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5 Natural Remedies for Menopause

6 minutes to read
Megan Rodden

Megan Rodden

(BCS, DipNat, MedHerb, NMHNZ)

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Menopause is a natural process experienced by all women when they no longer have a menstrual period.

Although there are many symptoms that can be caused by these changes there are natural remedies that can be used to support the body and may bring relief. Today we discuss the studies and research behind:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Black cohosh 
  • Red clover 
  • Shatavari

and their positive effects on helping and managing menopause symptoms.

Understanding Menopause

The physiological process of the transition to menopause is complex and involves a number of different hormone changes. It also involves the natural reduction of eggs made by the ovaries.[1]  

These changes occur in the reproductive system, but impact other systems in the body, like the cardiovascular system. This leads to the wide variety of symptoms experienced and it is why your general health and wellbeing can play a part in the symptoms you experience during the transition to menopause.

The age of onset of symptoms and symptom severity has been linked to a number of factors including genetics, socio-cultural beliefs and lifestyle factors, like diet and exercise.[2]

RELATED — Menopause: Guide to Signs and Symptoms

While some women transition through menopause with relative ease, others experience a range of symptoms including:

  • hot flashes/flushes 
  • night sweats
  • mood swings
  • disrupted sleep 

Understanding these changes and their impact is important for women to navigate this life stage.

Diet and exercise may affect the severity and onset of menopausal symptoms

This is why we will be discussing a natural approach that aims to support the body’s hormonal balance and minimise discomfort during this transformative stage of life.


Yoga may offer a number of benefits for women going through menopause due to the positive impact on mental health and coping with stress. Yoga is a holistic, mind and body practice that involves movement and breathwork.

How it works

Yoga has been shown to reduce the impact of stress by increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety.[3] During menopause women often report experiencing anxiety and reduced capacity to cope with stress.

Mature women stretching


Two systematic reviews of studies into yoga for menopause found that it was effective for managing short-term psychological symptoms, such as mood balance and anxiety, and evidence supports yoga for reducing menopause-related vasomotor symptoms.[4,5]

Yoga can help lower stress levels

One randomised control study also showed a significant (P < 0.001) reduction in hot flushes, night sweats and sleep disturbance in perimenopausal women, who practised yoga for one hour per day, for 8 weeks.[6] The yoga practice involved sun salutations as well as cycle meditation.

Yoga, menopause and hot flashes
Yoga and reduction in menopausal hot flashes. HW (health and wellness education), WL (wait list).

Source: Avis, N. Pilot study of integral yoga for menopausal hot flashes. The North American Menopause Society. 2014


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. The needles are placed at targeted points along energy pathways called meridians, in order to create balance or flow

Acupuncture is known for its ability to provide relief from chronic conditions and is often used to support general wellbeing.

How it works

While its precise mechanisms are not entirely understood, studies propose that acupuncture may influence the central nervous system, modulate neurotransmitters, and regulate hormonal levels.


Acupuncture and menopausal hot flashes
7-Day Hot Flash Diary Results. The graph represents the effect of TA (traditional acupuncture) and SA (sham acupuncture) used three times per week for 30 minutes for 12 weeks compared to WC (waiting control) on VMS (vasomotor symptoms) frequency.

Source: Painovich, J. A Pilot Randomized, Single Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Traditional Acupuncture for Vasomotor Symptoms and Mechanistic Pathways of Menopause. 2012.

A meta-analysis reviewed 12 high quality studies and found that acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment.

These studies also show that acupuncture improves other menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life in women experiencing natural menopause.[7]

Beyond symptom management, acupuncture embodies a holistic approach to wellness. Traditional Chinese Medicine views menopause as a rebalancing of the body’s energy.

Acupuncturists tailor treatments to address individual needs, promoting overall wellbeing.

Black Cohosh

Cimicifuga racemosa also known as Actaea racemosa (Baneberry, squawroot, black snakeroot).

Black cohosh flower
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)

Black cohosh is a perennial herb that grows tall in summer with stalks of wispy, white flowers. Native to the woodlands of Canada and eastern United States, black cohosh has been used as a traditional Native American medicine for female reproductive problems for centuries, before becoming popularised by European settlers.

How it works

Black cohosh has been found to influence female hormones, including luteinising hormone (LH), which then reduces hot flushes and may also be able to influence oestrogen receptors.[8]


A number of clinical trials have shown black cohosh to be safe and effective for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.[9]

Analysis of nine trials of perimenopausal women found an overall reduction of symptoms by 26%.[10]

A review published in the Journal of North American Menopause Society also found that when combined with St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) the benefits for mood and anxiety from these herbs was increased.[11]

RELATED — St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

A study comparing supplementation with a black cohosh preparation and oestrogen therapy or placebo found that black cohosh was equally as effective as oestrogen in reducing symptoms.

Black cohosh and symptoms of menopause
Intake of Black cohosh (6.5 mg of dried extract of the roots of the plant) for 8 weeks, comprising one tablet every night after dinner, reduced the symptoms in early post-menopausal women compared with intake of placebo.

Source: Nahaee, J. Efficacy of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa L.) in treating early symptoms of menopause: a randomized clinical trial. 2013.

After 12 weeks of treatment the women taking the black cohosh preparation had a significant increase in superficial vaginal cells, which means reduced atrophy and related symptoms such as dryness.[12]

Therapeutic Dosage

Herbal tea: 2-3g dried herb infused in hot water for 5 minutes, up to three times daily.

Herb extract capsule: 40mg per day.

