Homeopathy and Menopause - Top 5 Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathy can be very effective in the treatment of symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Ruth Appleby is the author of Menopause, The Common Sense Approach. She is a registered homeopath of 24 years' experience with a busy practice in Blackrock, Co Dublin. This extract from her book outlines the most common homeopathic remedies and their use in treating symptoms of the menopause.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine, which aims to promote general health by reinforcing the body’s own natural healing capacity. It does not treat physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual illnesses separately, but regards them all as being interconnected. Homeopathic remedies are safe and non-addictive. This is because only very minute amounts of the active ingredients are used in their preparation. The remedies come from many different sources. Most are derived from plants, but metals, minerals and some poisons, which have been used medicinally for generations, are also used.
Homeopathy and Menopause
Homeopathy is a truly holistic medicine. If a woman consults a homeopath with menopausal problems – say hot flushes only – the homeopath will still look at the person as a whole, and not just prescribe a remedy for the hot flushes. This is called a constitutional remedy.
If we prescribe in this way, the overall imbalance will be treated, the woman’s hot flushes will go and her overall health will be improved. Sometimes, we come across women who have no other problems in their life, who just present with some specific menopausal symptoms; in these cases, prescribing on those symptoms alone will solve the problem.
It is preferable to be treated by an experienced homeopath, but there are some remedies that you could try yourself. I have given details below of some of the more common homeopathic remedies prescribed during menopause. You may have some, not necessarily all, the symptoms that I outline below. I have suggested the 30c potency as a good potency to use. If you follow the directions below for recommended dosages and repetitions, you will do yourself no harm.
Directions for taking homeopathic remedies
Do not eat or drink for fifteen minutes before and after taking the remedy. You should avoid coffee, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus and other strong-smelling substances during the course of treatment, as these can interfere with your remedy. Dissolve the remedy on the tongue, one tablet daily for three days, then wait for an improvement, wait until there is a return of the symptoms, then repeat the dose.
It is important that the remedy, once it has worked, is allowed to complete its action. Do not repeat the remedy too soon. Wait for the return of symptoms. This is often the most difficult thing for people to do! If there is no improvement in your symptoms, consult your homeopath or your doctor.
Details of the remedies which are most often needed during the menopause:
Lachesis is an important remedy during the menopause, and is often called for in women who have never felt well since the onset of menopause. Other menopausal symptoms of this remedy are:
- Periods every twenty-one days
- Periods profuse
- Generally worse before menses, and pains and mood better once the flow starts
- Hot flushes, with headaches, palpitations and hot sweats
- Headaches, especially in the vertex, with burning sensations
- Some nausea, diarrhea or haemorrhoids
The left ovary can also be painful and swollen, and there may be prolapsed uterus. Women may be asthmatic since reaching the menopause. They generally feel worse in the mornings, can’t stand the heat and are hypersensitive to any tight clothing at the neck or waist.
The remedy is prepared from the venom of Lachesis muta, the surucuccu snake of South America.
Recommended dosage: one dose daily for three days of Lachesis 30c, to be taken as directed above.
Sepia is mainly a female remedy. It is know as the ‘washer-woman’s remedy’, because people who need this remedy:
- Are worn down
- Perspire profusely
- Need air
- Must sit down and cross their legs, as they feel their insides will fall out
- Are so worn out they can appear indifferent to their loved ones
They have a sharp tongue, and almost take pleasure from hurting loved ones. This is not because they don’t love their family; it’s because they are just worn out and exhausted and have nothing more to give to anyone. A woman who was formerly warm and loving is now saying ‘I don’t have any emotions’; sometimes she will say she can’t even remember the sensation or feeling of happiness or joy. She can feel she must hold on to something to prevent herself from screaming. She can have dullness of mind; feel stupid and absent-minded, with no initiative.
Physically, during the menopause she may have a dry vagina, pain on intercourse, and lack the desire or aversion to sex. She may have flooding during periods, sudden flushes of heat, weakness, perspiration and a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. In general, she feels better from activity, especially in the open air, and better for warmth and from eating. She also feels better after sleep, even a short nap (this is the opposite of Lachesis). She generally feels worse in the evenings.
Sepia is a very useful remedy at the menopause. It is prepared from the liquid found in the ink sac of the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis. The shape of the cuttlefish is reminiscent of the uterus. The sex organs of the cuttlefish are right down at the end.
The remedy Sulphuirc acid is sometimes needed to complete the action of Sepia
Recommended dosage: one dose daily for three days of sepia 30c, to be taken as directed above.
This is another very useful remedy during menopause. Like all the acids, weakness and debility are common to this remedy, especially in the digestive tract, giving a very relaxed feeling to the stomach, and a craving for stimulants. They feel a weakenss out of all propotion to the problem. It affects the blood and blood vessels, causing haemorrhages of thin, black blood. Other symptoms of this remedy are:
- Prolapse of vagina and uterus from weakness
- Flushes of heat, followed by sweating and a trembling all over
- Weepiness over the slightest thing.
- They can have nightmares before or after periods. They must do everything in a hurry. They get angry and impatient because things move so slowly. No one does anything to please them.
This remedy is made from sulphuric acid.
Recommended dosage: One dose daily for three days of Sulphuric Acid 30c, to be taken as directed above.
From extensive research done by the American homeopath, Melissa Assilem, she has seen that many women had symptoms between ovulation and menses and many of them had taken the Pill in the past, or their mothers had taken the Pill before they were conceived. This is a very useful remedy for women with hormonal symptoms who may have used the Pill, and also useful for symptoms during the menopause.
Melissa Assilem says: ‘Folliculinum is a really brilliant remedy around menopause. It pretty well covers the whole range of physical and mental symptoms we might find at this time.’
