Natural Health: Ever since I hit menopause my digestion seems to have slowed down

Natural Health: Ever since I hit menopause my digestion seems to have slowed down

My 10-year-old son has developed a flaky, itchy patch of skin on his forehead, just under the hairline. Also, his scalp seems to be very dry. What would you suggest?

Flaking scalp can be the result of a number of different issues – anything from a reaction to foods or skincare through to seasonal change. During the winter months, we tend to use heating in our homes and in the workplace, which can really dry out the scalp and trigger flaking.

Dry skin conditions are linked in with food and environmental intolerances, weather change, pet allergies, immune status, anxiety and stress issues, and the balance of bacteria, yeast, and fungal growth internally and externally. It could be as simple as switching out the shampoo he uses or even some basic dietary tweaks.

To help soothe the itching at the front of his hairline and address the general dryness of the scalp, you could try the ancient Ayurvedic remedy of a weekly coconut oil massage. Coconut oil helps particularly where the issue is an underlying imbalance with the skin flora. This will not only help with the itching, it will also hydrate the dry scalp.

Diluted raw honey has been used in trials to heal itching and scaling of the scalp. Raw honey has a long history of medicinal use due to the antibacterial and antifungal benefits, and actually supports the growth of beneficial bacteria. Using 90% raw honey mixed with 10% warm water, and rubbing it gently in to the affected area has proven to help with dermatitis of the scalp, face, and chest where scaling, itching, hair loss, and lesions were present.

The honey and warm water mixture will need to be rubbed in for two to three minutes and left for three hours before rinsing it off using pure warm water. This will need to be applied every second day for up to four weeks for optimal effect. Some individuals found relief after a single week, whereas others required the full month.

Ever since I hit menopause my digestion seems to have slowed down. Is there a natural remedy I could take?

This is a very common issue as women begin the menopausal changes. The same foods and activity that have always worked for our digestive system don’t seem to work quite in the same way any longer.

Supporting your body through menopause is very important as soon as you begin to notice the changes to help smooth out the transition. Taking a supplement formulated specifically for menopause is important, however it is worth noting that while one product might work extremely well for you, it may be that you need to cycle through different natural products as you navigate the hormonal journey.

You can also help balance your hormones in the kitchen. Turmeric is well known for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties, and it also has what is known as a bitter principle. This means that it stimulates bile flow, in turn encouraging the production of digestive juices.

Ginger is commonly used to aid digestion and reduce nausea and vomiting. It also works to boost the metabolism. Both fresh and powdered ginger root are effective.

The new kids on the block when it comes to menopausal remedies are fennel* and fenugreek. These spices have long been used for digestive issues in all ages, but have recently been discovered to have the additional benefits of helping with hot flushes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, loss of libido, physical and mental fatigue, and irritability.Fenugreek has the additional benefits of reducing total cholesterol.

A double-blind study gave either 500mg of fenugreek husk extract or a placebo twice a day to 88 menopausal women. The results showed that oestradiol increased by 120% in women taking fenugreek versus less than 5% in the placebo group. This suggests that the increase in oestrogen and the improvement in menopause symptoms indicate the establishment of a healthy hormonal balance.

The studies with fennel used 100mg of fennel twice daily for eight weeks.

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