Often called ‘the female ginseng’ Dong Quai is a herb native to eastern Asia and China. Indicated for painful menses, irregular menstruation and a supportive herb for menopausal complaints, it’s the second best selling herb in China. Here in the west it has become popular as a herb for treating menopausal symptoms. Unfortunately it is also one of the first alternative therapies to which potential adverse effects has been attributed as it mimics the effects, though to a lesser extent, of the blood thinning drug warfarin.
Evening Primrose oil
Another favourite of Native Americans, they consumed the leaves, roots and seed pods of Evening Primrose as food and used extracts from it to treat a number of conditions. Today the flowers and seeds are pressed to create an oil that is high in omega 6 fatty acid, gamma linolaeic acid (GLA) and essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, which convert into prostaglandins. Although there are a number of studies in which Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to successfully treat eczema and other skin conditions with few side effects it appears to have no benefit in the treatment of hot flushes.