There will often be a history of abuse, sexual, physical or psychological. The woman may have had a very strict upbringing. She can be unfocused, feel ‘spaced’ and may totally lose herself in her relationships.
Assilem expands on the symptoms: ‘She becomes addicted to rescuing people. She feels drained. She has become a door-mat. She has forgotten who she is, she has no individuality.’
Folliculinum can help restore the will and re-empower the person. It is generally seen after this remedy that the person takes control of her life again, finds her own identity, becomes her own rescuer and won’t allow herself to be used ever again. It allows people to break the patterns from the past that they find hard to change. It helps to restore clarity.
Possible physical symptoms of Folliculinum during menopause:
- Restless, hyperactive, worse at rest
- Dizziness and faintness
- Puts on weight without overeating, as much as 7lbs/3kg before menses
- Huge food cravings, especially for sugar, sweets
- Cycle irregularities
- Hot flushes, night sweats
- Abdominal heaviness
- Vaginal dryness
Calcium carbonicum (Calc. carb.) is a very useful remedy during the menopause. The typical Calc. carb. woman is responsible, dutiful and hard-working, ‘a pillar of the community’. She can take on too many responsibilities and become overwhelmed by them. Mentally, she can be tired and unable to hold onto thoughts or details, and then she feels that she is going mad and worries that other people will realize it. She has always worried about what others think of her and even more so now. She has a strong focus on security, with lots of anxieties around money and health. When she is ill, she can despair of ever recovering her health.
You can imagine a Calc. carb. woman if she develops troublesome symptoms during the menopause. She will worry about her health; she can think she will never feel ‘normal’ again. She will worry about her family; her children and her husband should anything happen to her. She will be anxious about the future.
Some physical menopausal symptoms experienced by women who need Calc. carb. are:
- Hot flushes, with burning sensations in the vertex
- Head and neck wet with perspirations, worse during sleep
- Metrorrhagia and uterine fibroids, sometimes with marked uterine haemorrhages.
This remedy is prepared from the middle layer of the oyster shell. The soft, white, calcareous substance is secreted by the mantle of the mollusk, and is a deposit of finely crystalline calcium carbonate.
Recommended dosage: one dose daily for three days of Calc. carb. 30c, to be taken as directed above.
Pulsatilla is a very important remedy for women’s complaints and is often of use during the menopause. The woman needing this remedy is of a gentle, mild disposition. She is emotional and easily moved to laughter or tears. Her moods are changeable; she can cry at every little thing and loves to be comforted. She can also be easily irritated and has a tendency to feel slighted, or be fearful of being slighted. In general, she feels better in the fresh air and feels worse in a warm, stuffy room and in the evenings.
Physical problems include irregular menstruation, whether it is too early or too late, too scanty or too profuse. The menses can be painful enough to cause nausea or vomiting, and bending double can help the pains. Unusually, the bleeding can happen during the day only. She can have difficulty sleeping because of hot flushes and anxious thoughts, and her legs can be very restless at night. The remedy is prepared from pulsatilla nigricans, the windflower.
Recommended dosage: One dose daily for three days of Pulsatilla 30c, to be taken as directed above.
Women’s stories – an illustration of remedies at work from my homeopathic practice
Joan, aged 48.
Joan came to see me complaining of hot flushes during the day and profuse perspiration at night in bed. The latter was causing her a lot of distress, as it was interrupting her sleep; she had to change her clothes about three times every night. Joan said that she was very moody, irritable, tense and weepy. She generally felt worse when she woke up in the mornings. She was also very low in energy. At the time, Joan had had no periods for six months, and they were light and irregular before that. Joan is a very witty person, who loves to talk.
Treatment: I prescribed one dose of Lachesis 200c.
When Joan returned a month later, the hot flushes had diminished by about ninety per cent. She said that her moods were more stable, and she was in great form. She had a light period, which lasted for a few days, during the month. Her energy had come back up, and she was happier in herself.
Over the next few months, her hot flushes went completely, and she had another light period. Her mood and energy continued to be good. Six months later, with the slight return of her symptoms, I repeated the Lachesis 200c and Joan has been symptom-free now for about two years.
Marie, aged 49.
Marie came to see me with headaches, usually during the week before her periods mainly over the left eye. She described the pain as shooting outwards, and it was made worse by lying on the affected side. Her hair was falling out. She was getting sudden flushes of heat, with weakness and sweating. Marie had weak, dragging, bearing down pains – she felt as if everything would escape from her vulva. She also had breakthrough bleeding. She was tired all the time. ‘I’m worn out,’ she said. Everything piles up at home – the washing, ironing, beds to be made, etc. Marie was worse in the evenings, feeling exhausted at that time of the day. She had no interest in sex, as she was simply too tired.
Treatment: I prescribed one dose of Sepia, 200c
After four to six weeks, Marie returned with a smile on her face. She had much more energy, her headaches were gone, and the flushes of heat much reduced. The dragging pains she felt were not as bad as they had been, there was some improvement in the breakthrough bleeding. It would probably take a few months for that to regulate. She said ‘I am back to my old self.’ She had more interest in her husband, and her mood and humour were much improved.
The headaches never returned and the flushes of head gradually diminished. The breakthrough bleeding stopped after a few months. She came to see me about ten months later with some slight return of symptoms. She was feeling tired, had some hot flushes and felt some dragging down pains. Her son was causing some anxiety – he had got into trouble, and Marie was feeling stressed by it all. I felt that this had stopped the action of the remedy, and repeated Sepia 200c. Marie was back to her old self soon afterwards, and felt more able to cope with her son’s problems.