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Menopause is marked by the natural absence of a menstrual cycle for a woman for a period of 12 consecutive months. It’s also a time of slow decrease in the amount of hormones a woman produces. During menopause, the balance between estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormones changes.

The period before menopause is called perimenopause, and with it comes symptoms like hot flashes and mood changes. These symptoms start to subside in menopause. Most women begin to experience perimenopause symptoms during their 40s and 50s, though it can happen earlier.

Perimenopause is natural and can last anywhere from 10 months to 4 years. For many, it may be longer. In addition to hot flashes and mood changes, women may experience these symptoms:

They’re also at higher risk of osteoporosis.

There may be natural ways to ease the discomfort and pain if you’re going through perimenopause or menopause. Among them, some teas may help fight your symptoms. Read on to learn more.

Drugs can help balance the hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause. Hormones aren’t the best choice for many women. If you’re looking for more natural remedies, teas may be a healthy and less expensive option.

While a woman’s levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone drop during menopause, tea can help to lessen the symptoms of these changes.

Follow package instructions (or use approximately 1 teaspoon of tea per 1 cup of hot water) for each serving:

1. Black cohosh root

Black cohosh root has been found to reduce vaginal dryness and hot flashes in menopausal women. Research suggests that it’s most effective for women who experience early menopause.

It can be taken in pill form, or more popularly, as a tea. It’s been used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Women who are pregnant shouldn’t consume black cohosh root tea. Those who are being treated for blood pressure or liver problems also shouldn’t take black cohosh.

2. Ginseng

Ginseng has been proven to help reduce the occurrence and severity of hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal women. Recent research has even found that it can help postmenopausal women lessen their risk of cardiovascular disease.

A 2010 study also showed that red ginseng can help menopausal women increase sexual arousal and improve their sex lives.

You can drink ginseng tea daily to get its benefits. Taking ginseng as an herb can have many interactions with numerous medications include heart, blood pressure, diabetes, and blood-thinning medications. Side effects can include jitteriness, headaches, and nervousness.

3. Chasteberry tree

Chasteberry tree has been found to treat premenstrual symptoms, but drinking the tea can also help ease breast pain (mastodynia) and hot flashes in perimenopausal women.

The herb also increases progesterone, which can help maintain a healthy balance between estrogen and progesterone throughout the transitions from perimenopause to menopause.

Those using hormones for birth control or hormone replacement shouldn’t use chasteberry. As well, those who’ve had hormone-sensitive diseases such as breast cancer should avoid this tea. This is also not a good choice for anyone taking antipsychotic medications or drugs for Parkinson’s disease.

4. Red raspberry leaf

Red raspberry leaf tea hasn’t been linked to easing common perimenopause symptoms. However, it’s an effective way to lessen heavy menstrual flows, especially those that come at the onset of perimenopause for many women. This tea is generally considered safe to take during perimenopause and into menopause.

5. Red clover

Used primarily to treat hot flashes and night sweats in women with menopause, red clover has also been used to treat high blood pressure, improve bone strength, and boost immunity. It’s generally considered safe.

Red clover contains phytoestrogens, a plant-based form of estrogen, which helps to improve the hormonal imbalances caused by menopause. This tea is a delicious way to add red clover to your daily routine.

6. Dong quai

Dong quai tea helps to balance and regulate estrogen levels in women going into menopause, reducing or improving them depending on your hormonal imbalances.

It has also been found to lessen cramps as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and can ease the pelvic pain in menopause, as well. Avoid this tea if you are expecting to have surgery. It’s been found to interfere with blood clotting. Those with fair skin might become more sun sensitive after drinking this tea regularly.

A study found that the combination of dong quai and chamomile could reduce hot flashes by up to 96 percent. Read more about the benefits of this powerful plant.

7. Valerian

Valerian root has health benefits that include treating insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and stress. It’s also been an option for women entering menopause due to its ability to reduce hot flashes.

The herb can also treat joint pain. For women experiencing symptoms of osteoporosis, it can be a good option for improving bone strength.

Enjoy a cup of valerian root tea at bedtime to help have a restful night. As a tea, there is little risk in taking it. As an herb, talk to your doctor first, and avoid using it long term and taking it with alcohol.

8. Licorice

Licorice tea can help to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes — and how long they last — in women entering menopause. It can also have estrogen-like effects, and it may be effective in improving respiratory health and reducing overall stress.

Licorice can have adverse effects if mixed with certain prescription drugs, so consult with a doctor before consuming.

9. Green tea

A 2009 study revealed that green tea can be an effective way to strengthen bone metabolism and decrease the risk of bone fractures, especially in women experiencing menopause.

Green tea is also full of antioxidants, some caffeine, and EGCG. EGCG boosts metabolism, helping to fight the weight gain many menopausal women experience. There is little risk in drinking green tea.

This decaffeinated tea might be a good choice if you’re worried about having trouble sleeping.

10. Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba has been found to contain phytoestrogens (similar to red clover) and can raise estrogen levels, naturally improving hormonal imbalances.

A 2009 study suggested that ginkgo biloba can improve PMS symptoms and the mood fluctuation that can occur before and during menopause.

Ginkgo biloba tea isn’t common, but you can find blends such as this one that may help. This herb can interfere with blood clotting, but as a tea for short-term use has little risk.

Consult with your doctor before using tea to treat perimenopause symptoms, since some teas may have adverse effects on prescription medicines. Some teas are natural blood thinners, so speak with a doctor about your tea usage, especially before any elective surgery. Occasional use of teas has little risk and might be a good option for a gentle approach to the symptoms of perimenopause.

If you choose to drink tea to combat the symptoms of perimenopause, purchase organic herbal teas, and opt for caffeine-free varieties since caffeine may worsen menopausal symptoms.

Be careful with consuming the teas hot — especially if hot flashes are your biggest symptom — because they can increase the occurrence of hot flashes and night sweats. This may be especially true if you drink them before bed. You can brew the tea in advance and drink it cold for a cooler alternative.

If you begin to notice perimenopausal symptoms, speak with your doctor, who can help guide you on the best treatment plan.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment option for many women. With this option, your doctor will prescribe you the hormones in the form of pills, patches, gels, or creams. These can help balance your levels. Depending on health and family history, however, HRT may not be right for you.

Vaginal estrogen, which is applied directly to the vagina with a cream, tablet, or ring, can help fight vaginal dryness and discomfort. For women who can’t use estrogen therapy, gabapentin (Neurontin) can be an effective way to reduce hot flashes.

Alternatively, essential oils may also relieve the symptoms associated with entering menopause when applied to various parts of the body.

Symptoms of menopause range from hot flashes and sweats to vaginal dryness, mood swings, and even osteoporosis. While traditional over-the-counter and prescription drugs can help with the discomfort, alternative treatments and herbal remedies can be a useful and effective alternative to medication. Try these teas, or talk to your doctor about other natural methods that may work for you.