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women's health

32 articles in women's health

Sacred Truth Ep. 41: Cool Hot Flashes

2 Facts Women Need to Know About Hot Flashes in Menopause

The most common herald of menopause is the appearance of hot flashes. These are virtually synonymous in the experience of many women. An adjunct to hot flashes are night sweats where you awaken drenched in sweat, so much so sometimes that you not only need to change your night clothes but the sheets on your bed as well. Both night sweats and hot flashes can be disconcerting if you are frightened of them. Don’t be. A lot can be said about hot flashes, but there are only two facts that you need to know: First, they are completely harmless. Second, hot flashes are the only symptoms among a long list of stuff usually attributed to menopause that genuinely belong to it. Women of all ages get hot flashes especially strongly when their ovaries are removed surgically. During pre-menopause, thinner women often experience more drastic alterations in their estrogen levels and are therefore more likely than their bigger sisters to get stronger hot flashes. In most women, hot flashes are at their most intense during the last year or so before the end of menstruation and during the first year afterwards. Estrogen levels tend to be lower in pre-menopausal women with hot flashes than those without hot flashes. Yet it is quite clear that low estrogen, although it continues to get the blame for hot flashes, it is by no means all that is involved in their production. It is the sudden drop of estrogen in your body that is the real issue. And once your body becomes accustomed to lower levels of estrogen, most hot flashes gradually diminish. Often low estrogen is not involved in hot flashes at all. Hot flashes happen to women if they have been taking supplementary estrogen in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for a time and then stop. . There are certain foods and habits known to contribute greatly to the incidence of hot flashes. Stop cigarette smoking, drinking, caffeine, and eating hot spicy food. An overactive thyroid can cause hot flashes too, as can insulin resistance, the use of all sorts of potentially dangerous drugs from Big Pharma, and diabetes. Hot flashes are often the result of allergic reactions to foods and the chemicals in the environment. The high levels of steroid hormones used in pharmaceutical hormone replacement suppress important functions in your body, such as those that are connected with allergies and with your body's attempt to detoxify itself. When estrogen decreases rapidly in a menopausal woman who has been taking artificial hormones, then the underlying allergy or toxicity that was being masked by the hormones comes to the surface. Foods can give you reactions such as migraine, headaches and rises in blood pressure as well as hot flashes. It is time to look at your diet, since when offending foods like milk and all cows’ milk products, including yoghurt and cheeses, wheat, chocolate, or oranges are removed from the diet, hot flashes will diminish and may even cease altogether. By the way, extra estrogen does not “cure” hot flashes. It only masks them for a while. Actually, there is nothing to “cure,” because hot flashes are not a symptom of disease. They are a normal bodily change associated with the transition between the menstrual years and menopause. The standard medical treatment for hot flashes is estrogen. If you decide to go on estrogen for a few years “to get you through the rough patch,” what you are not told is that when you come off it, your hot flashes are likely to return in force—three years down the road or twenty. Women who have been filled full of fear of menopause—particularly professional women—sometimes sit in trepidation lest a hot flash come over them while in a business meeting to betray that they are menopausal. Women always think they are more evident to the outside world than they are. But even if they were, so what? Why should any woman agree, even tacitly, to buy into the general nonsense that menopause—or perhaps a swollen belly during pregnancy—is something disgraceful to be hidden? If you have been experiencing hot flashes, change your diet. Also use some powerful and benign herbs. Here are my favorites. They work beautifully: Sage: Make an infusion of 1 teaspoon of the dried leaves in a cup of water, allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then drink 1 tablespoon of the tea 1 to 4 times a day. Or you can use 10 to 25 drops of tincture of sage every day. Motherwort: It does not make a great tasting tea, so I prefer to take it as a tincture. Take 10 to 25 drops of tincture every 2 to 6 hours. Chastetree: Take 1 capsule of powdered berries 3 to 4 times a day, or 15 drops to 1 teaspoon of the tincture 1 to 3 times a day. Dong Quai: Make an infusion of a teaspoon of the dried root in a cup of boiling water and drink once a day. Or take 15 to 30 drops of tincture 1 to 3 times a day. Remember this: The long traditions of natural medicine view hot flashes as the body’s way of detoxifying itself and enhancing immunity. And recent research shows that even a slight raise in temperature in the body can be instrumental in doing both. Eclectic Institute, Organic Motherwort Fresh, organic motherwort (leonurus cardiaca) flower tops. organic grain-free alcohol content: 40-50%. filtered water. Fresh herb strength: 1:2.(500 mg/ml). Order Eclectic Institute, Organic Motherwort from iherb Eclectic Institute, Chaste Tree Dried organic chaste tree (vitex agnus castus) berry, Organic grain-free alcohol content: 70-80%, filtered water. Dry herb strength 1:4. (250 mg/ml). Order Eclectic Institute, Chaste Tree from iherb Eclectic Institute, Dong Quai Dried cured dong quai (angelica sinensis) root, organic grain-free alcohol content: 25-35%, filtered water. Fresh herb strength: 1:4 (250 mg/ml). Order Eclectic Institute, Dong Quai from iherb Herb Pharm, Whole Leaf Sage Certified organic cane alcohol (71-81%) & distilled water. Gluten-free. Dry herb / menstruum ratio: 1 : 5 Order Herb Pharm, Whole Leaf Sage from iherb

