8 Best Herbs for Menopause

Menopause is a major life event in a woman’s life. There are many botanicals and supplements that can help support the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes that take place during …

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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Menopause is a major life event in a woman’s life. There are many botanicals and supplements that can help support the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes that take place during this season of life.

In this article, we will review some of the best supplements and herbs for menopause.

herbs for menopause symptoms

Menopause Overview:

Menopause is a natural transition that occurs in women, typically between the ages of 45 and 55, and is considered the end of menstruation. This hormonal transition is primarily due to the decline of the hormone estrogen, which naturally decreases with aging. Perimenopause is the period before menopause, while postmenopause is the period after menopause.

Menopause is a time of immense change for women, physically and emotionally. The natural hormonal change causes the rise of menopause symptoms.

Common menopausal symptoms may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weight gain
  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness

Best Herbs for Menopause:

There are many supplements and herbs for female health that can help menopausal women experience a smooth and healthy transition by relieving bothersome symptoms and supporting overall well-being.

Below are the top research-backed herbs and supplements for the menopausal periods.

red clover for menopause symptoms

1. Red Clover

Red clover (or Trifolium pratense) is often seen as a flowering weed, however, it has strong medicinal properties due to its plant compounds, isoflavones, which have estrogenic effects on the body.

Red clover has been shown to treat menopause symptoms in a few ways, primarily by reducing hot flashes, improving skin and hair health, and bone health.

Several studies conclude that red clover can improve menopausal symptoms such as decreasing hot flashes, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness, depression, and anxiety.

Red clover has also shown to improve other common menopausal symptoms such as libido, sleep, hair health (better texture and less fragility), and skin (better texture and more moisture).

Promensil, a dietary supplement of standardized red clover extract, has shown to significantly reduce menopausal hot flashes.


Clinical studies suggest that red clover benefits menopause by reducing common symptoms such as menopausal hot flashes and poor skin and hair health.
st. john's wort for menopausal women

2. St. John’s wort

St. John’s wort (or Hypericum perforatum) is a plant native to Europe with a long history of use for managing mild to moderate depression. St. John’s wort can be beneficial for many of the mental health complaints associated with menopause.

This herb has shown to decrease fatigue and hot flashes, and improve sleep for perimenopausal women in a clinical study.

Another study showed the positive effect of St. John’s Wort on perimenopausal and postmenopausal women by decreasing the number of hot flash episodes, as well as their severity.

Dr. Aviva Romm, herbalist and women’s health expert, states that St. John’s wort can be used to help depression associated with menopause (2).

More research has shown that due to St. John’s wort’s strong antidepressant activity, it can significantly reduce depression in menopausal women. A study showed that 80% of menopausal women no longer had depression after two months of supplementing with St. John’s wort.


Research and traditional herbalism indicates that St. John’s Wort works to reduce symptoms of depression in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
vitex for menopause symptoms

3. Vitex

Vitex (Chasteberry or Vitex agnus-castus) is an herb commonly used to support women’s reproductive health. This plant has been shown to help menopausal women by reducing hot flashes. 

Vitex used topically as an essential oil on perimenopausal and postmenopausal women has shown to have a significant improvement on overall emotional well-being and reduce hot flashes and night sweats.

Another study supports the use of vitex as a treatment for reducing the number and severity of hot flashes in postmenopausal women.

An herbal formula of vitex, black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, and American ginseng has shown to be effective in relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, as well as improving overall sleep quality.


Vitex shows evidence for being able to reduce symptoms of menopause, specifically for reducing hot flash severity and night sweats.
motherwort for menopausal women

4. Motherwort

Motherwort (or Leonurus cardiaca) is a medicinal plant commonly used for strengthening the heart and supporting the nervous system. Research shows that motherwort can help alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, and heart palpitations. 

A study on menopause used a varying combination of herbs, with motherwort as one of the most common herbs used and found that it can be used as a relaxant and gynecological tonic, efficient in managing hot flashes.

In the European Medicines Agency, motherwort has been noted to be utilized during the menopausal period to aid in hormonal changes, hot flashes, and anxiety.

