One woman, whose menopause journey came in stages and moments - as opposed to one long, never-ending phase, has created a tea using ingredients scientifically proven to help ease some of the associated symptoms.
The Menopause Flash Dance Tea created in 2019 by Meera Bhogal is aimed at alleviating some of the disruptive issues the menopause can cause women in their day to day life.
She created her business Meera's Made from Scratch from her experience of finding solutions to her own health problems including the menopause, but also an intolerance to gluten, through diet and a holistic approach.
She remains passionate about helping women understand the effects of menopause and how they can transition through this phase in a positive and life-affirming way.
No-one to turn to
Meera said nobody in her family would talk about the menopause and there were no older women who she could turn to, so she found herself in a very lonely place with no-one to reach out to and she ended up telling herself it wasn't happening.
She only started joining the dots when her friends started talking about it.
"As far as the generation before us is concerned, it never happened. But perimenopause and menopause can go on for 20 or 30 years of your life and it’s just not talked about. More often than not, women are misdiagnosed and given antidepressants when this is about hormonal shifts," she says.
She said being in the situation herself drove her to make sure nobody else felt the way she had and her experience helped her choose the leaves for her blend.
Meera said: “I’ve experienced hot flushes, night sweats, aches and pains, joint stiffness, sleep deprivation, cloudy thoughts, phantom periods, mood swings, hair loss, dehydrated skin and panic attacks.
I created this tea to help towards alleviating some of these symptoms which can be so disruptive to daily life. The mixture of herbs is strong to balance hormones and provide a general sense of calm.”
Organic blend of leaves
It’s ingredients which are all organic include: moringa, sage, marjoram, tulis and rosemary.
Moringa is a plant that is typically used to make medicine and is rich in nutrition owing to the presence of a variety of essential phytochemicals present in its leaves, pods and seeds. Studies have proved that the leaves contain seven times more vitamin C than oranges, and 15 times more potassium than bananas.
The moringa plant is packed with calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, and antioxidants to protect cells from damage. It also provides ten times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, nine times more protein than yoghurt and 25 times more iron than spinach.
Sage is a member of the mint family and research suggests it can improve digestive problems and can reduce overproduction of perspiration and saliva. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, which can help ease menopause symptoms and memory loss.
Uses have shown it can relieve mild dyspeptic complaints including heartburn and bloating, excessive sweating, inflammation of the mouth or throat and mild dermatitis. Studies of marjoram conclude that its benefits include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helping digestive symptoms.
Tulsi, commonly known as Holy Basil, is considered a ‘tonic for the body, mind, and spirit’. The Tulsi plant acts as an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress including ageing, researchers have found.
Rosemary is a herb that is known for its medicinal properties, and delicious flavours. Studies have shown it can be used to alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, and boost the immune system and blood circulation. It is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and can also boost alertness, intelligence and focus.
As well as drinking the tea, Meera urges women not to neglect their gut health during the menopause. She says female hormones can have an impact and cause bloating and discomfort when oestrogen levels drop.
She says: "Menopause can often cause bloating and discomfort due to the female hormone oestrogen dropping. Probiotics and prebiotics will help to keep your gut health optimal; helping with these symptoms and enabling us to absorb nutrients more effectively.
"One option is to take a probiotic whilst another is to tuck into fermented foods such as kefir, a food-based source of probiotics. Prebiotics, foods which feed probiotics and allow them to grow, are equally important and I would recommend chia and flaxseed, which have been soaked to improve digestion.
"They are a good source of soluble fibre which acts as a form of prebiotic and are also a complete complement of amino acids."
Other tips from Meera include eating protein rich food, taking extra vitamin D and eating collagen rich food.