium, chromium and calcium. To read more about oatstraw as an infusion, see natural-remedies-for-menopause.
Passionflower (Passiflora) is a good nervine for people with a stocky, muscular build. The leaves can prolong the REM phase of sleep. Don't take it if you have nightmares. You can take the fresh tincture, 30-90 drops 3 times/day. It can lower blood pressure slightly. It will relax your muscles and help with insomnia for people who work and worry too much. Don't take with low blood pressure.
Scullcap (Scutellaria) is very relaxing to the muscles, without being sedating. It can increase mental clarity, while decreasing superficial nerve pain. Works well for sciatica, shingles. Use the fresh tincture, 5-60 drops 3 times/day. Don't take with pharmaceutical depressants.
Stream Orchid (Epipactus) is another of my very favorite remedies. It is nicely relaxing when you have that wired but tired feeling, like you know you should relax but your body won't let go. When there is a sense of feeling a little fragile. Stream orchid can sedate your nervous system while gently starting to stimulate it, which it needs after being stressed-out for so long. It is very hard to find.
Valerian (Valeriana) will relax your muscles and slow your mind. 20-30 drops as needed or right before bed. Can also help with anxiety. Don't use daily; it can become a dependency.