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Menopause Symptoms May Be Alleviated with Chinese Herbal Remedy, Physical Activity

Update Date: Mar 29, 2013 03:18 PM EDT

For years, there was nothing that any woman could do in order to ease the discomforts of menopause. In recent years, the symptoms have been greatly alleviated with the assistance of hormone replacement therapy. However, studies on the method have left many with unease about the hormones, due to side effects and the possibility of increased risk of certain health conditions. Two recent studies published in Menopause suggest that the hot flashes characteristic of menopause can be greatly alleviated with the help of non-hormonal methods: namely, a Chinese herbal remedy and physical exercise.

According to Reuters, the study focused on er-xian decoction (EXD), a concoction made from the leaves, roots and stems of six Chinese herbs and blended together to make a tea. The researchers separated 101 women who had either started or would soon start menopause into two groups. One received EXD; the other received a placebo drink made of tea, caramel and a compound called gardenin.

Prior to the treatment, the EXD group suffered from, on average, 5.5 hot flashes a day, while the placebo group suffered from five. After the herbal remedies, the EXD group dropped to 2.2, while the placebo group dropped to 2.5; weeks later, the EXD group still received 2.2 hot flashes a day, while the placebo group rose to 2.9. EXD also lowered the severity of the hot flashes for the women who took it.

Researchers believe that the herbal remedy is not on par with hormone therapy, but that it does show some promise. Unfortunately, treatments sold over the Internet vary in potency and quality.

According to the Jagran Post, routine physical activity may also help women with hot flashes receive better sleep. The study found that menopausal women who performed more physical activity reported that they slept better and awoke less often from their symptoms.

Both studies were published in the journal Menopause.

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