4 natural remedies for menopause

natural remedies for menopause

4 natural remedies for menopause

Written by Zia Sherrell and reviewed by our qualified expert, Moyra Cosgrove, Head of Nutrition at Naturecan, SENR Registered Nutritionist and DProf candidate at LJMU


  • Menopause is the time of life marking the end of a woman’s fertility.
  • Many women experience uncomfortable menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood changes, anxiety, and sleep problems. 
  • Natural remedies for menopause include herbal supplements, magnesium, and CBD.
  • Studies show that CBD could support individuals experiencing pain, inflammationanxiety, and sleeping difficulties.
  • CBD oil may therefore help support women during menopause.

During the menopausal transition, women often experience a plethora of symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, and mood changes. These uncomfortable symptoms can make everyday life increasingly challenging. While hormone therapy is one option for managing symptoms, some women prefer to explore natural remedies for menopause. 

There are many potential natural remedies for menopause, and people should discuss these options with their doctor to find the best approach. Some popular natural remedies include evening primrose oil, dong quai and red clover. More recently, CBD is attracting the spotlight. 

As every woman’s body responds differently to these herbal remedies for menopause, it’s essential to find what works best for you. In this article, we examine some of the scientific evidence for natural remedies for menopause and if CBD has a place in supporting you as you transition through this time.

What is menopause?

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when they stop having monthly periods. Leading up to menopause, or perimenopause, menstrual periods become more irregular and may skip months or only occur every few months for several years before they stop altogether.

Although the menopausal transition is often referred to as ‘menopause,’ true menopause does not happen for 12 months following the last menstrual period. After menopause, a woman is no longer fertile and cannot become pregnant.  

Although a woman can experience a range of symptoms leading up to menopause, some also view it as a positive change. Menopause brings freedom from the symptoms that many women associate with menstrual periods.

natural menopause remedies

What causes menopause?

Menopause happens naturally as women age, and the ovaries run out of functioning eggs. When females are born, most have around 1 million eggs, which they lose throughout their lives until at the time of puberty, around 300,000 remain. After that, the number of eggs or follicles decline through regular monthly ovulation and through a degeneration process called follicular atresia designed to keep the reproductive system healthy.

The pituitary gland makes a reproductive hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) that causes the ovarian follicles to grow and produce oestrogen during the first half of the menstrual cycle. However, when menopause approaches, there are fewer follicles, and therefore oestrogen production drops dramatically.

Typically, oestrogen feeds back to the pituitary gland, subsequently lowering FSH production. However, during menopause as oestrogen levels fall, FSH production remains high. Because of this, doctors can use a woman’s FSH levels to confirm menopause.

If blood FSH is consistently 30 mIU/mL or higher, and a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months, this is usually confirmation of menopause.

How long does menopause last?

natural menopause remedies

Menopause typically occurs from age 45 to 55, although it can happen earlier or later. In the UK, the average age of menopause is 51.

Around 1% of women begin menopause before age 40, which doctors term premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency. A further 5% of women experience early menopause between the age of 40 and 45.

Before menopause, many women experience perimenopause, a transitional period of hormonal changes. It can last several months to years and usually starts in the mid-40s. However, some women skip perimenopause and enter menopause directly.

Menopause symptoms usually last around 4.5 years following a woman’s last period, and 7.4 years in total. However, women with symptoms before or in the early stages of menopause may experience symptoms for longer, potentially up to 12 years.

Common menopause symptoms

Menopause is unique to every woman. However, most women experience some menopause symptoms and around 80% experience perimenopause symptoms as the body adjusts to falling oestrogen and progesterone levels.

Typical menopause symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Low mood
  • Anxiety
  • Memory and concentration difficulties
  • Sleeping problems
  • Thinning hair and skin
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Weakened bones

4 natural remedies for menopause

Many women turn to natural remedies for menopause to help ease the uncomfortable symptoms. However, despite the popularity, there is little scientific evidence underpinning the effectiveness of these options. Here are some of the most common natural remedies for menopause:

1. Red clover

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a wild, flowering plant belonging to the legume family. It’s used in natural medicine as a diuretic to cleanse the liver, rid the body of excess fluid, and also as an expectorant to clear the lungs of mucus.

Red clover contains chemicals called isoflavones. These molecules are phytoestrogens that can produce effects similar to oestrogen in the body.

Many red clover supplements are marketed to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, and bone density loss.

natural remedies for menopause

But despite its popularity, research has had mixed results, with a review noting that 3 out of 4 clinical trials showed no significant difference between red clover and a placebo for reducing hot flushes.

Conversely, some studies have positive findings. For example, in a small 2004 study, women who took red clover isoflavone supplements lost significantly less bone density than those taking the placebo.

Some other research found that red clover supplements could ease menopausal symptoms and reduce triglyceride levels in the blood.

Furthermore, a study on rats found that red clover could increase collagen levels and, therefore, lessen the effects of skin ageing. Conceivably this could affect menopausal symptoms such as drying of the vaginal walls.

Overall, evidence is mixed, and few studies confirm the positive effects of red clover on menopausal symptoms.

2. Dong quai

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is a fragrant member of the celery family that grows at high altitudes. It’s been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat gynaecological conditions, such as menstrual cramps and pain and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). You may even hear it referred to as ‘female ginseng.’

natural remedies for menopause

Despite its long history as a herbal elixir, there’s little scientific evidence to support its effects.

However, it may be helpful in soothing menstrual cramps as one of its components, ligustilide, has shown antispasmodic activity, particularly in the uterine muscles.

