Study Confirms Benefits Of Fennel In Reducing Postmenopause Symptoms

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Study Confirms Benefits Of Fennel In Reducing Postmenopause Symptoms
Graphic – herbs-info.com Image sources – see foot of article

Menopause brings in a number of inevitable physiological changes to women that affect their day-to-day lives. There are symptoms that appear before, during and after the onset of menopause. The medical community refers to these symptoms collectively as postmenopausal syndrome. [1] The most common symptoms include mood swings, weight gain, occasional hot flashes, urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, sleep issues, and stress incontinence.

Menopausal symptoms are often managed by physicians using hormonal therapy. However, HT poses serious health risks including heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer. Many women are veering away from hormone therapy due to these risks and exploring alternative and complementary medicine for menopause symptom management.

Remarkable new research suggests that women may be able to ameliorate post-menopausal symptoms with fennel, a flavor-enhancing herb widely used in cooking.

The study first appeared in Menopause (the journal of The North American Menopause Society). [2] It confirmed the benefits of fennel in reducing post-menopause symptoms without any serious side effects.

The experiment focused on Iranian women between 45 and 60 years old. Half of them received daily medication of fennel capsules for two months, while the other half received placebo. The participants’ responses revealed that those who were administered with fennel capsules had lower menopause rating scale scores compared to the placebo group. The study indicated the potential of fennel as a powerful substitute for hormone therapy.

Fennel has an anise flavor and is growing in popularity as an herbal medicine due to the array of benefits the plant has been reported to provide for all sorts of issues, including digestion problems. [3] Fennel is also rich in calcium, iron, vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin K, and manganese. The herb contains essential oils and phytoestrogenic properties which help manage post-menopausal symptoms.

There are also other herbal treatments for the postmenopausal syndrome as well. One of them is soy which was found to have the potential to address conditions associated with menopausal transition. Soy is rich in isoflavones which have phytoestrogenic effects, which researchers have claimed can alleviate menopausal hot flashes. [4]

Ginseng, a perennial plant, was also found beneficial for treating menopausal symptoms. It is considered as the best general purpose herb for menopause. A Korean study posited ginseng as an attractive option for postmenopausal women, especially those with elevated cardiac risk factors. [5]

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Vitamins and supplements are also important components of a woman’s care during and after menopause. Some of the menopausal supplements that women use include omega 3 fatty acids, probiotic, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. But before you start popping a bunch of supplements, it is important to consult a physician first to know if your body is primed to process them. Blood work can indicate the levels of minerals and many other things in the body and this is highly regarded throughout the medical community as part of an ongoing health care regimen. Note also that some herbal treatments have been found to interact with medications and if you are using any meeds a good doctor should be consulted prior to commencing use of herbs and supplements.

References::

[1] Pronob K. Dalal and Manu Agarwal. 2015. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. Postmenopausal syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4539866/

[2] Fatemeh R et al. 2017. Effect of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel) on menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women: a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial http://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Effect_of_Foeniculum_vulgare_Mill___fennel__on.97782.aspx

[3] Alexandrovich I et al. 2003. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. The effect of fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) seed oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12868253

[4] Messina M. 2014. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Soy foods, isoflavones, and the health of postmenopausal women https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24898224

[5] Kim SY et al. 2012. Menopause. Effects of red ginseng supplementation on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22027944

Infographic photo sources:

Pixabay.com (PD), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fennel_seed.jpg (lic. under CC)


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