Sex and menopause: Natural ingredients for a successful approach to the situation
Women’s health has very particular features. One of the most notorious are the cyclical hormonal changes that occur during the reproductive phase of life. Adolescence and menopause are also special stages. These fluctuations not only affect the body, but also alter the quality of life. In this article we will review the effects of some plant extracts that help to restore it.
How to alleviate menopause symptoms
When the menopause begins, women enter a stage that can last for several years. During this transitional period, she is more vulnerable to certain physical and mental problems. The progressive decline in the production of ovarian hormones generates changes in the gynaecological sphere, but also affects the rest of the person.
Hormone therapies, whose possible side-effects give cause for concern, have an alternative in plant extracts. They provide comfort and help to alleviate these symptoms when administered in the form of natural supplements
Dry extract of black cohosh root
The triterpenoid glycosides in this root appear to have a positive effect on attenuating symptoms such as sweating, hot flushes, anxiety and nervousness. In one study, the intensity and frequency of these symptoms were assessed before and after administration of 40 milligrams of the extract daily for twelve weeks. A high percentage of patients showed improvement and none dropped out of the study due to adverse effects. (1)
Sage and Melissa
There is some evidence that rosmarinic acid in the Dry extracts of these plants is beneficial in reducing hot flushes. In a placebo-controlled trial, sage extract was administered and improvement was observed in this symptom, as well as in insomnia and fatigue. The MRS menopause rating scale was used, and the rate was reduced by 39%. The conclusion was that there was a positive outcome on somatic and psychological symptoms. (2)
Dry extract of red clover leaves
This plant contains isoflavones, which appear to offer benefits for hot flushes and blood pressure. A systematic review of 68 articles and 95 abstracts was conducted and the results indicated positive effects. Slowing of bone mineral density loss in the lumbar spine and better glycaemic control were also observed. (3)
Dry extract of valerian root
Valerian has long been used to relieve insomnia and anxiety. One trial involved menopausal women who were divided into three groups. Valerian capsules were given to the first group and passionflower capsules to the second. The third group received instructions for better sleep hygiene. Two scales were used to measure the results, which indicated that valerian was the most suitable for reducing sleep difficulties in menopause (4)
The importance of regulating women’s hormonal health
Throughout the fertile period, women are subject to hormonal cycles which alter their libido and reduce their vitality. In addition, fatigue due to family, social and work demands can also be the cause of these alterations. Regulating the impact of hormonal fluctuations can be made easier by turning to the medicinal herbs that have been traditionally used.
Dry extract of damiana leaves
This extract comes from a plant that was used by the Mayans as a sexual invigorator, and was also sold as a tincture for the same purpose. Today, it is available as an ingredient in nutritional supplements.
A group of women who wanted to improve their sexual function were given one of these products for four weeks. Seventy-three percent reported improved satisfaction with their sex life, more desire, more sensitivity and less vaginal dryness, while this occurred in only 37% of the placebo group. (5)
Dry extract of maca root
Preparations with the root of this Andean plant, Lepidium meyenii in its scientific name, are reputed to improve sexual function. A review of 17 databases found several studies whose results suggested a beneficial effect on sexual dysfunction in men and menopausal women. (6)
Dry extract of shatavari root
In Ayurvedic medicine, this plant has been described as an effective tonic for female sexual and genital function. There are indications that it increases libido on the one hand and promotes fertility on the other. It has also been used in cases of pelvic inflammation and unresponsiveness to sexual stimuli. (7)
Dry extract of ashwagandha root
This is another herb that has long been used in traditional Indian medicine. Its adaptogenic effect has been studied. Whitanolides may be useful for certain disorders such as anxiety, stress, insomnia and depression. Extracts obtained from the root appear to stabilise the functions of the hypothalamus and the adrenal glands. (8)
Dry extract of saffron stigmas
This spice that provides colour and aroma has long been considered an aphrodisiac. Studies suggest its usefulness in both male and female sexual disorders. This seems to have more significance in those related to depression or the drugs used to ameliorate it. The evidence seems to indicate an increased sexual response, including lubrication and arousal. (9)
Dry extract of Ceylon cinnamon bark
Depression, as we saw in the previous section, is a common cause of sexual dysfunction. Ceylon cinnamon extract has been evaluated for its effects on depression, and also as a uterine tonic, menstrual stimulant and aphrodisiac. (10)
The complexity of the female organism and its functions has been the subject of much research. For women’s health, natural ingredients are a valid alternative, without adverse effects. If you need further information, a visit to our website will make it possible. Mederi Nutrition provides products that are of the highest quality.
1.Encarnación Arriaza Peso, M. del Carmen Arévalo Páez, M. Ángeles Grandas Alonso, Tomás Olleros Izard. «Eficacia de Cimicifuga racemosa para el tratamiento de la clínica vasomotora y psíquica en pacientes menopáusicas». Progresos de Obstetricia y Ginecología. Vol. 51. Núm. 1. Páginas 20-27, enero 2008.
2.Dimpfel Wilfried, Chiegoua Dipah Gwladys Nina, Bommer Silvia. «Effectiveness of Menosan® Salvia officinalis in the treatment of a wide spectrum of menopausal complaints. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial». Heliyon. 2021 Feb 10;7(2):e05910.
3.Nai-Yu Ko, Kuo-Hu Chen, Li-Ru Chen. «Isoflavone Supplements for Menopausal Women: A Systematic Review». Nutrients. 2019 Nov 4;11(11):2649.
4.Marcos, Elena, Iglesias, Irene, Vazquez-Velasco, Miguel, Benedi, Juana. «Las intervenciones farmacéuticas con Valeriana officinalis o Passiflora incarnata junto con la educación en la higiene del sueño mejoran los síntomas climatéricos y los problemas del sueño en la menopausia». Journal of Negative and No Positive Results: JONNPR, ISSN-e 2529-850X, Vol. 5, Nº. 12, 2020, págs. 1538-1557.
5.Ito TY, Trant AS, Polan ML. Un estudio doble ciego controlado con placebo de ArginMax, un suplemento nutricional para mejorar la función sexual femenina. Ensayo clínico. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. Octubre-diciembre 2001;27(5):541-9.
6.Byung-Cheul Shin, Myeong Soo Lee, Eun Jin Yang, Hyun-Suk Lim, Edzard Ernst. «Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review». BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Aug 6;10:44.
7.Sharma K, Bhatnagar M. «Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): un tónico femenino versátil». Int J Pharm Biol Arch. 2011; 2 (3): 855–863.
8.Alex B Speers, Kadine A Cabey, Amala Soumyanath, Kirsten M Wright. «Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress-Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia». Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021;19(9):1468-1495.
9.Sheila Leone, Lucia Recinella, Annalisa Chiavaroli, Giustino Orlando, Claudio Ferrante, Lidia Leporini, Luigi Brunetti, Luigi Menghini. «Phytotherapic use of the Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) and its potential applications: A brief overview». Phytother Res. 2018 Dec;32(12):2364-2375.
10.Katherine E Flores, Marsha B Quinlan. «Ethnomedicine of menstruation in rural Dominica, West Indies». J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 May 14;153(3):624-34.