Dr. Aviva Romm suggests that motherwort can be taken during the menopausal period for depression, insomnia, anxiety, and heart palpitations.

Herbalist, David Hoffman, states that motherwort is “relaxing tonic” for the menopausal transition. 


A combination of studies and traditional herbalism indicates that motherwort may work to relieve certain menopausal symptoms.
fenugreek for menopause symptoms

5. Fenugreek

Fenugreek (or Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual legume native to Europe. It is used medicinally for many menopausal conditions, including reducing hot flashes and increasing libido.

A study on fenugreek showed to notably improve several common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, depression, mood swings, headaches, insomnia, and vaginal dryness.

Significant improvements including a 20% reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia, as well as a 30% improvement in depression was shown in a study using FenuSMART®, a standardized fenugreek extract.

Dr. Aviva Romm reports that fenugreek can be used to help low libido in menopausal women.


Scientific studies and herbalist Aviva Romm suggest that fenugreek may benefit women with menopause by decreasing hot flashes and night sweats while increasing libido.
black cohosh for menopause symptoms

6. Black Cohosh

Black cohosh (or Actaea racemosa, formerly Cimicifuga racemosa) is a perennial plant with a long traditional use for a variety of conditions from gynecological to arthritis. For menopause, black cohosh has shown to help reduce hot flashes.

Research has revealed that black cohosh can significantly improve hot flashes in menopausal women. 

The European Medicines Agency states that black cohosh can be used to treat hot flashes and profuse sweating during menopause.

A daily dose of 40-200 mg of dried black cohosh root can help reduce hot flashes and improve vaginal dryness, stated Dr. Aviva Romm.

David Hoffman explains that black cohosh can be used during perimenopause and menopause by helping to ease the physical, mental, and hormonal changes during this time; black cohosh may aid symptoms of menopause that may include hot flashes, headaches, vertigo, heart palpitations, irritability, sleep disturbances, and depressive moods.


Supplementation with black cohosh has been shown to lead to a reduction in hot flashes in menopausal women.
magnesium for menopause symptoms

7. Magnesium

During menopause and postmenopause, bone mineral density decreases, which increases the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Magnesium is a crucial mineral for the body and can help keep bones strong, preventing and/or managing conditions like osteoporosis. In addition, magnesium-rich herbs can help improve sleep, mood disorders, and headaches.

A study showed that postmenopausal women with higher levels of magnesium had less depressive symptoms.

Low magnesium levels revealed to be associated with low bone mineral density or increased bone loss. Researchers concluded that an intake of 334-422 mg or greater of magnesium (food and supplementation) can improve bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.


Magnesium is thought to benefit bone mineral density, depression, and other symptoms commonly associated with menopause.
vitamin d for menopause symptoms

8. Vitamin D

Vitamin D (or calciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin found in a few foods, but is mainly obtained from the natural sunlight. 

Vitamin D is another key nutrient for supporting normal bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D-rich foods are also important for calcium absorption, reducing inflammation, and supporting muscular and immune health.

Vitamin D supplementation of 40,000 IU per week was found to significantly improve vaginal health in postmenopausal women, including vaginal dryness, thinning, inflammation, and vaginal pH.

A study reported that adequate vitamin D levels are associated with better muscle function and strength in postmenopausal women.

Research supports that the combination of vitamin D and calcium profoundly helps to reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.


Research has found that vitamin D may work to support bone health and improve vaginal health in women with postmenopause.


Menopause is a natural period that occurs as women age. Along with diet and lifestyle modifications, using the most suitable herbs and supplements may help smooth the transition and help manage many of the common menopausal symptoms.

As always, it is recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before adding any new herbal or dietary supplement into your regimen, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, or taking any medications.

Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Healing Arts Press: Rochester, VT.

Romm, A. (2018). Botanical medicine for women’s health (2nd ed.). Elsevier, Inc: St. Louis, MO.

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About Tara Bassi, MS, CNS, LDN

Tara is a Licensed Nutritionist and Clinical Herbalist, specializing in women’s health. She has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition and Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health and is a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS®).