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One of the most common symptoms my patients tell me about during their pre-menopause years is a pervasive sense of mild depression and anxiety. No particular reason for it, they report, just a sense that things aren’t going right, wanting to cry for no reason over little things that never bothered them.
If you feel this way, here’s what’s happening:
The neurotransmitter (brain chemical) serotonin acts as your stress buffer, and low levels of serotonin render you more susceptible to stress. Also, estrogen and serotonin are linked like two cars of a roller coaster, estrogen up front, controlling serotonin behind.
As you approach menopause (and also during PMS days) your estrogen drops, and down comes your stress-buffering serotonin. The result? Mild depression, anxiety, sometimes obsessive thinking, and being bothered by the little stuff.
Next, you might start craving carbs or chocolate–both boost serotonin–and gain some weight, making you feel even more depressed. (Men experience none of this and can be as empathetic as concrete blocks.)
An easy way to boost serotonin
It was a delight to see the most conventional and conservative medical researchers admitting that safe and gentle herbs can help all this–without prescription drugs. An article in Menopause concluded that the combination of St. John’s wort (by raising serotonin) and black cohosh (by providing a mild estrogen effect) was very useful in safely relieving the anxiety and depression that can accompany menopause.
Both St. John’s wort and black cohosh are available in our Triple Whammy Cure apothecary, formulated like those used in the clinical studies. Dosing is easy: St. John’s wort 450 mg twice a day, black cohosh 40 mg once a day.
After 3 to 4 weeks on these products, my patients commonly tell me: “It’s amazing how things that used to upset me, even reduce me to tears, no longer push my buttons” and “It’s so nice not to endlessly obsess about the little things. I feel I’ve got my mind back.”