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Our functional medicine Toronto approach to managing menopause with herbs


Your hormone balance is vital for optimal health. But when menopausal symptoms kick in, wonky levels of these chemical messengers can wreak havoc on daily functioning. Luckily, functional medicine from our Toronto clinic can offer a personalized approach to wellness.  

Menopause marks the regression of female reproductive capabilities, and is officially recognized when menstrual periods have ceased for about a year. This is a natural phase in a woman’s life; however, the associated symptoms, such as hot flashes, can be managed to reduce discomfort and promote optimal health and longevity. 

Perimenopause – the transitional chapter towards menopause – can last up to 14 years until menopause is officially reached, and it involves a range of symptoms, such as poor sexual health, weight and mood issues, trouble sleeping, brain health issues (i.e. brain fog, cognitive decline, etc.), and issues regulating body temperature. In fact, hot flashes from menopause can severely affect the daily lives of adult women. In an article from the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, it was reported that 80% of women who undergo menopause get hot flashes; 30% of these women get these discomforts 10 times per day!

Menopausal symptoms can continue for years for some women, especially after they’ve officially entered menopause. For this reason, strategies for managing these personal symptoms could add comfort to your long-term health. In this Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) article, we explain how we tackle these discomforts with core tests and a wide variety of herbal supplements. 

Applying the integrative functional medicine model to menopausal symptoms

It’s not uncommon for us to offer education to patients on how hormone imbalances may be addressed with complementary and integrative medicine. This includes using functional medicine testing, such as the DUTCH test, which provides a “snapshot” of your hormone levels (i.e. estrogen, cortisol and their metabolites) and organic acids. Unlike conventional laboratory tests that analyze blood samples, this series of dried urine tests quantifies hormone levels that cannot be documented in conventional blood, urine and saliva lab tests. 

Once we’ve scrutinized your DUTCH results and understood your medical history and environmental/lifestyle factors, we can design a comprehensive treatment plan. This tailored health strategy can help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, and may potentially help prevent or delay chronic disease conditions down the road. We may mention adding herbs to your treatment plan, as “…some herbal medicines that have been proven to be effective can be used to improve menopausal symptoms,” confirms an article from the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 

Profile of herbs for managing menopausal symptoms

We may make herbal medicine recommendations based on your unique biology, current prescription medications, etc. In In the table below, we highlight herbs that may be added to treatment plans for targeting menopausal symptoms: 


Impact on menopausal symptoms

Black cohosh

Scientists insinuate that when this North American herb is combined with other herbal/nutritional components (i.e. zinc, ginger, chasteberry and hyaluronic acid), they may help reduce hot flashes related to a lack of sleep and anxious feelings.   


An International Journal of Biomedical study revealed that two months of maca supplements helped reduce different symptoms in women with early post-menopause. The severity of perspiration and hot flashes lowered and sleep patterns improved. Also, the study showed that maca lessened agitations and headaches, and offered improvements to sexual health. 


Pueraria mirifica/lobata may potentially alleviate menopausal symptoms and enrich overall health in postmenopausal women. As per studies, it may significantly improve common menopausal complaints (i.e. hot flashes and mood swings) by increasing estrogen activity. Beyond symptom relief, Pueraria has been linked to improving skin health and supporting the health of bones, brain, and the cardiovascular system. 

Red clover

Red clover is a flowering plant that contains excessive amounts of an estrogenic compound called isoflavone. It’s been thought that isoflavones from this plant can help reduce night sweats and hot flashes; it may also offer mild relief for vaginal dryness and low mood.  


Used in Europe and Asia as a natural sedative. Containing estrogenic properties, valerian may “…reduce the risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis, alleviate the menopause symptoms especially hot flashes, and improve memory and sleeping patterns,” confirms a piece from the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research.

If you’re seeking tailored strategies to address your experience with menopause, please contact us today. A wide range of herbs may interact with prescription medications (i.e. blood thinners) though, so it’s advisable to consult with a functional medicine provider prior to use (i.e. a medical doctor or naturopathic doctor who adheres to the health model). 

We also recommend that you check out our last blog post on how our functional medicine clinic in Toronto manages sleep concerns.  

About the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC)

At the TFMC, we encourage patients to grab hold of their wellness through a personalized approach to treatments. This is because tailored integrative functional medicine therapies can potentially target your body’s shortcomings, such as hormone and nutrient deficiencies. 

If conventional laboratory tests confirm that you’re “fine”, yet you still feel unwell, our functional lab tests may be of assistance. These tests can measure your hormonal balance, nutritional deficiencies, the status of your current gut health, and more. Our treatment plans can be adapted for a wide variety of conditions, including digestive issues, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune conditions, unexplained body aches, infertility, and hormonal concerns. 

Integrative medicine can contribute to beneficial effects for your wellbeing – it encourages you to increase your awareness of multiple “tools” for helping reduce discomforts, such as chronic symptoms. Therefore, your treatment plan may contain a range of modalities, including Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathic medicine, hormone replacement therapies (i.e. bioidentical hormones), holistic nutrition, acupuncture, booster shots and IV therapy. IV therapy drips are dosed for each individual patient and are personalized based on functional medicine principles. 

Does this article resonate with you? We want you to know something: menopausal discomforts do not have to rule your daily functioning! Jump-start towards optimal wellness by simply clicking here to request a session for functional medicine from Toronto. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media. 



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