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Along this journey in life, women experience many testing times, periods, childbirth and hormones to name but a few, but just when our children grow up and leave home, and we think life might start to get a bit easier, the peri menopause and menopause starts, it’s enough to send you crazy! So what are our natural options?
Plant medicine is one avenue I’m looking into, and also something that really appeals to me is to increase nutrients in my diet to relieve symptoms. Many of us are now eating healthier diets, but there are plenty of ways of cramming in more nutrient dense foods into our day.
Recently turmeric has been hailed as a superfood, and has shown to have many different benefits. Turmeric is part of the ginger family, and is often used as a powder, especially in Indian and Asian cooking. Turmeric is a phytoestrogen, a plant source of oestrogen, so it can help women going through the menopause, by balancing oestrogen. It is a natural antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory.
1.Reduces Inflammation in the body
Some studies show that oestrogen is a natural anti inflammatory, and as oestrogen levels drop in the body, some women experience inflammation in their joints. Curcumin found in turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that regulates inflammation, relieving joints from becoming arthritic and stiff. Turmeric is also said to reduce pain related to this issue too.
2. Reduces depression and anxiety
There no doubt that the menopause brings low moods, curcumin can help balance serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. Research has also shown that it also helps with brain health too, so it may also deal with brain fog symptoms too.
3. Fights IBS symptoms
During menopause, women are more prone to experiencing digestive problems, especially heartburn, cramps, bloating and constipation. These unpleasant symptoms are often caused by hormonal imbalance. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and helps relieve IBS symptoms, such as inflammation in the gut, and the pain linked with this. Turmeric is also antimicrobial, so it protects the gut from bacterial infections and parasites, which are more common when your immune system is low.
4. Detoxifies the liver
Our liver’s main function is to remove toxins from our body, but during the menopause the increase of hormones in the body, can overload the liver, which may lead on to unwanted menopause symptoms. Turmeric helps the liver work more efficiently, and also helps detoxify dangerous carcinogens.
5. Improves the Skin’s Health
There is no doubt that skin becomes dull and gets more dehydrated during this time. Turmeric has been proven to be effective when used externally on the skin, as well as when taken internally. When you include turmeric in your diet, your skin begins to glow, but when used externally it can help hormonal acne, scarring and psoriasis.
6. Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are caused by decreased levels of oestrogen. Turmeric is rich in anti oxidants and phytoestrogens which help the redness in the skin associated with hot flashes, and the frequency .
7. Weight Loss
Turmeric also plays a role in weight loss, as it helps lower bad cholesterol, control the desire for food, and prevents the growth of new fat cells. Because it also reduces inflammation, it will help get rid of any excess water you may be carrying too.
8. Can Treat/Prevent Some Cancers
The main factor linked with increased cancer risk during menopause is increased exposure to hormones. Studies have shown that curcumin has anti cancer properties, and is able to kill some cancer cells, and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects with breast, bowel and stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.
My favourite way to use turmeric is to make turmeric paste or golden paste as it’s also known. This can be added to soups, stews, curry, even to milk to make a turmeric latte.
I used turmeric paste on my little poodle when he had a type of meningitis, and it seemed to help his brain from swelling. He was only given a few weeks to live, but he kept going for 8 months, and managed to live a pretty normal life till the end. I gave him bone broth and turmeric paste every day, and I’m convinced it helped him.
You can also use turmeric paste externally on cuts and bruises, or as a toothpaste, although I found this stained my toothbrush and made a real mess!
Golden Paste recipe
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup organic ground turmeric
1/2 cup organic cold pressed coconut oil
1 /12 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
optional 1 teaspoon organic ground ginger
Place the water and turmeric in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly until you have a thick paste, which will take about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut oil. Add ground black pepper. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge.
Even though it’s called turmeric latte, there is no coffee in this recipe which I was surprised to find, so this milky drink is great as part of your bedtime routine.
1 mug almond or oat milk work best
1/4 teaspoon organic ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon organic ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
pinch of ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk constantly over a gentle heat. remove before boiling and pour into mug. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top for taste and decoration.
I also love this fermented turmeric liquid which contains 6 billion advanced multi-strain probiotics to aid digestion and relieve inflammation. It’s very easy to add to your water every day or cooking. We need 1 – 3 grams of turmeric a day in our diets to really feel the benefits, so it’s another great way to include it.
Who knew a piece of root could be so powerful!
If you try adding more turmeric to your diet, let me know in the comments below if it helps!