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Stress and Menopause Seem to Go Together

There is a class of herbs that work specifically to help you with stress and menopause.  They are known collectively as ginseng.  They grow all over the world and have been used by many groups of people for hundreds and thousands of years.

The Ginsengs

There are many plants in the ginseng family and related families.  I will talk mostly about Panax ginseng (THE ginseng in Chinese medicine), and Eleuthrococcus senticosus (eleuthro for short), which used to be known as Siberian ginseng, which is not a ginseng at all, but exhibits many of the same properties.

American ginseng – Panax quinquefolius, has different actions and is significantly less potent than the Chinese panax, according to Stephen Fulder, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality.

Panax ginseng has been used in China and Asia for thousands of years, and is their most highly prized herb.  The roots get stronger as the plant gets older.  Most ginsengs on the market today are farmed, not wild.  Wild American ginseng is on United Plant Saver's At-Risk list.

Panax ginseng and eleuthrococcus are known (and have numerous studies that prove) for enhancing the body's stress response.  Under stress, it will help you to have more energy, stamina, alertness and focus.  The ginsengs may lower blood pressure if it is caused by stress.  It can also enhance your mental energy and will. It can stabilize blood sugar.  The ginsengs can work really well for stress and menopause.

The best part of this is, the ginsengs have none of the effects of stimulants.  Stimulants will stimulate the body regardless of it's state, which can cause harm when overused or used inappropriately.  This does not happen with the ginsengs (although there are conditions under which they should not be used).  General stimulants can exhaust the adrenals; the ginsengs nourish and restore the adrenals.

Even if you think you don't have much stress, going through menopause is stressful to the body, all by itself.  Hormones are shifting, which causes tissues and organs to change and function differently.  All of this is stressful to your body.

Ginsengs are best taken by simply chewing the root, or making a decoction and drinking.  Panax ginseng is considered more heating and stimulating than eleuthrococcus.  It is also a lot more expensive.


When my OMD (Oriental Medicine Doctor) prescribed eleuthro he advised me not to drink coffee while I was taking it because some people find they get overstimulated when they take both.

Do not take ginseng if you have a fever or any acute illness.  If you are taking blood pressure medication or insulin, don't take ginseng.  People who have high energy or are nervous or tense should not take ginseng.

Here are a few high quality brands.

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