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Menopause from a TCM Perspective

5 March 2009 1,354 views No Comment

“According to Chinese medicine, diet is the most effective way to relieve many symptoms. All heat-producing foods and substances should be eliminated. Caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, food colouring, preservatives, and additives(including antibiotics and hormones fed to animals during the production of most meat, chicken and eggs) will cause excess heat and yin depletion. Red meat should be consumed in small quantities, but being a complete vegetarian (vegan) is not recommended. You should eat at least 2-4 ounces of meat or fish every week or two, depending upon your size and lifestyle. It is also helpful to limit spicy, pungent foods, such as curries or chilies, and greasy, fried or oily foods.

Foods should be lightly cooked, not raw or cold. The body has to work much harder to digest raw food, which creates heat and chi stagnation. Cold food, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t cool the body in a balanced way. Instead, cold and ice create blockages in the chi channel, which creates chi stagnation. The following foods are especially cooling and helpful: melons, bean sprouts, tofu, white ocean fish, celery, apples, asparagus, and grapes.

Smoking obviously makes everything worse. When you smoke, you are quite literally breathing in fire and toxins that enter the brain and bloodstream directly. It is also well documented that smoking poisons the ovaries, decreasing our estrogen levels about two years sooner than would normally occur.

Practitioners of TCM also discourage the regular use of ginger and Asian ginseng (panax ginseng) and Siberian ginseg during perimenopause because both are considered heat-producing.”

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