Non-Hormonal Treatments for Menopause: Yoga & Herbal Medicine

There are a variety of symptoms one may experience during menopause: 

Many women will often seek natural treatments to mitigate their symptoms before reverting to their last resort: hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  HRT is loaded with concerning side effects such as increased risk of cancer and heart disease, and worsening liver congestion with long-term use.  

Yoga and herbal therapy are great natural treatments which can effectively  help one transition comfortably through menopause. In a 2014 randomized controlled trial, although aerobic exercise and omega-3 intervention groups did not show a significant improvement in symptoms, the yoga intervention group saw a dramatic improvement in lessening menopausal symptoms.

In a review of the literature on menopause and herbs, Kargozar and colleagues (2017) summarized some of the more effective herbal medicines used to lessen the symptoms of menopause. They include:

  1. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis):  Sedative-like herb that treats hot flashes
  2. Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa):  Binds to estrogen receptors; suppresses secretion of luteinizing hormone; treats hot flashes
  3. Sage (Salvia officinalis):  Estrogenic-like herb that treats hot flashes and night sweats; binds to GABA receptors so it can calm, sedate, and improve memory
  4. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis):  Stimulates nerve function and supports sleep
  5. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum):  Well known for treating depression and anxiety; increases libido; eases vaginal dryness and urinary tract problems associated with menopause 
  6. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Well known for its cardioprotective effects and ability to improve bone mineral density (Akazawa et al., 2013; Riva et al., 2017)
  7. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba):  improves memory
  8. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare):  Since it’s anti-androgenic, it’s used to; treat hot flashes and vaginal atrophy
  9. Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis):  Reduces hot flashes
  10. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum):  Treats hot flashes
  11. Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra):  Treats hot flashes
  12. Anise (Pimpinella anisum):  Treats hot flashes
  13. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa):  Treats hot flashes
  14. Black Caraway (Nigella sativa):  Seed powder, at 1 g daily for two months, significantly improves cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure in menopausal women (Ibrahim et al., 2014)
  15. Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng):  improve energy, concentration, and balances mood
  16. Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus):  increases progesterone levels


Remember, menopause is a natural process. Medicinal herbs and yoga therapy have been successfully used for centuries to help ease menopausal symptoms.  With modern conventional western medicine, it’s easy to overlook the natural remedies and revert only to synthetic chemicals loaded with side effects.  

Yoga can be done almost anywhere, any time.  Just 40 minutes of morning yoga 5 days a week has been found to improve menstrual health in reproductive-aged women (Rani et al., 2013).


Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health.

Our expert team of integrative holistic practitioners work with patients suffering from chronic health concerns as well as patients undergoing natural processes like menopause.  We help our patients reverse disease by better understanding how the body optimally functions and providing personalized treatment plan. To learn more and book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.


Akazawa, N., Choi, Y., Miyaki, A., Tanabe, Y., Sugawara, J., Ajisaka, R., & Maeda, S. (2013). Effects of curcumin intake and aerobic exercise training on arterial compliance in postmenopausal women. Artery Research, 7(1), 67-72. doi:10.1016/j.artres.2012.09.003.

Ibrahim, R. M., Hamdan, N. S., Mahmud, R., Imam, M. U., Saini, S. M., Rashid, S. N. A., . . . Ismail, M. (2014). A randomised controlled trial on hypolipidemic effects of nigella sativa seeds powder in menopausal women. Journal of Translational Medicine, 12, 82-82.

Kargozar, R., Azizi, H., & Salari, R.  (2017).  A review of effective herbal medicines in controlling menopausal symptoms. Electronic Physician, 9(11), pp. 5826-5833.  

Rani, M., Singh, U., Agrawal, G. G., Natu, S. M., Kala, S., Ghildiyal, A., & Srivastava, N. (2013). Impact of Yoga Nidra on menstrual abnormalities in females of reproductive age. Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)19(12), 925-929. 

Reed, S. D., Guthrie, K. A., Newton, K. M., Anderson, G. L., Booth-LaForce, C., Caan, B., ... & Freeman, E. W. (2014). Menopausal quality of life: RCT of yoga, exercise, and omega-3 supplements. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 210(3), 244-e1.

Riva, A., Togni, S., Giacomelli, L., Franceschi, F., Eggenhoffner, R., Feragalli, B., . . . Dugall, M. (2017). Effects of a curcumin-based supplementation in asymptomatic subjects with low bone density: A preliminary 24-week supplement study. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 21(7), 1684-1689.

Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to

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