Science now supports what every woman knows: While both genders may have trouble sleeping, women are the ones who tend to suffer insomnia’s negative effects.
Researchers studied data from 744 people, men and women, who had been treated for sleep difficulties. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, women were much more likely than their male counterparts to feel tired and depressed all the time.
It’s tough to spend your life in an exhausted daze, especially when there are pressing work and family commitments to be met. Lifestyle changes help; in addition, natural medicine offers ways to aid the perpetually weary. (Of course, the first step should be a visit to your healthcare practitioner for a thorough checkup.) Other herbs and supplements address problems such as loss of libido, menstrual and menopausal issues, and yeast and urinary tract infections.
|Name||What It Is||What It Does|
Lactobacillus acidophilus, a species of probiotic,
or healthful, bacteria
|Helps maintain normal microbial balance in the vagina and digestive tract; may help reduce recurrence of bacterial vaginosis; may also help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome|
|Alanzeebium||A formulation of bioflavonoids and two Indian herbs, jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) and ankol (Alangium salvifolium)||Helps counteract loss of libido in women by promoting healthy hormonal balance; ankol is used traditionally to restore female sexual health after pregnancy, jujube as an overall tonic|
|Cacao||The dried and fermented seed from Theobroma cacao, used to make chocolate||Supplies antioxidants and magnesium, a mineral crucial to energy production; appears to heighten pleasurable feelings; has shown antidepressive effects|
|Cranberry||A shrub, Vaccinium macrocarpon, known for its tart red berries||Long used to help defend against urinary tract infections; contains substances that may support healthy gut flora and promote better circulatory health|
|Damiana||A small shrub, Turnera diffusa, found in dry, sunny areas from southern Texas to Central America||Used by traditional healers to restore libido and boost energy levels, and to help ease menstrual problems; appears to increase genital blood flow|
|Dong Quai||Angelica sinensis, a perennial herb found in China, Japan and Korea||Called “the female ginseng” because Eastern medicine employs it for women’s health concerns; often used in menopausal symptom relief; has shown protective effects for the heart and liver|
| Antioxidant compounds found in the skins of apples |
|Helps counteract the effects of peroxynitrite, a toxic byproduct of normal bodily processes that can damage cells and DNA; promotes healthy sexual function|
|Maca||The tuber of a plant, Lepidium meyenii, that grows in the highlands of Peru||Acts as an adaptogen, a plant that helps the body deal with stress; traditionally used to increase energy, libido, mental clarity and overall well-being|
|Pau D’Arco|| A tall tree, Tabebuia impetiginosa, native to the |
|Traditionally used for infections and as an overall tonic; employed in Western herbalism to fight yeast infections|
|Valerian|| Valeriana officinalis, an herb native to Europe and|
|Long used to help ease anxiety and promote sleep; has helped reduce discomforts associated with PMS and menopause in studies|
|Velvet Bean|| Mucuna pruriens, a legume found in tropical areas |
around the world
|Used by Ayurvedic practitioners to support sexual well-being; appears to promote healthy neural activity within the brain|
NOTE: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner for help in designing a
supplementation program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
More Nutritional Aids for Women
|Name||What It Is||What It Does|
|Arginine & Histidine||Amino acids, or protein building blocks||Boost blood flow to encourage healthy sexual function; help build the body’s structural proteins|
|Calcium & Cofactors||Calcium is crucial to bone health along with its mineral partner, magnesium, as well as vitamins D and K2||Calcium gives bones their strength, while the other nutrients work with calcium to make sure it is deposited in the skeleton and not in soft tissue|
A tree, Vitex agnus-castus, native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia
|Helps relieve discomforts associated with PMS and menstruation, including cyclical breast discomfort|
|Evening Primrose||Oenothera biennis, a plant native to North America; its flower opens in the evening, which explains the name||Most commonly used in the US to ease hot flashes and sweating associated with menopause; contains substances that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as liver- and nerve-protective, properties|
|Flax Lignans||Substances found in flax seeds, which also yield an omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid||The seeds yield an oil that is rich in essential fatty acids often used for breast pain and menopausal discomforts; promotes healthy growth of hair, nails and skin|
|Ipriflavone||A derivative of isoflavone, a phytonutrient found in legumes||Has helped increase bone density in studies and may help reduce fracture risk|