What The Daily Mail Didn't Publish

My 4 Kids by 4 Different Men: Could I Be a Trailblazer?

London’s Daily Mail approached me a few weeks ago asking me to write a piece on what it’s like to have 4 children by 4 different men. The idea intrigued me so I did. The piece wasn’t published since, they said, “It’s not written in the Mail style.” So here it is as a personal gift from me to you. I hope you enjoy it. Struggling to hold back the tears, my daughter’s voice on the crackly phone line was barely a whisper. “Mama, Dan died this morning,” she said. Dan Smith, biological father to my third child, Jesse, was much loved by all of my children. He had been seriously ill with a rare form of leukaemia. We knew he could die any moment. Still, the news that reached me at my Primrose Hill home that cold February morning in 2010 sent shock waves through me. “We’re already organising the funeral,” Susannah went on. “We want to play jazz music, tell fun stories about Dan and celebrate his life. Don’t worry about being 12,000 miles away, we’ll video all of it for you to watch later.” I would love to have been there to celebrate Dan’s life. It had been a good life. He was an honorable man—one who kept his promises. Dan had long adored each of my four children although only one of them was a child of his own body. Four years earlier, Dan had chosen to move to New Zealand to be near the children. Together they had searched for and found a house for him so that all of us—me included—could spend precious time with Dan and care for him so long as he lived. NOT THE MARRYING KIND I had met Dan 53 years earlier when I was seventeen years old. We became friends. Later, in my mid-twenties, we were briefly married. I was never much in favor of marriage, however. That’s probably why I chose to give birth to four children by four different men. Now I’m being called a trailblazer for what is becoming an increasingly popular brand of mothering, commonly referred to as ‘multi-dadding.’ I am supposed to be what is fashionably termed a ‘4x4.’ Mothering children by more than one man recently hit the headlines with the news that actress Kate Winslet is expecting her third child by her third husband, the rock star Ned Rocknroll. Kate, 37, has a 12-year-old daughter, Mia, with her first husband, Jim Threapleton, and a nine-year-old son, Joe, with her second husband, Sam Mendes. The former weather girl Ulrika Jonsson is a 4x4, and the late TV presenter Paula Yates was a 4x2. While supposedly gaining popularity, this style of mothering is still hugely controversial. I am told that the news that a woman has children by more than one man is still met with a mixture of horror and fascination. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I have never had to deal with either of these attitudes. To tell the truth, I have never much cared what people think about me, how I chose to live my life or the way I have raised my children. Perhaps that’s a good thing, or maybe I am just naïve. One thing is for sure: I’ve always been one of those women so fertile that that a man could almost look at me and I’d get pregnant. I would never miscarry. I rode horses, went surfing and danced all night while pregnant and suffered no consequences. I am told that women like me are often looked upon as monstrously selfish, bad mothers. They are accused of being feckless for having multiple lovers and just plain wrong for not providing their children with a ‘traditional family setup.’ I’m sure some traditional families are genuinely wise, stable and happy. The parents love each other and care for their children with great devotion and joy. But, in my experience, such families are few and far between. KIDS MATTER MOST What matters most in child rearing is neither convention nor family labels. It is the children. Children brought up by a devoted single mother (or single father) who lovingly trusts their own parental instincts and forms honest relationships with each child in their care, thrive. I believe this is far better than desperately trying to hold on to a marriage that doesn’t work ‘for the children’s sake.’ What I find sad is the way an ordinary single woman—not a movie star or media giant—who has children by more than one man and has to bring them up by herself, earning a living and juggling the needs not only of her children but also increasingly of their fathers, doesn't get the attention, sympathy, or anywhere near the admiration she deserves. It’s a challenging job for any woman. I know, I’ve done it. I’ve raised four children all on my own, earned the money for our family, stayed up all night caring for them when they had measles, chicken pox or mumps, then got up the next morning to make breakfast and iron that school uniform about which I was told, “Mama...my teacher says it has to be perfect.” Many a time I worried where the money was coming from to pay for food that week. LION-HEARTED MOTHERHOOD I champion any woman making a life for the children she loves in this way. It is the child that matters most and his or her relationship to a mother, father, or a caring friend. Every woman has a powerful lion-hearted passion to care for and protect her children. Women should trust themselves, give thanks for such power and use it for the benefit of their children. Kids are notoriously smart. They know when they are being fed a line about what they are “supposed” to think and say. They easily distinguish between what’s real and what’s contrived. As parents, if we want to gain the respect of our children we must always tell them the truth and treat them with respect as well as demand that they respect us in return. As far as the fathers of our children are concerned, they deserve the same respect and honesty from a woman as the child does, whether or not she is married to them. I believe that each child needs to get to know its father in its own way and make its own judgements. MY OWN STORY I grew up in a wildly unconventional family of highly creative, unstable people. Until I was 5, I was raised by my maternal grandmother. Later I was raped by my father and had my brain fried with ECT in an attempt to make me forget all that had happened to me. I was always a tomboy. I hated dolls. I loved to climb trees and play football. Yet from 5 years old I was sure that I wanted to have children. When I told my grandmother my plan she said I would need to get married to have children. “What’s married?” I asked. “It’s when you wear a white dress and have a big beautiful cake and promise to love and obey a man,” she said. “Ugh, I’ll never do that,” I replied. “I hate cake.” In any case, I knew she was lying to me since none of our Siamese cats were married, but they gave birth to masses of kittens. At the age of 17, while in my Freshman year at Stanford University, I got pregnant by a 22 year old man named Peter Dau. I rang my father. “I’m pregnant,” I told him. “What are you going to do?” “Give birth and keep the baby.” “You can’t keep the baby unless you get married,” he said. Had I been a little more gutsy I would have told him to get stuffed. But at the age of 17, still wrestling with all that had happened to me in my own childhood, he wielded a lot of influence over me. So I agreed. Peter was all for the idea. Single-handedly I put together an all-white wedding for 250 people in the garden of our Beverley Hills home. I made the decision to wear black shoes under my white satin dress. I felt I was giving my life away by marrying Peter, but I was willing to make the sacrifice since I so wanted this child. As soon as Dan learned of the wedding, he sent me a beautiful sterling silver bowl as a present which I still have. My first son, Branton, was born six months later. When I held this tiny baby in my arms he taught me the most important lesson I ever learned: Love exists. It is simple, real and has nothing to do with highfalutin notions or flowery words. At the age of 18, I realized my life had found its purpose—to love and be loved. PREGNANT AGAIN A year later, Peter and I left California for New York where he was to attend medical school while I went to work as a model to help support us. At that time, Dan left his job as a journalist in Massachusetts and moved to New York to be near us. My marriage to Peter ended amicably three years later. It should never have happened in the first place. Three days after leaving Peter back in California, I stopped overnight at my father’s house in Beverley Hills on my way back to New York. Barry Comden, a man much older than I whom I had known since