About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Herbs With Nicky Treacy-Kohler - The Menopause

Thursday, 10 November 2005


Nicky will be here discussing alternative medicine and alternative health remedies for the symptoms of the menopause. She will concentrate on the psychological and social sides of the Menopause aswell as the physiological symptoms.

The menopause is a time in a woman's life to re-evaluate what you want to do for the next 20 years.  The orthodox medical route is HRT.  This can be okay if the symptoms of the menopause are very severe but only as a short term option.  It stops the menopause coming on but you are really delaying the inevitable.  Herbs help you to get through the menopause with the least amount of symptoms.

Herb 1: Black Cohosh
It keys into oestrogen receptors in the body and provides a weak response of oestrogen.  It is also good for the arthritic conditions that come with menopause. Overall it is a herb for all conditions.

If a particular problem is prevalent then you can use the following herbs.

Herb 2: Skull Cap
This is used for headaches and also for any built up tension.  The herb is a nervine and menopausal women often feel tired and irritable and this is specific for them.  It is the key action in combating anxiety, depression and panic attacks.  Panic attacks can occur a lot during the menopause.  It provides a sedative action without providing a depressant effect. In the 19th century it was used for hysteria, anxiety, epilepsy, rabies and schizophrenia.
Dosage: Is a very strong herb and you must take the dosage recommended on the bottle. Doses vary.

Herb 3: Rose oil
Rose is an anti-depressant and perfect for the menopausal blues.  All medical herbalists use rose oil in the treatment of depression as it is a very uplifting herb.  St John's Wort is also an anti-depressant for the menopause and it is available from your GP.

Rose Oil Bath Salts

500 grams Rock Salt
5 ml Rose Oil
2 teaspoons Bicarbonate Soda

. Put all the ingredients into a glass bowl.
. Mix them all together.
. Spoon into a glass container.

Use 3 tablespoons in your bath.

Herb 4: Sage & Peppermint
Both these herbs are great for hot flushes.  Luteinizing homones can be more prevalent at nighttime, causing hot flushes, having tea up beside the bed can help.

Ingredients & Method
1 Tablespoon of both Sage & Peppermint per pot of boiling water

Herb 5: Vitamin Oil
This herb is used for vaginal dryness.  This can be a real problem for women and all of the skin around the body becomes dryer during the menopause.

Menopausal Martini

5mls Black Cohosh
5mls Skull Cap
Half Glass Sparkling Water
3-5 Olives
1 Sage Leaf

. Put the black cohosh, skull cap and sparkling water all together in a martini glass.
. Put 3 olives on a cocktail stick with a sage leaf.
. Place the stick across the glass.
. Add a stirrer. (for decoration)