Menopause – like a boss


A while ago I made a blend of essential oils which I felt might help women like myself in peri-menopause or beyond. The blend is made up and put into a 5ml glass roll-on, you roll it over your reproductive organ reflex points – on the inside and outside of your wrist. I have just sent off three of these beauties to women in Japan, where I live, and I also enclosed a note to offer what little knowledge I have about the subject of making it through the worst of hormone changes. Then I thought I could write a blog post about it – “et voila”, as my husband would say.

First, about the essential oil blend: it’s clary sage, vitex agnus castus, myrrh and rose, blended. 20 drops of this are put into a glass roll-on bottle and topped up with 5ml jojoba oil. I use jojoba oil because it absorbs very quickly into the skin. If you don’t like the smell, you can also take it as a tea, use dried herbs, although drinking myrrh might be a little tricky since it’s a resin, and it might not be that great for you, so you might want to skip that last one.

helen mirren

I think the point about menopause, if you want to get all philosophical about it, is that women are not really supposed to live beyond their reproductive years, based on the fact that no other animal does, and so some rite of passage is necessary. Whereas with periods we have all that blood, as well as pain and so on, with the menopause there is some other initiation to be gone through, in order to go on up there and join those intimidating cool ones, among the wise women. As we evolved as a species over millions of years, it’s only in the last few hundred years that life expectancy has risen much above late fifties. In some countries, it still is below that threshold.

So why must this years-long event mis-manage our lives? Answer: it doesn’t have to. You have to decide for yourself that you are not going to let it ruin your moods, your relationships, this glorious, sexy sunset of our forties and fifties, and I’d like to share what I have learned about going forth like a swan! I say, a swan!

judi dench

To start with, the regulation of the hormones takes place in the liver.

This organ works around the clock performing over 500 functions, but unlike the heart, cannot be transplanted. That’s why it’s imperative to support your liver in whatever way you can, now even more than ever. There’s lots of info online on how to do that. I wrote a blog post about it, HERE.

Allow yourself to go up a dress size or two

The creation of oestrogen takes place in the adipose tissue (AKA fat, baby!) after menopause. Studies show that larger women have less trouble with menopausal symptoms than slimmer ones. Okay!

Eat phytoestrogen and isoflavone-rich foods

These include peas, beans, raw seeds and whole grains. There is a good article o this HERE.

juliette binoche

This one is the most important: cut down drastically or give up cow milk products, even organic.

I know it might sound un-doable, but think: cows in milk production are continually given hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified milk-enhancing drugs to keep their milk production artificially high. This inevitably has a devastating toll on the reproductive systems of women who drink milk and eat cow milk products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt, yes, even organic milk.

Humans are the only animals that drink milk beyond being weaned, and the only animal that drinks the milk of another animal. Cow’s milk molecules are much too big to be comfortably digested by most people, and in Asia most people are allergic to it. Not only that, but there is a whole series of reasons why drinking milk is seriously unethical  (warning – the account of how cows in milk production in the link is really graphic and it might totally change your life.)

According to this United Nations commissioned report, 51% of greenhouse gasses are caused by farming livestock.

Yes, I said 51%, and most of that is from cattle rearing. So if you are part of that system, by which I mean if you drink milk or milk products, you are sponsoring this unhealthy, unethical system that is basically poisoning you and making you insane.

vanessa williams

How do I know milk is making me insane?

Because I gave up milk about a year ago and since then I am really, really sane. LOL. No, I mean I’m much, much happier and less, well, grumpy and naggy, just more mellow and easy to live with, whatever my menstrual cycle is doing. Also I get hardly any spots. That in itself would have been worth it.

If you are keen to try giving up milk, you will see almost immediate results. Miyoko Schinner’s book, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, is an excellent resource. So now we come to the whole thorny issue of…

But where would I get my calcium?

I’m sorry to say that you’ve been lied to about how much calcium there is in cow’s milk. In fact, according to Alison Forbes’ Healthy Eating, leafy greens, wakame and a whole spectrum of vegetables contain more calcium than milk. It doesn’t take too much trouble to really get started with replacing milk products.

I know that doctors have been prescribing calcium tablets to menopausal women but recent studies show that actually drinking milk and taking tabs doesn’t help all that much with osteoporosis. Read the Harvard article HERE and the Doctor Mercola article HERE. I’m researching this very topic for my Anatomy and Physiology course, so I can tell you there is nothing unhealthy about being a vegan 40-50 something, on the contrary.

Forget it. My family will hate it and refuse to eat it.

Allow me to disagree. And I know this because I live with 3 meat-eaters, three VERY FUSSY meat eaters, two of whom are teenagers, and one of them is a Japanese man (Japanese people like to eat dolphins, whales, horses, live thrash-around-on-your-plate fish, lobster and octopus) and if my family are okay with my vegan cooking, your brood will be too.


But that’s enough of me ranting on about what helps me to get through peri-menopause, now it’s your turn to say what has helped or not helped you. Please leave your comments in the box below.

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