I was 14 but never had a sexual relationship with, discovered I was in town and came to see me. I made love to him once and knew immediately that I was pregnant again. Marry Barry? No way. I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. (Years later Barry would marry the actress Doris Day.) Nine months later my only daughter, Susannah, was born. It was then that a large tumor growing off of my right ovary was discovered. It had been hidden behind the baby during my pregnancy. It was dangerous and had to be surgically removed. HELP WHEN IT MATTERS Once again Dan appeared in my life. He had always insisted that he fell in love with me from the first day we met. He had written me letters every single day my first year at Stanford. I never answered any of them. I didn’t share his love and I didn’t want to lead him on. He had also sent me book after book which he thought I should read. I read them all and loved them. Dan had always been kind and generous to me. He was always keen to protect and care for me when I needed it. So, when I ended up penniless and alone with two children and in need of major surgery, he offered me a home. I accepted. For several months the four of us lived together in New York. Dan adored Branton and Susannah and treated them as if they were his own. I was longing to leave the United States. I wanted to live in Paris—a city I loved more than any other. Dan was able to arrange a job for himself there as a foreign correspondent. In early 1964 we went. Dan had repeatedly told me that he was sure we were meant to be together forever. I hoped that he was right and believed that if I tried hard enough to be a good wife I would learn to love him as he deserved. On July 29, 1964, we were married in Paris. Like every other man I have ever been close to, Dan knew long before we were married that my children would always come first. I had sat him down and told him that he would have to treat Susannah and Branton exactly the same as he would treat any child of his who might come along. He agreed. On June 12, 1965, Dan’s son Jesse was born. He was delighted. True to his word, never once did he favor Jesse over Branton and Susannah. This was great for all three children who came to know him well and to adore him. When presents were passed out, each child was equally favored. Dan belonged to all of them and they knew it. FATHERS, FATHERS Because Branton’s father lived in America and we lived in Europe, Branton did not see him again until he was 11. By that age I figured he was old enough to make the trip on his own and spend a week or two with Peter. Susannah was not really interested in her father—also in the United States—until she was about 17. She then went to Los Angeles to meet him. A good friendship developed between them which remained until Barry died. A non-traditional, unconventional family? Absolutely, but it worked because there was honesty and there was love—the two most important things in any family, anytime, anywhere. For five years I had told myself that, if only I could learn to love Dan more, then everything would be all right. But I couldn’t. And it wasn’t. Confused and disappointed, at the age of 27, I faced the fact that our marriage had failed. We moved to England and we separated. It was Easter. I went to a Buddhist monastery in Scotland to clear my head. Of course Dan grieved over the failure. But that never stopped him from being a welcome person in our family right up to his death. Years later he would marry Gerda Boyeson, a psychotherapist who died a few years before he did. BLESSED MEN The men who made my life rich after Dan and I divorced were, each in their own way, as special as he had been. Each accepted that my children came before all else in the world to me. I never compromised. I chose men, be they friends or lovers, who brought wonderful things to my children. No man ever came before my children. If any man didn’t understand and accept this, he had to go. One man whom I loved, Graham, taught my children to climb and sail and mountaineer. All my children forged deep bonds with Graham which have remained to this day. Another man, Garth, gave Branton, Susannah and Jesse his much cherished toy collection from his own childhood. Garth took us all on wonderful