Sage and Menopause
If you grow sage in the garden or in a pot on the windowsill, and if the sun is shining brightly, look closely at the leaves—sometimes you can see little beads of moisture, an indication that sage can help with hot flashes and night sweats.
The Latin name for sage is salvia, a derivative of salvus, meaning “healthy.” In ancient times, it was used as a cure-all.
Unbeknownst to the people who used it then, it’s an antibacterial and can help with a wide range of bacterial infections. It was used for many different ailments. In the middle ages, monks used it to boost concentration, focus and memory—it’s no coincidence that “sage” is a synonym for “wise.”
How does sage work?
We have a tiny gland in the brain called the hypothalamus, which is a bit like your body’s thermostat, just like the one you have in the hall. If your thermostat goes haywire on you, then the central heating can go on and off erratically. It might get too hot or too cold, or it might not even go on at all. And we know that during perimenopause and menopause, the hypothalamus can get really stressed by all the hormonal and other changes the body goes through.
Once your hypothalamus goes off-kilter, your body just can’t regulate its temperature properly, so you might find yourself getting hot very quickly, which makes you sweat. You might then find that you cool down very quickly. This is all part and parcel of the way hormones can interfere with something like the hypothalamus.
Sage helps to retune it and get it back into balance. Sage is great because it’s one of those herbs that works quickly, and most women will see a difference within two to three days, if not sooner, once they start taking it. The bonus: you can take it for as long as you want to.
It’s not hormonal, which means that in perimenopause, if you’re getting hot flashes and night sweats, you can still take it, even if you’re taking contraceptives. It also means that during menopause, if you’re on HRT and the HRT is not quite preventing hot flashes or night sweats, you can take sage at the same time. A remedy for hot flashes and night sweats.
We have a natural remedy called Menoforce®, which helps ease hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause and menopause.
Many people ask us, “How do I take it?” It’s quite a strong tablet, so you need only one a day. If you’re just getting hot flashes during the day, you can take it with breakfast. If you’re getting night sweats or evening sweats or flashes, you can take it at dinnertime. And if you get both hot flashes and night sweats, then we recommend taking it with your evening meal, because based on the feedback we’ve received, Menoforce® can reduce night sweats, which will help you sleep better. And when you sleep better, your body is much more able to cope with symptoms the following day.
Vitex Agnus castus
The benefits of Vitex Agnus castus (or chaste tree) have been known for centuries. In fact, it is said that in Ancient Greece, soldiers heading off to war made sure that their wives took Vitex Agnus castus, in the misguided belief that it would keep them from wanting to run away with other men. Unfortunately, in a lot of the stories we hear about those ancient times, it didn’t work very well for that purpose.
In the middle ages, men used to take it. Because one thing it does is to help lower testosterone, it was given to monks to keep them from having naughty thoughts while writing in the dark.
What is Vitex Agnus Castus used for and what does it do?
During perimenopause, as you start the approach to menopause, the way your hormones fall will sometimes give you certain symptoms. For those of you getting your periods closer together—they might be getting longer, there might be less of a gap between them—if you’re experiencing cramping, breast tenderness, food cravings and bloating, it’s often an indication that your progesterone levels are falling while estrogen is staying high.
And this is where Vitex Agnus castus comes in, because it helps to just very gently raise your progesterone levels. I should mention that Vitex can take two to three cycles to start having an effect. If your flow is really heavy, Vitex Agnus castus won’t help. If your symptoms are severe, you really should go see your doctor.
Vitex Agnus castus and contraceptives
Because Vitex Agnus castus works to boost hormone production, you can’t take it with contraceptives. Moreover, it’s only helpful while your ovaries are still working—if your periods have stopped, then Vitex Agnus castus isn’t going to help you during menopause.