Natural Remedies for Menopause That Actually Work

Memory Problems, Weight Gain, High Cholesterol, Vaginal Symptoms

Coping with menopause can involve using lifestyle approaches that include natural remedies for managing symptoms, such as hot flashes. Everyone experiences menopause a little differently and you might feel better with some natural approaches, but not others. And some natural remedies can help with more than one symptom of menopause, so this may impact your experience as well.

This article discusses common natural approaches for managing menopause symptoms—and also lets you know that some haven't been shown to be helpful. Talk to your healthcare professional about which symptoms you are experiencing, and you might want to consider whether any of these strategies would be right for you.

green tea
Ivan Stojmenovic / EyeEm / Getty Images

Safety Note About Natural Remedies

Always remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Many herbal, plant, and dietary supplements interact with medications or may have a negative impact on medical conditions. Natural approaches are not risk-free, and the more you know, the better you can choose treatments that will keep you safe and well.

Before deciding to use alternative and complementary remedies for your menopause symptoms, check with your medical professional and read up on possible side effects and cautions for any remedy you are considering.

Memory Problems

It is frustrating to try to recall a word or name that's on the tip of your tongue, but won't come out. Forgetting where the car keys are or where you put your glasses can also drive you crazy as you get ready to leave the house. Sound familiar?

Many people begin to notice memory glitches as they get into perimenopause. Sometimes, this can be an effect of having so many things to keep track of, but there are things you can do to keep your memory sharp.

Getting Enough Sleep

In order to process memory, your brain needs to have adequate sleep. Sleep resets your body and lets it recover from the stresses of your day. Your body works more efficiently in every way if you are getting the rest you need.

Menopause can be a time of disrupted sleep for many reasons:

  • Hot flashes can interfere with sleep
  • Weight gain can increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea
  • Increased frequency of urination may wake you up at night
  • Age-associated medical problems like arthritis can cause pain at night

Pay special attention to getting enough sleep, which can help you avoid memory problems. Carve out enough time for sleep and make sure to avoid caffeine or alcohol before bedtime.

Stress Management

Stress is a major memory buster. If you are having trouble concentrating or remembering everyday things, pay attention to your stress level. Research has confirmed that even ​short-term stress can impact learning and memory.

The menopause transition is at a time of life that may present major challenges—increasing work responsibilities, parenting teenagers, divorce, illness, and taking care of aging parents, to name a few. And stress can interfere with sleep.

Taking care of yourself and reducing the stress in your life is a survival skill. Memory problems may be an early red flag that your stress level is climbing.

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness training is a type of exercise that is used to help people pay attention to their feelings and physical experiences for the purpose of gaining better control over thoughts.

Incorporating mindfulness into your life has been shown to reduce the degree of discomfort from hot flashes and to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression and sleep quality, though data is limited.

Green Tea

Drinking green tea has been associated with many health benefits, including combatting inflammation and boosting the immune system. Research is now beginning to link green tea with the prevention of memory loss.

It is considered safe and is readily available. It does contain caffeine so it's best to avoid it in the later afternoon or evening since caffeine can interfere with sleep.

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are common during menopause. Some people have them multiple times per day and some experience bouts for days at a time. Using a fan, wearing layers, and keeping the air conditioning at your comfort level can help on the spot.

Additionally, natural remedies may help reduce hot flashes.

Avoid Trigger Foods

You might have noticed that certain foods or drinks precipitate your hot flashes or make them worse. Some people notice that spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine can trigger hot flashes. Try to keep track of dietary triggers so you can avoid them.


Research has shown mixed results about whether soy helps with hot flashes. Some research suggests that soy might be beneficial for symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Soy has a physiologic activity similar to that of estrogen, so you need to use it with caution, especially if you already take estrogen therapy or if you are at risk of breast cancer.

Black Cohosh

A herbal remedy that has estrogen-like properties, black cohosh may help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes. It may work when used in a specific product (Remifemin, Phyopharmica/Enzymatic therapy), but research done with other formulations shows variable results.

Because of its hormonal action, you should only use this herbal supplement with the approval of your healthcare professional.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is common during perimenopause, and many people continue to gain a few pounds every year after menopause. While there are no proven herbal preparations for preventing weight loss, there are lifestyle and diet changes that can help you naturally curb the tendency to put on weight.

Stress Management

Stress can interfere with your body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Stress often causes overeating and unhealthy eating habits, and it can also alter cortisol and insulin activity, which intereferes with metabolism and causes weight gain.

Healthy Diet

The menopause transition is a great time to take a look at your diet and make changes that will serve you through the rest of your life. As your metabolism slows and you begin to handle calories differently, you can revise your eating habits to include a proper menopause diet that will set the stage for healthy menopausal years.


Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. As you get close to menopause, though, it becomes an essential part of your healthy life plan.

