Best Menopause Supplements and Vitamins for Relief

Jul 05, 2024 | 7 min read

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The best menopause supplements can help alleviate common symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. Key options include black cohosh, flaxseed, and red clover, alongside essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D, which are backed by varying levels of scientific evidence.

best menopause supplements

Understanding Menopause and Its Symptoms

Menopause is the time when a woman stops having menstrual periods and can no longer become pregnant, typically occurring between ages 45 and 55. Symptoms can vary but commonly include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. These changes result from declining levels of estrogen and progesterone, hormones crucial for regulating the menstrual cycle and supporting pregnancy.

Common Symptoms of Menopause:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain

Given the significant impact these symptoms can have on daily life, many women turn to supplements for relief. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement. 

Medical professionals can provide personalized advice and ensure that chosen supplements do not interfere with existing medications or health conditions.

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1. Black Cohosh

Black cohosh, a plant native to North America, has long been used for various ailments, including menopause symptoms. According to the NCBI publication, it is often marketed as a natural remedy to alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness

Black cohosh can reduce hot flashes and improve mood, though results are mixed. While generally safe for short-term use, it can cause side effects like stomach upset and headache.

Women with liver issues should avoid it. Black cohosh may be worth considering for those struggling with hot flashes and mood swings, but it should be used under medical supervision.

2. Flaxseed

Flaxseed, derived from the flax plant, is rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids. It is believed to help with mild menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats due to its estrogen-like effects

Some studies indicate flaxseed can reduce hot flashes, although results vary. Notably, a study from NCBI indicates that menopausal symptoms decreased and the quality of life increased among women who used flaxseed for three months

Generally safe in moderate amounts, flaxseed can cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. It's a safe and natural option for managing mild menopause symptoms, offering additional health benefits as part of a balanced diet.

3. Red Clover

Red clover is a flowering plant containing isoflavones, which are compounds similar to estrogen. It's believed to help with hot flashes and night sweats. However, studies on its effectiveness are mixed. 

Generally safe in moderation, red clover can interact with other medications, so it's advisable to consult a healthcare provider before use. It may help some women with hot flashes, but its effectiveness varies.

4. Wild Yam

Wild yam, used in traditional medicine, is believed to contain compounds that mimic estrogen and progesterone. It is often found in creams and supplements for menopause relief. 

However, research on its effectiveness is limited and inconclusive. While wild yam is generally safe in moderate amounts, it can cause digestive upset. Women considering wild yam for menopause symptoms should consult a healthcare provider.

Its effectiveness is not well-supported by scientific evidence, but it may offer some relief for those seeking natural remedies.

5. Ginseng

Ginseng, a plant whose roots are used in traditional medicine, is believed to improve mood, energy levels, and sleep quality during menopause. 

Ginseng is generally safe for short-term use but can cause headaches and digestive issues. It may help with mood and energy levels, making it worth considering for those experiencing fatigue and mood swings during menopause.

6. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. Unlike ginseng, which is more stimulating, ashwagandha is known for its calming effects and ability to help the body manage stress. A review of five high-quality studies found that ashwagandha significantly enhances sleep quality, reduces anxiety, and helps people feel more refreshed upon waking

Research suggests ashwagandha can lower cortisol levels, improving overall well-being. It also has positive effects on sexual health, increasing libido and improving sexual function, which can be beneficial during menopause. Additionally, some users have reported that ashwagandha may contribute to modest weight gain, likely due to its stress-reducing properties which can influence appetite and metabolism.

Generally safe in appropriate amounts, ashwagandha can cause mild side effects like stomach upset and drowsiness. It may interact with certain medications, so consult a healthcare provider before use. For stress, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and decreased sexual activity during menopause, ashwagandha is a valuable natural remedy.

7. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is a flowering plant commonly used to treat mild depression. It is believed to help alleviate mood swings during menopause. 

Several studies support its use for improving mood, and some evidence suggests benefits for menopause-related mood swings, particularly when combined with black cohosh. 

However, it can interact with many medications, including antidepressants and blood thinners. St. John’s wort may be helpful for mood swings but should be used with caution and under medical supervision.


DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and available as a supplement. It is said to increase estrogen and testosterone levels, potentially helping with libido and mood swings during menopause. 

Research on DHEA’s effectiveness is mixed; some studies show benefits, while others do not. According to a PubMed study, there is uncertainty about whether DHEA decreases menopausal symptoms, but it may slightly improve sexual function compared with a placebo. 