picnics, introduced us to hidden beaches, sang songs with us and blessed us with his unique brand of joy. Then there was David, a man with whom I lived with for 5 years in my late twenties. David constructed beautiful rooms for each of my children in the tiny house I had bought with the little money that my grandfather had left me, when Dan and I separated. David wrote and recorded songs for each of my children. That was 40 years ago. Last year, Susannah and her partner visited David and his wife in Barcelona where he now lives. AN UNCONVENTIONAL MOTHER Ironically, the only complaint I ever got from any of my children about my not being conventional enough was from Dan’s son Jesse. “Why aren’t you like other mothers?” Jesse asked one day when he was 7. “I don’t know, Jesse, what are other mothers like?” “Oh you know,” he said, “They’re fat and bake cookies.” Jesse even grumbled if, while I was waiting to pick him up from school, I sat on the playground swings. He was adamant that such behavior was not “proper” for his mother. Sixteen years after Jesse was born, I became pregnant for the last time by yet another special man—Paul. I announced my condition to 17 year old Susannah as we were all setting off for a six week holiday in Canada with Graham and his son Ruan. “I’m going to have a baby,” I told her. “Don’t worry Mama,” she laughed, “We’ll say it is mine!” FAMILY CELEBRATION In March of 1981, I gave birth to my fourth child, Aaron, at our home in Pembrokeshire. All three of my other children helped deliver him. While I was in labor, they prepared the most delicious lunch I have ever tasted from fruits and vegetables from the garden. I had insisted on giving birth naturally at home, not in some clinical, cold hospital. Jesse had been born via natural childbirth, at a clinique d’accouchement in Paris. After the experience of natural childbirth I swore if ever I had another child it would have to be this way. As for Dan, one way or another he was always close by. He knew David, Graham, Garth and every other man who was to play a role in my own life and my children’s lives. For many years he spent Christmases with us and with our other male friends when they were there. Dan loved to play saxophone at family gatherings. One year he dressed up as Santa Claus. Aaron, then 5 years old, was completely taken in by the costume and terrified when this rotund man belted out, “Ho, Ho, Ho, little boy, what do you want for Christmas?” It took a lot of reassurance from Aaron’s big brothers and sister to convince him that Santa was really ‘good old Dan.’ UNIQUE & INDEPENDENT As for my children, each of them is totally unique and highly independent. I have always fought hard to encourage them to trust themselves and listen to their own heart instead of doing or saying what the rest of the world tells kids they are supposed to do and say. After graduating with a first class degree from Lancaster University, Branton, now 53, developed a series of successful businesses. Susannah, 50, with whom I have written 5 books and done two television series, is a sought-after voice artist. Jesse, 48, is a highly skilled plastic surgeon. Jesse and I have also written a book together. Aaron, now 32, is a designer and filmmaker. He and I have worked together for the past four years developing Cura Romana—a spiritually based program for health, lasting weight loss and spiritual transformation. Branton and Jesse have been happily married for many years. Both have three children each. As for me, I am probably the world’s worst grandmother. I don't babysit, or do any of the things grandmothers are ‘supposed’ to do. (Including baking those cookies Jesse once complained about.) Why? I’m not sure. I guess because for forty-five years of my life I was a mother. I loved this more than all the books I’ve written, all the television programs I’ve devised and presented, all the workshops I’ve taught, and all the other things I’ve done and enjoyed. Right now, my life belongs to me alone. I love the freedom this brings me. I am passionate about being a catalyst in people’s lives, helping them realize their own magnificence and live out their potentials both for their own benefit and for the benefit of all. Who knows what exciting challenges lie before me. Bring them on!

