Plants containing flavonoids (in the Latin, flavus, yellow) were initially valued as dye plants. Today we love them because we understand they’re anti inflammatory, antihepatotoxic, anti-tumor, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiallergic, antiulcer, analgesic, and strengthening to the entire circulatory system, from capillaries to center.
These have an estrogenic effect, scientifically established as 1/50,000th the action of estradiol. Bioflavonoids in foods are crucial to our capacity to consume ascorbic acid. No wonder plants exceptionally full of flavonoids are these important allies for post-menopausal ladies.
The most abundant source of bioflavonoids is that the internal skin of citrus fruits. Buckwheat greens, Buckweizen, Sarrasin (Fagopyrum esculentum) are an exceptional source of bioflavonoids. Grow them in home, such as alfalfa sprouts, or buy them dried and made into pills. I use the berries in jelly and wine, and the flowers for tinctures and wines.
Hawthorn, Weissdorn, Aubépine (Crataegus oxycantha and other species) offers berries, blossoms, and leaves total of bioflavonoids. I use the berries to makes jellies, wines, and a heart-strengthening tincture. The blossoms and leaves, dried, make a excellent tea.
Horsetail, Ackerschachtelhalm, Prêle des champs (Equisetum arvense) is best chosen in the spring. I use it fresh in soups (not salads) and dried as a tea. Knotweeds, Vogelknöterich, Renouée des oiseaux, Ho Shou Wu (Polygonaceae) are famous for their abundance of bioflavonoids.
Besides buckwheat and yellow dock leaves, try the greens of any other knotweed local to your region. Roses, Hagrose, Rosier (Rosa canina and other species) are sisters to hawthorn and likewise abundant in bioflavonoids. I use fresh rose hips in jellies and wines and dry them for winter teas and soups.
We eat the blossoms in salads and use glycerin to extract the curative qualities of flowers and leaf buds. Shepherd’s purse, Hirtentäschel, Capselle (Capsella bursa-pastoris) leaves are wonderful in salads. When it blossoms, I use the entire fresh plant to generate vinegar and vodka tinctures, capturing bioflavonoids for later use. C, vitamin E, and the B vitamin complex, particularly B6. If you live where it develops, try the tender infant leaves in salads. Toadflax, Frauenflachs, Linaire commune (Linaria vulgaris) blossoms add flavonoids to salads. They may also be tinctured. Or dry bunches when it is flowering and receive your bioflavonoids in the infusion; or make a vinegar.
Vitamins for menopausal years. Lists are organized thusly: most important resources, in decreasing order, are first. Other excellent resources follow the semicolon. Vitamin A: Vitamin A is formed in the liver from ingested carotenes and carotenoids. No crops contain it. Liver, milk, and eggs do. In pill form, vitamin A can lead to birth defects, hair loss, and liver stress.
Depleted by: Coffee, alcohol, cortisone, mineral oil, fluorescent lighting, liver”cleansing,” excessive consumption of iron, absence of protein.
Vitamin B complex: For healthful digestion, very good liver function, emotional flexibility, less stress, sound sleep, milder hot flashes with less perspiration, steady heart rhythm. Depleted by: Coffee, alcohol, tobacco, refined sugar, raw shellfish, hormone replacement, birth control pills (deplete B6 especially). Food Sources of B vitamins: Whole grains, well-cooked greens, organ meat (liver, kidneys, heart), sweet potatoes, carrots, molasses, nuts, bananas, avocados, grapes, pears; egg yolks, sardines, herring, salmon, crab, oysters, whey.
Vitamins and Minerals
Red clover blossoms, parsley leaf, oatstraw. See also specific aspects, following.
- Vitamin B1, Thiamine: For psychological ease, strong nerves. Food Sources of B1, Thiamine: Asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, barley grass, seaweeds, citrus fruits. Herbal Sources of B1, Thiamine: Peppermint, burdock, sage, yellow dock, alfalfa, red clover, fenugreek seeds, raspberry leaves, nettle, catnip, watercress, yarrow leaf/flower, rose buds and buttocks.
- Vitamin B2, Riboflavin: For more energy, healthier skin, less cancer. Depleted by: Hot flashes, crying jags, antibiotics, tranquilizers. Food Sources of B2, Riboflavin: Beans, greens, onions, seaweeds, yogurt, milk, cheese, mushrooms. Herbal Sources of B2, Riboflavin: Peppermint, alfalfa greens, parsley, echinacea, yellow dock, hops; dandelion root, ginseng, dulse, kelp, fenugreek seed, rose hips, nettles.
- Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine: For enhanced immune function; particularly needed by women using hormone replacement. Food Sources of B6: Baked potato with skin, broccoli, prunes, bananas, dried beans, lentils; beef, fish, poultry.
- Vitamin B variable, Folic acid: For strong, flexible bones, nerves that are easy. Food Sources of folic acid (folate): Leafy greens, liver, kidney, lentils, whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables. Herbal Sources of Folic acid: Leaves: Nettles, alfalfa, parsley, sage, catnip, peppermint, plantain, comfrey, chickweed.
- Vitamin B variable, Niacin: For relief of depression and anxiety, decrease in headaches, decrease of blood glucose levels. Food Sources of Niacin: Asparagus, cabbage, bee pollen. Herbal Sources of Niacin: Hops, raspberry leaf, red clover; slippery elm, echinacea, licorice, rose hips, nettle, alfalfa, parsley.
- Vitamin B12: For healthy metabolism, stronger eyes, better memory, more energy, less cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, fibromylagia, and melancholy. Aids adsorption of the other minerals, particularly calcium. Depleted by: Unfermented soy, absence of animal foods in the diet. Food Sources of B12: Liver, kidney, yogurt, cheese, milk, eggs, poultry, meat, shellfish. Herbal Sources of B12: None.