DHEA can cause side effects like acne, hair loss, and changes in the menstrual cycle, and may increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. DHEA might be beneficial for severe symptoms but should be closely monitored by a healthcare provider.

9. Soy

Soy is a legume rich in isoflavones and phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen. It is believed to reduce hot flashes and improve bone health. 

Machelle Seibel, a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, says:

"There is some good data that soy can reduce both the frequency and the intensity of hot flashes by about 50%. A lot of doctors feel that somehow that's not significant enough, and would prefer that it eliminate all hot flashes. But if it can reduce hot flashes sufficiently enough so a woman can get a good night's sleep, that may allow her to cope better."

Soy is generally safe when consumed in moderation, but excessive intake of supplements may interfere with thyroid function. 

Including soy foods in the diet can be a safe and natural way to manage mild menopause symptoms and offer additional health benefits.

10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, flaxseed, and chia seeds, are essential fats with anti-inflammatory properties

They are believed to help with mood regulation, hot flashes, and heart health during menopause. Researches support their benefits for mood and cardiovascular health. 

Omega-3 supplements are generally safe but can cause minor side effects like fishy aftertaste and digestive issues. 

They may be beneficial for overall health and some menopause symptoms and are worth considering as part of a balanced approach to managing menopause.

11. Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits, found in fermented foods and supplements. They are believed to help with digestive health, hormone balance, and vaginal health during menopause. 

Research suggests that probiotics can support overall gut health, which may indirectly benefit menopause symptoms.

Probiotics are generally safe but can cause digestive discomfort as the body adjusts. 

12. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil (EPO), derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant, is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It is believed to help with hot flashes, night sweats, and breast pain.

Some studies show benefits, while others do not. EPO is generally safe but can cause stomach upset and headache. It may interact with blood thinners, so it should be used under medical supervision.

Evening primrose oil may help with breast pain, though its effectiveness for hot flashes is less certain.

Take Docus Supplements Quiz to find a personalized supplement kit that covers your needs during menopause. Always consult a professional before taking any action.

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Vitamins and Minerals for Menopause

During menopause, maintaining adequate levels of essential vitamins and minerals becomes crucial to support overall health and manage symptoms. Three key nutrients particularly important during this stage are calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.


This mineral is vital for bone health, especially as the risk of osteoporosis increases during menopause. Calcium helps maintain bone density and strength, reducing the risk of fractures.

According to the FDA, the Daily Value for calcium is 1,300 milligrams (mg) per day for adults. It's best to get calcium from food sources for better absorption. Foods rich in calcium include:

  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Leafy green vegetables such as kale and broccoli
  • Fortified foods like cereals and orange juice
  • Almonds and tofu


Magnesium plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and bone health. It can help with muscle cramps and sleep disturbances that some women experience during menopause. Foods high in magnesium include:

  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa)
  • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas)

In addition to dietary sources, magnesium supplements are available for those who may have difficulty meeting their needs through food alone. It is important to choose the right form of magnesium supplement, as some forms are better absorbed than others. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone health. It also supports immune function and can help regulate mood. The FDA recommends a Daily Value of 20 micrograms (mcg) per day for adults, which is equivalent to 800 International Units (IU).  Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, but it's also found in various foods. Key sources include:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines
  • Fortified dairy products and cereals
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms exposed to sunlight

In addition to these dietary sources, vitamin D supplements can be a valuable option, especially for individuals who have limited sun exposure or difficulty obtaining sufficient amounts from food alone. Supplements come in various forms, such as vitamin D2 and D3, with D3 being more effective at raising blood levels of vitamin D.

It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage based on individual needs and health conditions.

Getting these nutrients through food ensures better absorption and provides additional health benefits. A balanced diet rich in these vitamins and minerals can help mitigate menopause symptoms and support overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Key Takeaways

  • Key vitamins and minerals for menopause include calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium, which are best obtained through food sources for better absorption.
  • Black cohosh, flaxseed, and red clover are among the top supplements considered for alleviating menopause symptoms, though their effectiveness varies.
  • Probiotics may help improve digestive health and hormone balance during menopause.
  • Evening primrose oil and pollen extract offer potential benefits but should be used under medical supervision.
  • Consulting with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement is crucial to avoid potential interactions and side effects.
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