We recently wrote about how plant-based skincare can make a proven difference when it comes to the impact of hormone change on the appearance of skin. However, the power of plants doesn't stop there. Research shows that plant hormones (phytohormones), can have a positive and notable impact on the unwanted consequences of menopause through diet and supplementation as well.
Scientific research into holistic support for menopause symptoms
Working with Keele University, our in-depth State of the Art Scoping Review looking at 99 peer reviewed papers provided academic validation and statistical scrutiny of holistic therapies on specific menopause symptoms.
Notably, it found that menopausal women looking to treat their symptoms with non-pharmaceutical approaches should consider phytoestrogens as well as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for relief across the spectrum of symptoms. In particular, phytohormones were seen to help reduce the frequency of hot flushes/hot flashes caused by hormonal changes.
Gina McGenity, a third year student at Liverpool Hope University, completing a BA (Hons) degree in Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing and focusing on menopause in her final year thesis also told us: "Phytoestrogens, essentially a form of plant oestrogen, found in honeybush tea can counteract some effects of menopause, such as hot flushes; vaginal atrophy; and cognitive concerns."
Other findings included support for the use of holistic therapies to address the unwanted consequences of menopause:
- Reflexology appeared helpful for sexual dysfunction.
- Homoeopathy showed benefits for the central nervous system and cardiovascular symptoms.
- Hypnosis showed signs of improvement for central nervous system and cardiovascular symptoms, as well as sexual dysfunction.
- Wellness education, support and information was shown to be beneficial for central nervous system and cardiovascular symptoms as well as decreasing sexual dysfunction alongside lifestyle changes.
- Mindfulness was shown to provide benefits for mild depression.
- Exercise showed mixed benefits for central nervous system and cardiovascular symptoms, as well as other self-reported symptoms.
- There was some evidence that yoga supports improvement in sexual dysfunction.
- Research validated the use of acupuncture to ameliorate the unwanted physical and emotional consequences of menopause.
Plants that help ease menopause symptoms
Your diet is one of the best ways to consume phytoestrogens, through food and supplements. There are several studies to prove their benefits, not only during menopause but for general health and wellbeing. For example, the National Library of Medicine  has one such study. Amongst the findings, corroborated by our own research and other studies, it notes:
The best dietary sources of phytoestrogens
There are lots of food sources of phytoestrogens, but some of the best noted in studies include the following. The National Library of Medicine also said: "The most important source of phytoestrogens is isoflavones found in soybeans."
- Wheat flour
- Red clover
- Sweet potatoes
Benefits of phytoestrogens include
Supporting our research the headline benefits of consuming phytoestrogens in a range of studies is as follows:
- Reduce total cholesterol and improve heart function
- Aid weight loss
- Positive influence on cognitive function
- Act as anti-ageing in the skin through oestrogen receptors or increased production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and extracellular protein matrix.
In short, there is a significant amount of evidence to show that plants can make a difference to wellbeing alongside other lifestyle factors.