Recently, I discovered that the Chinese term for menopause is 二春 (èr chūn), which literally means second spring. Figuratively, it means falling in love for the second time, which makes me swoon.
I had a front row seat to my mother's debilitating spiral into depression during menopause that resulted in months-long, self-prescribed isolation. The result? She shut everyone out, suffering alone in relentless darkness with the shades pulled all the way down.
In that moment, I decided I would not follow in my mother's experience. Instead, I chose to nourish my whole self from the inside out. I see this shift as a passage—and a messy, haunting and beautiful reflection of a reproductive life well lived with two miscarriages and the eventual births of my two children, Isaiah and Chiara. My body has been through hell and now it's time to find some peace.
Let's get off the hormonal rollercoaster and fall in love with our bodies again.
You can ease into your 40s and beyond with our peri/menopause edible, Harmonia | Women 40+ Hormone Balance, to help you find balance from within by stabilizing hormone health, easing hot flashes, balancing emotions and reducing inflammation and body aches.
Black cohosh roots (Actaea racemosa or Cimicifuga racemosa), a member of the buttercup family, is a perennial plant native to North America. Used by Native Americans for centuries as hormone replacement therapy to help alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, restless sleep, body pain, dizziness, anxiety, mood swings, vaginal dryness and heart palpitations.
Vitex berries (Vitex agnus-castus) Contains several different constituents, including flavonoids, iridoid glycosides and terpenoids. Nature’s hormonal balancer, this powerhouse berry enhances the function of the pituitary gland (specifically on the production of luteinizing hormone), which is a primary gland that regulates hormone secretion. It also keeps prolactin secretion in check and improves estrogen and progesterone levels.
Hawthorn berries or shan zha (Crataegus monogyna) Oldest known medicinal plant in European herbal medicine with a long history of use in both Chinese and Western medicinal systems. The berries help increase blood flow to the heart, which helps prevent oxidative stress–related cardiovascular disease caused by estrogen deficiency. They also help alleviate stress, sweating, night sweats and hot flashes while lowering blood pressure.
Red clover blossoms (Trifolium pratense) Considered one of nature’s best vitamin and mineral supplements, they contains beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin C, a whole spectrum of B vitamins and essential trace minerals, such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper and selenium. They also contain estrogen-like flavonoids, known as phytoestrogens, which can help maintain normal estrogen levels while lowering bone density loss and alleviating hot flashes, mood swings and night sweats.
Red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) This pain-relieving, nutritive herb can help increase progesterone levels, which helps fight the effects of estrogen dominance. Its bioactive polyphenols reduce inflammation and its significant calcium content fortifies bones. It's also high in magnesium, nourishing nerves and muscles, and iron-rich, fortifying blood with iron.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) An earthy springtime green, hormone-balancing nettle is a potent source of vitamins and minerals, including A, C, E, iron, and calcium. It nourishes the whole body, alleviating hot flashes and promoting adrenal and kidney health. Antioxidant-rich, it also helps protect cells from oxidative stress.
Oatstraw or milky oats (Avena sativa) Energetically cooling, the mood-balancing plant’s mucilaginous quality helps protect and build healthy nervous system function, which calms the body. It also helps balance the endocrine system and support a healthy libido.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense or E. arvense) is a perennial herb that protects kidney and bone health while regulating hormones. It contains Kynurenic acid, which helps reduce inflammation and pain as well as silica, which supports collagen production and helps increase bone density.
Grass-fed beef gelatin Gelatin sourced from pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle is rich in protein and has a unique amino acid profile, resulting in health benefits including improved digestion, increased brain function and collagen levels as well as joint and bone pain.
Be well and remember to be gentle with yourself, today and every day.