Updated: Jul 23
Menopause occurs when a woman hasn’t menstruated in 12 consecutive months. It is a regular part of ageing and usually begins the age of 45 and 55, but can develop before or after the age range.
A chapter in The Inner Classic Of The Yellow Emperor (Huangdi Neijing) states the growth and reproductive ages of women. “For a woman, at the age of 14, her qi and blood in Chong meridian becomes abundant and is fertile. At the age of 49, the Chong meridian vital energy declines, menstruation dries up, and is no longer to conceive.”
From a TCM viewpoint, menopause is caused by a decline in the functioning of kidneys, which store Essence (Jing) and govern birth, growth and reproduction. Menopause is mainly associated with kidney deficiency, either Ying and yang and the kidney essence diminishment. Kidney yin deficiency tends to further affect the heart and liver, kidney yang deficiency tends to affect the spleen. Kidney essence determines the body’s strength and vitality, and basis of sexual life. Women will experience different symptoms during this time; some will only have them for a short time while others may have serious symptoms that last for years. There is no way to prevent the onset of menopause, but methods like herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, scraping, and food therapy can help reduce or prevent its symptoms.
Common symptoms (Kidney Yin Deficiency)
•Noticeable increase or decrease in menstrual volume
•Tinnitus(ringing in ears)
•Soreness in the knee and lumbar regions
•Alternate between feeling warm and cold within a short span of time
Common Chinese Medicine used for menopause
1) Prepared Rehmannia root:
It is said to be the “Kidney’s own food” and sweet in flavour, warm in nature. It can nourish the blood to regulate menstruation, balance hormones, nourish the kidney to replenish Yin.
2) Glossy Privet Fruit:
This drug is sweet and bitter in taste and cool in nature. It is used for promoting growth and darkening of hair, reducing facial dark spots, and rapid heartbeat (palpitations).
3) Dogwood Fruit:
This drug is sour and puckery in taste and slightly warm in nature, and is distributed to Liver and Kidney Channels. It can tonify the liver and kidney, control menstruation and arrest sweating.
4) Spiny Jujuba Seed:
It is sweet and in taste and slightly warm in nature, and is distributed to Heart, Liver, Gall Bladder and Spleen Channels. It can nourish the heart and calm the mind, nourish Yin and arrest sweating.
Effects: nourish the kidneys and liver, calm the mind
Ingredients: 30g Chinese yam, 10g lily bud, 15g lotus seed, 10g wolfberry, 200g ribs
1. Rinse all ingredients thoroughly.
2. Blanch the rib.
3. Combine all ingredients with 2000ml of water and cook on high heat until boiling. Turn to low heat and simmer for 1.5 hour. Add salt to taste.
1. Xuehai point (Sea of blood) Location: located in the inner thigh, 3 finger widths above the knee cap in the muscle depression Functions: Regulates menstruation, nourishes blood, and subdues rebellious Qi.
2. San Yin Jiao point
Location: Located 3 cuns (about the length of 4 fingers) above the inner ankle. Functions: Tonifies the kidneys, nourishes blood and Yin, benefits urination, and regulates the uterus and menstruation.
It is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. It is better to consult a registered TCM practitioner before taking any herbal supplement or chinese medicine.
By Physician Chen Ying Chu
Yong Kang TCM Clinic