Supplements for Women

The biological rhythms of ovulation, menstruation, contraception, conception, childbirth, lactation and menopause can send a woman's system off balance. It's no wonder that women experience a range of health issues all their own.

Poor diet, lack of exercise, stress and environmental factors can further complicate matters. While one should always consult a health practitioner, the following natural remedies may be beneficial for certain conditions.

Acidophilus, abundant in live culture yogurt, can be used to treat vaginal yeast infections.

Cranberry can help prevent or reduce the course of a urinary tract infection.

For menstrual cramps, try calcium, black cohosh, evening primrose oil, feverfew or raspberry leaf tea.

Symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) may be alleviated with antioxidant-rich vitamin C, vitamin Eand selenium. Herbal remedies for this condition include chasteberry, dandelion root, dong quai, ginseng and nettle leaf.

Women with heavy periods may benefit from extra iron during menstruation. The birth control pill depletes the body of many vitamins and minerals and so women on the pill should be extra-conscientious of their diet and supplement intake.

Menopause often brings with it an array of unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats and mood swings. Consuming plenty of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, flavenoids and soy isoflavones can strengthen capillary walls and prevent the dilation that causes hot flashes.

Some claim that phytoestrogen-rich herbs like black cohosh, calendula, chasteberry and wild yam can help balance hormone levels, relieve menopausal symptoms and act like a natural form of hormone replacement therapy.

For moodiness and depression brought on by menopause, ensure you get an adequate supply of B vitamins, vitamin C and E, calcium and magnesium. Herbs like St Johns wort, evening primrose oil, lemon balm, motherwort, lavender, chamomile and valerian can also have a calming, mood enhancing effect.

Women begin to lose bone mass in their mid-twenties, and even more once they hit menopause, which is why osteoporosis is such a concern. Women, especially those over 50, should consider taking extra calcium and its absorption-helper vitamin D to counteract their propensity towards osteoporosis. Magnesium, zinc, vitamin K and the B vitamins are also important bone builders.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, more so than breast cancer. The herb hawthorn is said to improve coronary blood flow, tone the heart muscle and reduce angina. See cardiovascular health or more information on natural approaches to heart disease.

Visit our Supplements for Pregnant and Nursing Women for more information on vitamins and minerals for nursing & pregnant women.

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