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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

Japanese Medicine Supplements And Menopause
By:Dawn Olsen

If you were told that Japanese women suffer up to 80% less menopause symptoms than other women in the world would you wonder why? You bet you would! Well, this is true. For thousands of years, Japanese woman have gone through the menopausal years much easier than other women have. They do not have the same degree of symptoms as other women and when faced with symptoms, they know exactly what to do to make them stop. Well, if you have entered the early menopausal years, having monthly periods light, heavy, or infrequent, coupled with things like night sweats, moodiness, and hot sweats, chances are you are eager to learn the secret. In this article, we will address Japanese medicine and supplements, and menopause!

One of the most popular types of Japanese medicine and supplements for menopause is Black Cohosh. In addition to being used in Asian, Black Cohosh is also very widely used in Europe. While this particular herb helps with many menopausal symptoms, it is most beneficial in treating hot flashes and night sweats. Typically, doctors will recommend you not take this herb for longer than six months since some preliminary studies show that Black Cohosh when taken long-term could increase the risk of endometrial cancer.

While Black Cohosh is certainly beneficial, the most popular type of Japanese medicine and supplements for menopause is soy. The reason is that soy contains phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like substances. When you go through menopause, the body stops producing estrogen. With this, you will start to have irregular menstrual cycles, which could mean heavier or lighter periods, or longer or shorter periods. By taking soy, the body’s low estrogen levels can be replaced but naturally.

Japanese women will consume soy or soy products on a daily basis. The interesting thing about this is that only 35% of women in this country complain of menopause symptoms. Because of this, researchers have taken notice and over the years, have been trying to determine first, if there is in fact a connection and two, just how that connection works. While soy is considered a perfectly normal Japanese medicine and supplement for menopause, for women in other countries they should start slowly by incorporating soymilk and/or tofu into the diet. Then over several weeks, increase the amount of soy being consumed until you reach between 40 and 80mg of these isoflavones each day. The result should be a noticeable improvement in the menopausal symptoms.

Okay, so what other Japanese medicines and supplements are for menopause? Japanese arrowroot is another type of isoflavones that includes daidzin, daidzein, genistein, and puerarin. These chemicals are extracted from kudzu and in the past few years, the chemicals have been carefully studies to determine what effect on the body they have. What these studies have shown is that arrowroot helps reduce inflammation and relieving muscle pain. Since women going through menopause often deal with joint and muscle pain, arrowroot is just one more tool in the toolbox so to speak in fighting against these types of symptoms.

Keep in mind that the isoflavones in kudzu is actually a part of a larger group of chemicals – phytoestrogens. Just as with soy, these natural chemicals replace lost estrogen, which provides relief for hot flashes, night sweats, and even helps fight against bone loss associated with menopause that can cause osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. In fact, although not really understood, some experts now believe phytoestrogens can help with mood swings. Just remember that phytoestrogens foods, herbs, and spices have been used for thousands of years, safely. However, this type of Japanese medicine and supplement for menopause should be used only in low doses to prevent further imbalances within the body.

Next on the list of Japanese medicines and supplements for menopause is Dong Quai, which has been shown to be highly beneficial for menopause symptoms. In fact, recent studies show that symptoms are reduced by as much as 30% in women taking Dong Quai. This herb acts like an estrogen but contains B vitamins, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory factors, and even some progesterone-like substances that help with menopausal symptoms. Japanese women commonly use ginseng, which has normal hormonal qualities. Ginseng helps with hot flashes, night sweats, and can even help with mood swings. Finally, if you are having trouble with anxiety, depression, and insomnia, Kava Kava is an excellent solution.

Dawn Olsen

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