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Chinese Food Cures for Menopause

There is no way to prevent the onset of menopause, but there are ways to reduce or prevent its symptoms. The annoying symptoms of menopause can be greatly reduced by improving lifestyle habits; diet, exercise and one's attitude are just as effective as medications in living through menopause.

Traditional Chinese medicine holds that foods not only provide nutrients for the body, but can also cure or relieve health problems. TCM physicians always ask their patients how they eat, and give dietary advice along with treatment. Foods serve many purposes in TCM: to repair damage and regain vitality for recovery; to combat external seasonal influences, to fight early signs of diseases; to lessen the adverse effects of harsh drugs during treatment; and to delay degenerative processes or aging. With proper selection and preparation of food, diet can be one way for promoting health on regular basis.

From a TCM viewpoint, menopause is mainly associated with kidney deficiency, either in yin or yang. Kidney yin deficiency tends to further affect the heart and liver; while kidney yang deficiency tends to affect the spleen. 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. As a result, nutritional requirements vary from woman to woman and often change during the transitional process. Every woman should eat according to their own particular health needs. Some beneficial foods or herbs are listed below.

Benefits Foods / Herbs
Invigorating the lung
(For symptoms like breath shortness, sweating and get cold easily.)
Red dates, maltose, honey, chicken, ginseng, pilose asiabell root and astragalus root
Invigorating the spleen
(For symptoms like fatigue, weakness, poor appetite and loose bowels.)
Glutinous rice, red dates, beef, quail, pilose asiabell root, largehead atractylodes rhizome, liquorice root and Chinese yam
Promoting dampness elimination
(For symptoms like puffiness, limb heaviness and abnormal bowel movements.)
Lotus seed, euryale seed, coix seed, rice bean, corn silk, hyacinth bean, poria, largehead atractylodes rhizome, eels and carp
Promoting the raising force of qi
(For symptoms like organ prolapse, nose bleeding, gum bleeding and heavy menses.)
Chicken, mutton, red dates, peanut, longan aril, eels, cuttlefish, astragalus root and noto-ginseng
Promoting the production of qi and blood
(For symptoms like paleness, lusterless nails and hair, dizziness and palpitations.)
Carrot, spinach, peanut, red dates, longan aril, chicken, animal feet or liver, mutton, astragalus root and angelica root
Replenishing heart blood
(For symptoms like palpitations, poor memory and insomnia.)
Longan aril, litchi, red dates, grape, barley, wheat, pig's heart, chicken, ginseng, angelica root, sour jujube seed and poria
Replenishing liver blood
(For symptoms like blurred vision, light-headed, panic attacks, rib sides discomfort and limb numbness.)
Carrot, spinach, animal liver, wolfberry, mulberry fruit, fleeceflower root and angelica root
Nourishing yin and subduing wind evils
(For symptoms like limb tremor, joint stiffness and dizziness.)
Mulberry fruit, black soybean, Chinese soft-shelled turtle, oyster, egg yolk and white peony root
Nourishing yin and clearing heat
(For symptoms like hot sensations in the chest, palms and soles, night sweating, hot flashes and flushed face.)
Pear, lotus root, wolfberry, mulberry fruit, Chinese soft-shell turtle, milk, egg yolk, abalone, fish sound, sea conch, black chicken, rehmannia root, rabbit and duck,
Nourishing kidney yin
(For symptoms like dizziness, ear ringing, lumbar soreness, knee weakness, hot flashes, night sweating and thirst.)
Sesame seed, black soybean, wolfberry, milk, cherry, cashew, pig's kidney,
Warming the kidney
(For symptoms like lumbar soreness, limb coldness, fatigue and night frequency)
Walnut, chestnut, Chinese chives, cowpea, sparrow, shrimps, cistanche, dodder seed and epimedium
Replenishing essence and enriching marrow
(For symptoms like lumbar soreness, knee weakness, gray hair and general weakness.)
Sesame seed, wolfberry, black soybean, Chinese soft-shelled turtle, sea cucumber, dried mussel, animal bone marrow, yellow croaker, cistanche, deer antlers and donkey-hide gelatin
Helping the stomach and promoting fluid production
(For symptoms like thirst, mouth dryness and dry stools.)
Pear, sugar cane, water chestnut, lotus root, milk, white fungus, sesame seed, honey, fragrant Solomonseal rhizome and dwarf lily-turf tuber
Promoting fluid production and lubrication
(For symptoms like throat soreness, dryness, dry coughing, constipation and nose bleeding.)
Pear, lily bulb, lotus root, water chestnut, banana, egg white, persimmon, loquat fruit, pine nut, honey, rock sugar, pig's lung, meat, milk and coastal glehnia root

Some dietary recommendations for women during menopause are no different from general dietary guidelines. For example, the diet should have quite varied, including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, cereals, grains and small portions of meat and fish. They should also increase fluids and low fat dairy products, as well as cut down the amount of caffeine, alcohol and spicy food.

Chinese Soft-Shelled Turtle