Natural estrogen replacement hormones are an alternative hormone replacement therapy for women going through menopause. During menopause, the body produces a much lower amount of estrogen and progesterone, and the woman no longer has a menstrual cycle because her ovaries have ceased releasing eggs on a monthly basis. Natural estrogen replacement therapy consists of consuming products and foods which stimulate or have a high level of phytoestrogen. Chemical estrogen replacement therapy is available, but there have been studies that have shown that these chemicals greatly increase the woman’s chance of developing breast cancer, so many women look for natural alternatives to chemical hormone replacement therapy.
Soy bean products are extremely rich in isoflavones, a group of foods that contain phytoestrogen. Tofu, edamame, soy milk, and supplements are the most popular food sources containing high amounts of soy beans. Soy bean consumption by menopausal women has been the subject of many studies, and it has been found to reduce the side effects of menopause while increasing the woman’s bone mineral density.
Linagans are also high in estrogen-like chemicals. Flax seeds, sesame seeds, multi-grain breads, and sunflower seeds contain a high quantity of linagan. Many of these food sources are also antioxidants and produce Omega-3 fatty acids when consumed, which can help to prevent the development of other medical conditions. Flax seed and flax seed oil can help reduce the symptoms of menopause, including the occurrences of hot flashes or night sweats.
Dong quai is a herbal supplement that contains a high quantity of phytoestrogen. Also known as angelica sinensis or dang gui, dong quai regulates the body’s production of estrogen and other hormones in women of any age, and during menopause, when a woman's level of estrogen is low, this herb will stimulate the body’s production of estrogen. Dong quai has many other health benefits, and it is sometimes used to treat hypertension. This herbal supplement can be found in capsule form, and there are also teas containing dong quai available.
Red clover is another type of natural estrogen replacement herb rich in isoflavones and linagans, and produces chemicals that affect the estrogen receptors in a woman’s body. This herb produces chemicals that act like estrogen, and reduce the occurrence of hot flashes and night sweats in women during menopause. Red clover supplements are available in capsules, tinctures, and also as a powder. Women should consult a physician when considering taking natural estrogen replacement supplements during menopause.