While current medical practice views menopause as if it were an age-related disease, in actuality, it is a natural and inevitable transition from one stage of life to another. While some women experience uncomfortable symptoms reflecting the body’s changing hormonal balance, others experience few or none. In fact, in some societies, where aging is more readily accepted and lifestyles are more natural, menopausal symptoms are generally non-existent.
In our culture, where uncomfortable symptoms of menopause are common, indications can include mood changes, depression, insomnia, irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and a diminished sexual drive. Serious health concerns related to these hormonal changes include an increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, osteoporosis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Part of the natural approach to menopause is accepting it as a normal and healthy stage of life. It should not be considered an “estrogen deficiency” and medicated away through hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It is clear that there are health risks with HRT and it is a relief that this kind of medication is now being used much more cautiously. Modern pharmaceutical medicine took a big blow in 2004 after research found that HRT does not protect from heart disease, is only marginally effective for treating osteoporosis and may cause heart disease, breast cancer and strokes.
Most smart women are voluntarily coming off of their HRT but unfortunately, all their doctors have to give them are sedatives for the insomnia, pain relievers for the headaches and blood pressure meds for the hot flashes—and of course, there are anti-depressants for everything else.
Homeopathy is the safest treatment before, during, and after menopause because it stimulates the natural hormonal balance without the use of harmful drugs. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is best during the transitional period of menopause in order to balance hormonal levels and cure the many accompanying symptoms. You cannot address the complexity of these symptoms as separate from the whole individual; for this reason true classical homeopathic prescribing is highly recommended for the treatment of menopause.
Homeopathic remedies for the menopausal woman are individualized based on her specific symptom picture, moods and reactions to stress etc. Some of the remedies most commonly used during menopause are Lachesis, Pulsatilla and Sepia along with many others including sarcodes such as Folliculinum and Oophorinum. These remedies are each well known by their unique particular symptom picture, personality and body type.
Pulsatilla can help the woman with the ‘Pulsatilla’ constitution, and her menopausal time is no different. Her temperament leads you to the remedy; sweet, pleasing, changeable, and weepy, but always better from consolation and company. Typically fair and slightly plump, and already sensitive to warm or stuffy rooms, she desires the open air even more during her hot flushes.
Many homeopathically minded people “think” Lachesis (which is a microdose of highly diluted snake venom) when we hear the word menopause. Why has Lachesis been so linked with the change of life? Perhaps, women going through the change of life are like snakes shedding their skins, an intense transition, putting them through many changes. The flushes of heat and great circulatory disturbances, heart palpitations and congestive headaches of Lachesis fit the intensity of what many women go through in the extremes of hormonal changes. Those needing Lachesis may also become greatly talkative and some develop an aversion to wearing anything the least constricting around the neck and waist. Sleep brings on an aggravation and they may awaken to waves of bursting headache or heat surges. Anxious, angry, suspicious, jealous or hateful thoughts may enter the mind and they cannot hold back cutting or sarcastic remarks meant to hurt another.
A menopausal Sepia woman is worn-out, indifferent to her family, sulky, has an aversion to sex and may experience a dragging or bearing down sensation in the uterus, feeling like she has to cross her legs to hold it all in, yet she is better from vigorous exercise. She also has hot flashes and sweating, though they are not as aggravated by heat as the previously mentioned remedies. Sepia types can actually be chilly in the midst of the sweating and this remedy is known to help backache and pains extending to the back.
The sarcode, Folliculinum (made homeopathically from an ovarian follicle), has proven to be a wonderful remedy around menopause and can be used inter-currently with a constitutional remedy. Folliculinum may help and actually prevent the wide range of the hormonal symptoms associated with menopause. Another sarcode which can be very useful with menopausal symptoms is Oophorinum (made from the ovary) and supports ovary gland function.