Liquid herb extract: 1-2ml per day (30ml per week).

Black cohosh may help balance hormone levels

Red clover

Trifolium pratense (Beebread, Clovone, Cow Clover, Daidzein)

Red clover is a perennial flowering herb that is commonly found growing in pastures around the world and belongs to the legume plant family. The little reddish, purple flowers can often be seen popping up in New Zealand grasses.

Red clover has been used in traditional medicine as a remedy for a number of health conditions, including menopause symptoms. The flower and leaf are the parts of the red clover that are most often used for their medicinal properties.

Red clover flower
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

How it works

Red clover contains constituents called isoflavones, which have similar actions to the hormone oestrogen.[13] The ability to absorb and gain benefit from the isoflavones may be influenced by gut flora and diet.[14]


A number of clinical studies have assessed red clover extracts and isoflavones for menopause symptoms. The largest number of studies are trials of a specific product with standardised red clover isoflavones and results show a reduction in hot flush frequency.[15]

One study combining red clover extract with a probiotic formula also found improvement in vasomotor symptoms, such as flushing and sweating after 12 weeks of treatment.[16]

Red clover treatment and skin conductance in menopause
The graph represents 24 hour skin conductance data sets, showing baseline (top) and post 12 week red clover treatment (bottom) data from a symptomatic menopausal participants.

Source: Lambert, M. Combined Red Clover isoflavones and probiotics potently reduce menopausal vasomotor symptoms. 2017.

Therapeutic Dosage

Herbal tea: 2-4g dried herb infused in hot water for 5 minutes.

Herb extract capsule: 40-80mg daily of red clover isoflavones.

Liquid herb extract: 1.5-3ml per day.


Asparagus racemosus (Asparagus bush, wild asparagus, Inli-chedi)

Shatavari root and flowers-min
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Source: Kaurav, G. Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus) – The Best Female Reproductive Tonic. 2021.

Shatavari is a type of asparagus plant that is native to Africa and Asia, but also grows in India and Northern Australia. The Shatavari plant adapts to its environment and will either grow into a shrub or climb like a vine, if support is available. 

Shatavari has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a herbal remedy known for its affinity with female health. The name Shatavari means “who possesses a hundred husbands” and is regarded as a female tonic and aphrodisiac.[17,18]

RELATED — Introduction to Ayurveda: Ancient medicinal healing methods

How it works

Shatavari contains a number of chemical constituents (isoflavones, steroidal saponins, polycyclic alkaloids) that may influence hormones.[19]

It is also proposed that Shatavari helps to reduce stress hormones, which has a positive effect on female reproductive hormone balance.[20]

RELATED — Understanding Stress: The Silent Killer


The most promising results in studies are those that include Shatavari in an Ayurvedic herbal preparation. One study with 117 healthy women, aged 40–65 years using a formulated Ayurvedic medicine composed of

  • 75mg Tinospora Cardifolia, 
  • 100mg Asparagus racemosus, 
  • 100mg Withania somnifera and 
  • 225mg Commiphora mukul per capsule,

administered as one capsule twice per day over a period of 12 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in total hot flushes, daytime hot flushes and night sweats

At the end of 12 weeks of treatment with the herbal combination, total hot flushes were reduced by 67% and night sweats by 71%, with no major adverse reactions.[21]

Therapeutic Dosage

Liquid herb extract: 30-60ml per week split into 2-5ml doses per day.


Menopause is a significant and often misunderstood phase in a woman’s life, marking the end of the reproductive years and can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flushes and mood swings.

Many women opt for holistic approaches, which can include diet changes, exercise, acupuncture and stress-reduction techniques like yoga. Additionally herbal remedies like black cohosh and red clover may offer some relief.

As women seek a deeper understanding of their bodies and explore these alternative solutions, they can empower themselves to embrace menopause as a natural and manageable phase of life.

Related Questions

1. My menopause might last for years – am I safe to take herbal remedies for a prolonged period of time?
Herbal remedies such as black cohosh and red clover are commonly used to support menopause and studies show they are well tolerated

However, long term studies are limited and it is best to consult with a trained medical herbalist for an individualised prescription, before considering extended use.

It is common for herbalists to prescribe unique formulas to address individual health circumstances and symptoms and to modify the formula and dosage as needed rather than stick to one herb consistently for many years.

2. How long would I need to take natural products before I feel some noticeable relief?
Studies indicate that women begin to experience symptom relief from four to eight weeks for herbal preparations, however this may vary due to factors such as intensity of symptoms and general health status.

For yoga and acupuncture the benefits on mood and stress reduction may be more immediate, as well as building over time with regular practice.

3. Are there any warning signs of scams or safety issues with supplements?
First be wary of exaggerated claims or promises that seem too good to be true. Check for credible sources and research supporting supplement claims. Additionally watch out for products that lack clear ingredient lists or those that include undisclosed or proprietary blends.

Look for reputable brands and always consult with a healthcare professional, such as a registered naturopath before starting a new supplement regime to ensure it aligns with your individual health needs and does not pose any risk for you.

For more similar articles, we suggest browsing our Natural Medicine section.

Megan is a qualified, registered naturopath and medical herbalist based in Laingholm, Auckland. She is also a trained journalist with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a mother of two, with a passion for plant medicine and holistic nutrition. 

A personal health journey has directed Megan to develop a specific interest in digestive and respiratory health, allergies, autoimmune conditions and children’s wellness. You can find more about Megan and her practice at Megan Rodden – Naturopath.


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