- Bioflavonoids: For healthy heart and blood vessels, fewer hot flashes and night sweats, less menstrual bleeding, unlumpy breasts, less water retention, less stress, less irritable nerves. Food Sources of Bioflavonoids: Citrus pulp and rind. Herbal Sources of Bioflavonoids: Buckwheat greens, elder berries, hawthorn fruits, rose hips, horsetail, shepherd’s purse, chervil.
- Carotenes: For a well-lubricated vagina, strong bones, defense against cancer, healthy lungs and skin, strong vision, great digestion. Food Sources of Carotenes: Well-cooked red, yellow, or green vegetables/fruits: carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, seaweeds, cantaloupe. Herbal Sources of Carotenes: Peppermint, yellow dock, uva ursi, parsley, alfalfa, raspberry, nettles, dandelion greens; kelp, green onions, violet leaves, cayenne, paprika, lamb’s quarters leaves, sage, chickweed, horsetail, black cohosh roots, rose hips.
- Vitamin C complex: For less extreme hot flashes, less insomnia and night sweats, stronger bones, fewer headaches, better immunity to disease, smoother emotions, less heart disease, rapid wound healing. Critical to great adrenal functioning, particularly during menopause. Depleted by: Antibiotics, aspirin and other pain relievers, coffee, stress, aging, smoking, baking soda, higher fever. Food Sources of Vitamin C: Freshly picked foods, cooked potatoes. Herbal Sources of Vitamin C: Rose hips, yellow dock root, raspberry leaf, red clover, hops; pine needles, dandelion greens, alfalfa greens, echinacea, skullcap, plantain, parsley, cayenne, paprika. Depleted by: Mineral oil used on the skin, regular hot tubs, sunscreen with SPF8 or higher.
- Food Sources of Vitamin D: Sunlight, butter, egg yolk, cod liver oil; liver, shrimp, fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon, mackerel ). Herbal Sources of Vitamin D: None. Vitamin D isn’t found in plants.
- Vitamin E: for milder hot flashes, fewer night sweats, protection against cancer, fewer signs of aging, fewer wrinkles, moist vagina, powerful heart, freedom from arthritis. Depleted by: Mineral oil, sulfates, hormone replacement. Food Sources of Vitamin E: Freshly ground whole-grain flours, cold-pressed oils; fresh nuts, peanut butter, leafy greens, cabbage, asparagus. Herbal Sources of Vitamin E: Alfalfa, rosehips, nettles, dong quai, watercress, dandelion, seaweeds, wild seeds (lamb’s quarters, plantain).
- Essential fatty acids (EFAs), such as GLA, omega-6 and omega-3: For a healthy heart, less intense hot flashes, strong nerves, strong bones, well-functioning adrenal glands, fewer wrinkles. Food Sources of EFAs: Flax seeds, cod liver oil, wheat germ oil, whole grains; seeds like borage, evening primrose, black currant, hemp, safflower, and their oils. Herbal Sources of EFAs: All wild plants, but very few cultivated plants, contain EFAs; fresh purslane is especially high.
- Folic Acid: See vitamin B factor, folic acid. Vitamin K: For less menstrual flood, stronger bones. Depleted by: X-rays, radiation, air pollution, enemas, frozen foods, antibiotics, rancid fats, aspirin. Food Sources of Vitamin K: Healthy intestinal bacteria produce vitamin K; green leafy veggies, yogurt, egg yolk, blackstrap molasses. Herbal Sources of Vitamin K: Nettle, alfalfa, kelp, green tea. Minerals for menopausal years.
- Boron: For strong, flexible bones. Food Sources of Boron: Organic fruits, vegetables, nuts. Herbal Sources of Boron: All organic garden weeds including all edible parts of chickweed, purslane, nettles, dandelion, yellow dock.
- Calcium: For sound sleep, dense bones, calm heart, powerful muscles, less irritable nerves, lower blood pressure, sound blood vessels, regular heart rhythm, freedom from depression and headaches, less bloating, fewer mood changes. Depleted by: Coffee, sugar, salt, alcohol, cortisone, enemas, unfermented soy products, antacids, too much phosphorus. Food Sources of Calcium: Yogurt, raw-milk cheese, dark green leaves; nuts, seeds, tahini, seaweeds, vegetables (especially sweet potatoes, cabbage), dried beans, whole grains, whey, salmon, tuna, sardines, shellfish. Herbal Sources of Calcium: Valerian, kelp, nettle, horsetail, peppermint; sage, uva ursi, yellow dock, chickweed, red clover, oatstraw, parsley, black currant leaf, raspberry leaf, plantain leaf/seed, dandelion leaf, amaranth leaf/seed, lamb’s quarter leaf/seed.
- Chromium: For less fatigue and plenty of energy, fewer mood swings, steady glucose levels, higher HDL; less risk of adult onset diabetes. Depleted by: White sugar. Food Sources of Chromium: Barley grass, prunes, nuts, mushrooms, liver, beets, whole wheat, bee pollen. Herbal Sources of Chromium: Oatstraw, nettle, red clover tops, catnip, dulse, wild yam, yarrow, horsetail; origins of black cohosh, licorice, echinacea, valerian, sarsaparilla.
- Copper: For supple skin, healthy hair, powerful muscles, simple nerves, less water retention, less menstrual flooding, lower blood cholesterol. Food Sources of Copper: Liver, kidney, fish, organically grown grains, legumes, nuts, leafy greens, seaweeds, bittersweet chocolate, mushrooms. Herbal Sources of Copper: Skullcap, sage, horsetail; chickweed.