Fennel, the licorice-flavored herb, has phytoestrogens that effectively treated menopause symptoms in earlier studies. In this study, 59 women within the first five years of menopause took 100 mg of fennel twice per day or a placebo.

After eight weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, women taking fennel saw  menopause symptom scores cut in half, from 20 to 9.35, on the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). The MRS considers symptoms including anxiety, depression, fatigue and irritability, as well as sweating, hot flashes, heart complaints, sleep disorders, and joint, muscle, urinary, and sexual symptoms. An MRS score of 44 means the most severe symptoms, and a score of zero is no symptoms.

Red Clover and Probiotics

The red clover plant contains isoflavones that have estrogenic effects on the body. Earlier studies found red clover may be beneficial in menopause heart and bone health concerns, but research on hot flushes has been inconsistent.

In this study, 59 peri-menopausal women, aged 40 to 65, who reported having five or more hot flushes per day, took a placebo or a liquid red clover extract containing 34 mg of isoflavones plus a lactic acid probiotic, per day.

After 12 weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, for those taking red clover, doctors measured over a 24-hour period a significant drop in sweat gland activity on the skin; a primary sign of hot flushes. The women taking red clover also reported three fewer hot flushes per day compared to nearly no reduction for placebo.

Discussing the findings, doctors said that moderate doses of red clover isoflavones with probiotics can safely reduce the physical and self-reported symptoms of menopause.

Reference: Menopause: Vol. 24, No. 9, 1017-21
Natural Insights for Well Being November 2017

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