Alternative Therapies

Menopause Supplements

St. John’s Wort: It can help to boost low mood and treat mild depression. It is particularly good at restoring lost interest in sex.

Black Cohosh: This herb can help to overcome some of the menopause symptoms that are due to a lowering of estrogen levels.

Blackcurrant Leaves: Blackcurrant leaves are an effective treatment for hot sweats.

Horsetail: Horsetail is a useful herbal remedy if you are prone to night sweats.

Dandelion: The humble dandelion is a powerful diuretic and can be used to help reduce fluid retention.

Evening Primrose Oil: It can be useful in the treatment of breast pain, menopause symptoms, dry skin and lackluster hair.

Source: Vyas, B. 1999. Simply Radiant. London, U.K.: Thorsons.

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The Anti-Aging Promise of Chromium

Taking chromium supplements may help:

  • Lower insulin levels
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Raise good-type HDL cholesterol
  • Discourage artery-clogging and heart disease
  • Lower bad-type cholesterol
  • Normalize blood sugar
  • Reduce risk of adult-onset diabetes
  • Thwart cancer growth
  • Boost immune functioning
  • Increase energy
  • Increase lean body mass
  • Rev up production of anti-aging hormone DHEA
  • Extend life

Source: Stop Aging Now by Jean Carper (p.89)

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Chinese Herbs and Formulas for Fibroids

Here are some Chinese herbs and formulas said to help fibroids or their symptoms:

  • Cinnamon and Hoelen F.: for painful fibroids or cramps
  • Cinnamon and Persica: for fibroids
  • Cinnamon and Bulrush C.: for fibroids or heavy bleeding
  • Blue Citrus: for fibroids
  • Yun Nan Bai Yao: to control bleeding
  • Chih-ko and Curcuma C.: for fibroids and other tumors

Skilling, J. 2006. Fibroids: The Complete Guide to Taking Charge of Your Physical, Emotional and Sexual Well-Being. New York, N.Y.: Marlowe and Company. (p.159)

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Sore Muscles? Try tart cherry juice.

“Sipping two 10-ounce glasses of this highly anti-inflammatory drink may be enough to ease the damage you did in yesterday’s spin class. A 2010 study showed that when runners downed a glass of cherry juice twice daily for a week before a race, they reported 67 percent less postexercise pain than those who didn’t drink it.”

Goldman, L. (2014). Nature’s First Aid Kit. Oprah Magazine

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Restless Leg Syndrome: Beneficial Herbs

California poppy with corydalis: Corydalis Formula. Take as directed on the label. (Stops muscle spasms; relieves pain; induces sleep)

Kava Kava: Kavapyrone tablets: Take 60-120 mg daily. (Relaxes skeletal muscles; sedates the central nervous system)

Passionflower: Tea bags. Take 1 cup 2-3 hours before bedtime. (Induces muscle relaxation and sleepiness.)

Rooibos: Tea bags. Take as directed on the label. (Reduces spasms and induces sleep. Also stops generalized inflammation and pain)

Schisandra: Tincture. Take 1 tsp (4 mL) in 1/4 cup water 3 times daily.

Valerian: Valepotriate tablets. Take 50-100 mg on an empty stomach 1 hour before bedtime. (Sedates muscles; reduces time required to fall asleep)

Balch, P. 2012. Prescription for Herbal Healing. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books.

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Hypnotherapy for Fibromyalgia

“The healing powers of hypnotherapy, in which a licensed hypnotherapist guides your mind to a highly focused mental state while easing your body into deep relaxation, are impressive, with studies showing its ability to significantly decrease pain levels and reduce painkiller use…some brain imaging studies suggest it reduces activity in areas of the brain that process pain. Patients in one study reported relief that lasted for three months after just eight one-hour sessions.” (p. 47)

Oz, M. (2013). New Ways to Conquer Chronic Pain. Oprah Magazine, 14(7), 46-47.

Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

“Also known as curly or curled dock and rumex, yellow dock has a long history of use by European and American herbalists who most frequently prescribed the medicinal root for what they called obstinate skin ailments – eczema, ringworm, and scabies among others. (One of yellow dock’s primary ingredients, rumicin, is believed to destroy parasites.) Yellow dock is an alternative that nourishes and supports the liver, gallbladder, and colon (it is also prescribed for constipation), and is a fine astringent and blood tonic that cools and detoxifies blood. Available in dried herb, capsule, and tincture forms, yellow dock is frequently prescribed for internal use to treat acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin ailments with chronic irritation.” (p. 35)

Caution: Excessive use of yellow dock can cause nausea.

Siegal, M. and Burke, N. 1999. Herbs for Health and Happiness. Alexandria, V.A.: Time Life Books.

The History of Feverfew


“In the first century AD, the Greek physician Dioscorides wrote about the use of feverfew in the text De Materia Medica; he described it as an herb appropriate for all hot inflammations. In the early twentieth century, feverfew was widely prescribed in England as an analgesic for the treatment of arthritis, but then its popularity waned. In the last two decades, the herb has enjoyed a resurgence in use, due in part to its approval by Canadian and British government agencies for migraine therapy.” (p. 270).

Ulene, A. 2000. Dr Art Ulene’s Complete Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs. New York, N.Y.: Avery.