Additionally, a 2004 study found that 39% of women taking concentrated doses of dong quai twice daily found a reduction in abdominal pain and a normalising of the menstrual cycle.

However, 54% of the participants still required pain-relieving medications, and the differences between the groups were minimal.

People report that dong quai helps with hot flushes, but a 2006 study was inconclusive and encouraged further research.

A 2010 trial had a similar outcome with no overwhelming evidence supporting dong quai.

If you’re considering trying dong quai, it’s essential to consult your doctor as it can cause issues for some individuals.

This includes people who are taking medications to thin the blood, and those with fibroids or blood-clotting problems such as haemophilia.

3. Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a yellow flowering plant native to the Americas. The oil extracted from the seeds contains omega-6 fatty acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA).

Evening primrose oil dietary supplements are promoted for various health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, breast pain, and menopause symptoms such as hot flushes.

Some women find that evening primrose oil effectively treats menopause symptoms, and a 2013 clinical trial confirmed its value. In the trial comparing evening primrose oil to a placebo, women taking evening primrose oil for six weeks experienced a reduction in the severity of hot flushes and, to a lesser extent, their frequency and duration.

natural remedies for menopause

People must be aware of potential side effects, including issues with blood clotting, nausea, and diarrhoea. It can also trigger seizures in people with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotic medication. Therefore, people should consult their doctor before adding evening primrose oil to their daily routine.

4. Magnesium

menopause remedies

Magnesium is a mineral that plays an essential role in mood regulation, bone health, and hormone balance.

During menopause, declining oestrogen levels can lead to bone loss as bone cells are broken down more rapidly than they’re rebuilt, leading to weak, porous bones, known as osteoporosis. A large study of 73,684 postmenopausal women found that a high dietary intake of 334–422 mg or more of magnesium was associated with greater bone mineral density.

Additionally, magnesium may improve sleep and lower the risk of depression. It’s also one of the natural remedies for menopause anxiety.

Other tips

Although some individuals find natural remedies for menopause a valuable addition to their lifestyles, there are other changes people can make to help address menopausal symptoms.


Although scientists are yet to confirm the effects of exercise on hot flushes and night sweats, there is evidence that it has other health benefits, including:

  • Reduces risk of anxiety and depression
  • Increases well-being
  • Helps memory and concentration
  • Improves energy and metabolism
  • Boosts bone and joint health

Eat the rainbow

Eating healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables could help ease some menopause symptoms. As they’re packed with nutrients but low in calories, they increase feelings of fullness, which helps people maintain or lose weight. They can also reduce bone loss and heart disease risk.

Try to include green, red, yellow, and purple fruits and veggies into your meals and snacks. By including a variety of colour in your diet, you’re eating a beneficial array of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Consume more protein

As people age, they lose muscle mass. However, evidence shows that eating protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, and dairy throughout the day can reduce this loss.

Eating enough protein is also crucial for maintaining a moderate weight as it enhances feelings of fullness and increases the number of calories burnt.

High-quality protein supplements are another effortless way to ensure you’re eating enough protein. You can even find delicious protein-packed cookies!

Drink enough water

Drinking plenty of water is critical for health, and during menopause could ease skin dryness and dehydration. Aim for at least 6–8 glasses of water a day. 

Women may find that increasing water intake reduces the bloating associated with hormonal changes and could help with weight maintenance.

For example, according to some sources, drinking 500 ml of water 30 minutes before eating could result in consuming 13% fewer calories.

menopause remedies

Could CBD potentially help with menopause? What does the research say?

Yes, CBD may help some individuals with menopause symptoms. Although there’s a lack of research specifically examining the effect of CBD on menopause, there is other evidence that underpins its value.

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates stress, mood, pain, and other bodily processes. Because of this interaction, CBD could affect hormones.

A small study from 1993 found that CBD could regulate the hormone cortisol, a stress regulator. Because high cortisol levels impact other hormones, such as thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) and sex hormones, reducing cortisol could help rebalance fluctuating hormones.

cbd oil vs cbd capsules

During menopause, the likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety increases, potentially due to varying hormone levels or the effects of other uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. CBD may ease anxiety and improve mood, as noted in a 2014 review of research in mice.

Additionally, a 2018 study determined that CBD significantly reduced anxiety and stress. As anxiety and stress can trigger hot flushes in some people, CBD could also ease this uncomfortable symptom.

CBD may also help improve sleep quality, which often declines during menopause. A 2020 review noted that endocannabinoids impact the sleep-wake cycle, so theoretically, CBD could enhance sleep. In fact, a 2019 study found that CBD reduced anxiety and improved sleep in 72 adults, and a 2020 review noted that CBD could improve sleep and ease chronic pain and inflammation.

CBD is one of the natural remedies for menopause that many women find valuable.


Women can choose from a range of natural remedies for menopause, but substantial scientific evidence underpinning many of their health claims is lacking.

Conversely, research into CBD as as a potential natural remedy for menopause is gathering momentum. Evidence increasingly shows that CBD could support menopausal symptoms, such as anxiety, sleep issues, pain, and inflammation.

If you’re thinking of trying CBD, it’s crucial to purchase from a brand that guarantees safe, effective, and high-quality products, such as Naturecan’s natural, plant-based CBD range. Visit our online shop to find our range of CBD oil, CBD edibles, and CBD topicals.

Disclaimer: There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of CBD in the condition(s) mentioned above and this text by no means reflects recommended uses. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you are taking prescribed medication or are thinking of using CBD for your condition.

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Zia Sherrell

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