Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What would help insomnia related to menopause?
A: menopause is seen in traditional Chinese medicine to impact the root energy source of the woman, and as a result, estrogen levels drop, and progesterone levels tend to rise. This imbalance is called the waning of the yin energy and ascendance of yang energy. Yang rises to the top, causing the associated symptoms of irritability, hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, and so forth. As you approach this stage, begin modifying your diet with foods such as black beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, walnuts, lycii berries, mulberries, yams, licorice, lotus seeds, and chrysanthemum flowers. Avoid stress, tension, and stimulants.
Here are some remedies:
1. Make tea from chrysanthemum flowers, cassia seeds, and licorice; take this tea three times daily.
2. Roast sesame seeds, add to rice and lycii berry porridge, and eat for breakfast.
3. Visit an acupuncturist who specializes in herbal medicine, as they have shown good results in dealing with menopausal syndromes and their side effects.
You may also try the specially formulated products from the Traditions of Tao: “Women’s Wellness” to strengthen your yin, “Ancient Treasures” tea, and “Menopause”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.