This article was authored by Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist), innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder Ferlow Botanical Enterprises Ltd, Vancouver, B.C. manufacturing/distributing organic toxin-free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners in Canada and parts of USA since 1993.
In North America, there are an estimated 40-60 million menopausal women and some 30-40 million baby boomer women on the brink of menopause.
Many people associate menopause with mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability, hot flashes, cramps, insomnia and other dreary symptoms. With even more baby boomer women entering the menopausal years during the next decade, new attitudes about menopause are transforming the way people view this pivotal time in a woman's life.
It seems that many in the allopathic medical profession have treated menopause as a disease and the risks have been known, but downplayed by the Medical profession and in fact they have encouraged women to take the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for being attractive, halting the aging process and it would increase bone density.
They fed on the fears of women and being in a baby boomer time, what a captive and willing audience. But menopause is not a disease, nor is it a process that requires a one-size-fits-all treatment. It is a normal stage of life that might present certain challenges. Dr. Elaine Chin from the Beresford Clinic, who specializes in menopause management said, that HRT has undergone a dramatic shift from being a "wellness option" for many women to a "medical tool" that is appropriate for only some women and in most cases she recommends herbal therapies and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.
Perimenopause usually starts between the ages 39 and 51 and lasts from two to eight years and the average age of menopause is in Canada 51. Some women, however might not have problems at all experiencing debilitating physical symptoms that effect one's emotions and quality of life.
In the past many GP's recommended Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and Menopausal Hormonal Therapy (MHT), also PREMARIN, a preparation of conjugated estrogen (50% estrogen, 50% equilin for women as they enter menopause stage in their lives and it has been questioned as to the benefits, but more importantly, its health risk. Estrogen is naturally occurring in humans, however, equilin is obtained from pregnant mare's urine. Although Premarin is a combination of naturally occurring estrogen, this product would be best utilized if you are genetically modified to possess the DNA of a horse!
All estrogens are not the same, simply as a matter of patent protection. Things occurring naturally in our world are for everybody to use and it is a public domain. In the early 1900's most Pharmaceutical companies were content to patent biochemical processes that extracted or synthetically produced natural equivalent products. Monopoly is for them very important because you have no direct competition and profits skyrocket. This has been the agenda of larger drug companies since their goal has always been high profits and shareholder dividends.
Let's just go back a few years to July 2002 when the Journal of the American Medical Association published the findings of a long term study (initially 8 years)from the Women's Health Initiative, overseen by the US National Institute of Health, stopped
three years ahead of schedule because of the concerns for the health and welfare of the 16.608 women aged 50 - 79 involved due to overall negative results. Here is the headline in the newspaper Globe and Mail, Jan. 30, 2003 based on a poll conducted by Eli Lilly Canada
"44% of Canadian women end Hormone Therapy in 2002" The dramatic abandonment of the once popular Hormone Replacement Therapy treatment is largely the result of a bombshell study released last July that found that long-term use of HRT results in:
· Colon cancer was reduced by 37%
· Hip fractures were reduced by 1/3
· Risk of breast cancer increased by 26%
· Risk of heart attacks increased by 29%
· Risk of stroke increased by 41%
· Risk of cardiovascular disease increased by 22%
· Rate of blood clots doubles
· Another study found later that more than three years in a row on HRT could increase the risk of Alzheimer disease by 50%
In addition, it showed the following side-effects:
Nausea, breast tenderness, PMS like symptoms, depression, liver disorders, enlarged uterine fibroids, fluid retention, blood sugar disturbances, headaches, asthma, weight gain, loss of libido, loss of scalp hair and growth of pre-existing tumours.
In the Women's Health Initiative study from USA, 373.092 women were screened for heart disease, obesity, breast cancer risk, diabetes and a number of other factors. Only 16.608 women were selected to participate in the five year study.
According to Aeron Lifecyle Labs of California, based on the testing of hormone levels in women of all ages, more than 90% of women may be estrogen dominant! That's why some young girls start with their period already at age 12 - 14 and some women with menopause at age between 35 - 40. When I was growing up as a child girls got their period at the age between 15 - 17 and women menopause between 55 - 60 years of age.
The hormone "progesterone" was first isolated by William Alien and George Corner in 1934. Since then, approx. 5000 plants have been identified as containing substances with progesterone like chemistry. Russel Marker in 1943 successfully extracted a phytoestrogen from the roots of the Mexican Wild Yam plants called "diosgenin" inexpensively in large quantities. The majority of this was purchased by Pharmaceutical giants who further synthesized it to an unnatural progesterone like compound, called "progestins" for use in patented medicines. Two of the most commonly prescribed progestin drugs have over 30 negative side effects and health risks, including breast cancer and tenderness, ovarian and uterine cancer and migraines.
Mother Nature has provided us with something called Mexican Wild Yam, which has an active phytoestrogen ingredient called "diosgenin", scientifically recognized to balance the women's menstrual cycles and reproductive hormones rather than causing extreme changes like the HRT = Hormone Replacement Therapy, ERT = Estrogen Replacement Therapy, MHT = Menopausal Hormonal Therapy does to the body.
Diosgenin acts as precursor and triggers the production of natural progesterone in the women's body after she applies the herbal cream to the skin and effects the estrogen level. This suggests that it has the ability to self-adjust according to the bodies need. It balances the progesterone against the high levels of estrogen due to the environment (food, water, air) and symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, cramps, headaches, migraines, vaginal dryness can eventually completely disappear without any negative side effects because the herbal ingredients in the Mexican Wild Yam cream are all botanical derived. The dosages suggested in the therapeutic fact sheet, attached to the herbal cream is just a guideline and you can either increase or decrease the amount of cream to be used. It some cases it can take up to three month before women feel any improvement, so please be patient. You should be also aware that many Wild Yam creams are using progesterone powder derived from soy beans and many of these are GMO, genetic engineered and modified and nobody knows what this can do to the body long-terms and they are only available from MD's.
Historically, over thousand of years, herbs such as angelica, licorice, chaste tree (vitex), black cohosh, ginkgo biloba and wild Mexican yam have been used treating symptoms of this otherwise transformative time in women's life, called menopause and PMS.
The Wild Mexican Yam cream is best applied to the largest area of relative thin skin. Rotate the site of the application daily. These include: inner part of thighs and arms, face, neck, upper chest and abdomen. With continued use, the natural progesterone produced by the women's body levels in the fat, become stabilized and further doses increase the blood vessels and stronger physiological effects are felt.
As we age, our skin becomes thinner and dryer and we need to apply a good herbal cream which works also on inflammation, insomnia, against swelling and sciatic nerve pain. After applying the cream is instantly absorbed by your skin into the bloodstream and not your liver and nourishes and moisturizes the skin. For how long should you use the cream? Till you are 99 years of age! It also helps to prevent osteoporosis and increases bone density.
And remember: menopause and PMS is NOT a disease and women have the choice to take care of their own body and health - THE NATURAL WAY!
Health is not everything, but without health, everything is nothing.
Dr. Bernard Jensen, DC, Ph.D., Clinical Nutritionist, (1908 - 2001)
Hormone Balance: A Woman's Guide To Restoring Health And Vitality, Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Acupuncturist, Nutritionist
Natural Therapies for Menopause, Nancy Beckham
Natural Hormons, Carlson Wade
Natural Hormone Balance for Women: Look Younger, Feel Stronger, and Live Life with Exuberance, Uzzi Reiss, MD, OB, GYN
The Menopause Industry, Sandra Coney
This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.