Menopause Symptoms Can Be Eased By Eating Fennel Daily

Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle, but those uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause can have adverse impact on their quality of life. Do not despair, as Iranian scientists have found a pretty simple natural remedy for easing menopause symptoms.

Fennel, an anise-flavored herb used to add flavor to salads, side dishes, main courses, and in many popular Mediterranean cuisine, has long been touted for its numerous health benefits, ranging from relieving indigestion and premenstrual cramps to increasing brain functioning and strengthens the immune system.

Now scientists from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences suggest this aromatic herb can also help reduce menopause symptoms including hot flashes, sleeplessness, night sweats, vaginal dryness, anxiety and irritability, without serious side effects.

Eating a pinch of fennel seeds twice daily can ease the irritating and painful symptoms associated with the menopause, the scientists have discovered.

The Tehran University of Medical Sciences researchers explained that fennel contains phytoestrogens – a naturally-occurring plant nutrient which acts like female sex hormone oestrogen and can be effective in the management of postmenopausal symptoms.

According to the researchers, consuming a pinch amounting to 100mg of aniseed-flavoured herb twice a day can help beat the misery of vaginal dryness, sleep problems, exhaustion, anxiety, depression as well as joint and muscular discomfort.

In a small trial, the research team looked at 90 Iranian postmenopausal women aged 45 to 60 years. The participating women were divided into two groups of 45 women, with one group receiving soft capsules containing 100 mg of fennel twice daily and the other group a placebo, for a period of eight weeks. Each woman’s anxiety, sleep problems and hot flushes were measured and improvements were compared between the treatment and placebo groups at four, eight, and 10 weeks after the intervention began.

The results revealed that the women receiving the real supplement reported a significant statistical difference in the severity of symptoms of menopause.

“This small pilot study found that, on the basis of a menopause-rating scale, twice-daily consumption of fennel as a phytoestrogen improved menopause symptoms compared with an unusual minimal effect of placebo,” said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) who carried out the study.

Based on their study outcomes, the research team affirmed fennel can be used in future as an alternative treatment to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). They, however, acknowledged that more research is needed to draw any confirmed conclusion.

“A larger, longer, randomized study is still needed to help determine its long-term benefits and side effect profile,” Dr. Pinkerton said.

The study was published online Thursday in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).