Weight loss requires consistent physical activity, so be sure to start a program that is sustainable for your lifestyle.

Since exercise aids memory, mood, and bone health, it is truly an all-purpose approach to menopause wellness. Make sure you incorporate a few different types of exercise, including stretching, weight-bearing exercise, and cardio.


Not getting enough sleep affects your hormones in a way that makes you want to eat more and causes your body to collect fat around your middle. 

High Cholesterol

As your estrogen begins its decline before menopause, your cholesterol may begin to climb. During menopause, women have the same risk of heart disease as men. High cholesterol is a contributor to heart disease. You can help keep your cholesterol at optimal levels with some natural strategies.

Whole Grain Oats

Including whole grain oats in your diet can lower cardiac risk by reducing both total and harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.

Soy and Red Clover

There is conflicting evidence on the effects of red clover on cholesterol.

In some studies, soy protein has been shown to reduce total cholesterol readings and lower LDL cholesterol. Red clover lowers triglycerides and may increase the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Generally, the evidence does not support its use for this.


Osteoporosis is common during menopause, and it can cause a predisposition to serious problems, such as bone fractures.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, a mineral necessary for bone formation. You can get vitamin D from a combination of dietary sources, such as vitamin-D-enriched milk, supplements, and sunlight exposure.

Too much time in the sun without skin protection can be dangerous, so be sure to practice safety and moderation when it comes to sun exposure.

If you need to take a supplement, your dose will depend on your risk of osteoporosis, your age, and your overall health.


Calcium is involved in the formation of bones, and deficiency of calcium in the diet can cause thinning of bones. Good dietary sources include dairy products and vegetables. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for females between ages 50 and 70 is 1200 milligrams. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need calcium supplements in addition to the calcium you are getting in your diet.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is involved in the metabolism of proteins that help form bone. Good dietary sources include vegetables, meat, eggs, and fish.


Getting regular exercise strengthens your muscles, making you less prone to injuries from falls and even minor trauma. Exercise is also beneficial for bone health.

If you already have osteoporosis, be sure to stick to low-impact exercise to reduce your risk of injury.

Vaginal Symptoms

If you are having vaginal symptoms during menopause, there are several natural approaches that might help. Losing pleasure during sexual activity and beginning to leak urine are common issues during perimenopause and menopause.

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises may be used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, improve sensation during intercourse, and reduce urinary incontinence. If you do them several times a day, you may see results in two to four weeks.

Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants

Although not technically “natural” remedies, vaginal moisturizers work for several days to make the vagina more elastic, and vaginal lubricants help reduce friction and pain during sex. Water-based products are unlikely to provoke an allergic response and are easy to find in drug stores.

Wild Yam Cream

Creams derived from wild yam contain a phytoestrogen that, as with other estrogen creams, have been used by some people for menopause symptoms, but research shows that it is not effective for improving symptoms of menopause.

A Word From Verywell

Menopause brings a number of bothersome effects, some of which can be managed with natural remedies. Don't hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about natural remedies. It's important that you use these safely, as some of them can interfere with prescription medications that you take, and a few can also cause problems if you have other health issues, such as a risk of breast cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?

    Lists of menopause symptoms have various lengths, but suffice to say, there are many possible symptoms. Common ones include weight gain, mood changes, fatigue, clouded thinking, vaginal dryness, diminished libido, urinary urgency, hot flashes, and hair thinning.

  • How long does menopause last?

    Menopause is defined as the permanent end of menstrual periods. It is diagnosed as when a person has gone 12 months since their last period. Perimenopause starts before menopause, and it involves irregular periods, light periods, weight gain, and thinning hair. Perimenopause lasts between two to 10 years before menopause occurs.

  • What are signs you are coming to the end of perimenopause?

    The most definitive signs that perimenopause is ending and that menopause is near are that menstruation becomes infrequent, periods are very light, or menstruation completely stops.

  • How do I lose weight during menopause?

    The best ways to lose weight during menopause are the same as at any other time of life: Stay physically active, eat a healthy diet, and avoid overeating.

  • What causes hot flashes other than menopause?

    Other causes of hot flashes include medications, thyroid disorders, infections, carcinoid syndrome, and cancer. If you are experiencing hot flashes that aren't explained by perimenopause, you should contact a healthcare professional.

  • Are there natural remedies for hot flashes?

    There are many natural remedies for hot flashes:

    • Drink cold fluids to cool down and stay hydrated.
    • Do deep breathing exercises.
    • Avoid spicy foods or other foods that trigger hot flashes.

    Flaxseed, vitamin E, yam phytoestrogens, and black cohosh are often promoted as menopause treatments. However, these natural remedies are not scientifically proven and may not be effective for everyone.

11 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Kate Bracy, RN, NP
Kate Bracy, RN, MS, NP, is a registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner who specializes in women's health and family planning.