Sacred Truth Ep. 51: Female Sexuality

Unlock Her Passion: Enhance Sexuality with Ashwagandha Root!

For many years I’ve worked with herbs. I love the purity of them and their effectiveness when used to treat everything from infections and fatigue to depression and clearing stress. High on the list of my favorite herbs is Ashwagandha. It is also one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. It's been used since ancient times to impart the vigor and strength of a stallion to the body. In fact, in Sanskrit, the name itself means "the smell of the horse." Ashwagandha has long been known for its rejuvenating properties. Recently an excellent study reported in Biomed Research International discovered that Ashwagandha could significantly improve female sexual functions when women are given it in a concentrated form as a root extract. Fifty women diagnosed with female sexual dysfunction, including lack of sexual desire, poor sexual arousal, little or no female orgasmic experience, and an inability to become aroused through genital stimulation, were given this remarkable herb in an attempt to find out what, if anything, it might do to enhance their sexuality. Twenty-five of them took 300 mg of Ashwagandha root twice a day. The other twenty-five received a placebo during the eight-week period of the study. Researchers evaluated their sexual functions, including lubrication, arousal, desire, satisfaction, orgasm, pain, and overall sexual activity response to therapy, at four weeks and then again at eight weeks during the study. Those who received Ashwagandha reported significant improved sexual function scores when it came to orgasm, satisfaction, arousal, and lubrication. They experienced heightened sexual desire and even a growing number of successful sexual encounters by the end of the eight weeks compared to the women who'd been given a placebo. Researchers also discovered that Ashwagandha given in this way lowers the experience of chronic stress, which interferes with sexual response by lowering serum cortisol. They also reported another possible mechanism by which Ashwagandha enhances female sexuality: it was by "offsetting androgen deficiency syndrome, which is seen as contributing to a lack of sexual desire in some women." What is also interesting is that this wonderful herb even appears to increase serum testosterone, which plays an important part in sexual functioning in both men and women. The power of something as simple as a herb never ceases to amaze me, provided you know how to use it. Ashwagandha is rich in medicinal chemicals including alkaloids, choline, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of natural sugars. I’ve used it for many years to counter all kinds of difficulties, including problems concentrating, fatigue, stress, and lack of vitality. I discovered long ago that it can alleviate not only these common symptoms, but also supports energetic rejuvenation and heightens our sense of well-being. Of course medical researchers have been examining the power of Ashwagandha for years. There are more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical. Here are just a few of the other healing properties of Ashwagandha: It offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps reduce brain cell degeneration. It stabilizes blood sugar. It reduces depression and anxiety. It protects the immune system. Ashwagandha is what is known as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens contain a combination of health-giving substances including vitamins, amino acids, and other plant factors to support health. They can help your body cope with all sorts of external stressors, including poisons in the environment as well as internal challenges, including insomnia and anxiety. A healthy body is only built when we take into it essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which it can make use of by metabolizing them into energy and metabolic information for our tissues, organs, and cells. Ashwagandha is usually given in quantities from 600 to 1000 mg twice a day. It can be a great comfort for people who suffer from anxiety and insomnia. Drinking a cup of herb tea that contains a teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha root before bed can be great for improving sleep. Of course you should always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using any herb to make sure that it is suitable for you, especially if you are taking any pharmaceutical drugs. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Here are a couple of my favorite forms of Ashwagandha: Organic India, Organic, Ashwagandha, 90 Veggie Caps Relieves Stress & Builds Vitality Made with Certified Organic Herbs Herbal Dietary Supplement Safe for Vegans and Vegetarians Gluten Free Order Organic India Ashwagandha from iherb Irwin Naturals, Steel-Libido for Women, 75 Liquid Soft-Gels Bioperine Powered Absorption Promotes Healthy Sexual Response & Pleasure Daily Essentials Fatty Acids - Omega-3 Oils Dietary Supplement Order Irwin Naturals from iherb

Beware Of HRT

Revolutionize Menopause: Naturalize Women's Reproductive Health

In the grip of insane materialism, and controlled by the intense power of pharmaceutical companies, doctors who once practiced from a genuine passion to help heal are being forced to surrender their autonomy to a brutal overuse of dangerous chemical agents. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the “treatment” of menstrual and menopausal symptoms through the prescribing of HRT. In many ways, conventional medicine has disintegrated into a high-tech nightmare since the turn of the century. It has become controlled by the unbridled greed of corporations and government bodies who have only one goal in mind: Profit. The selling of drugs capable of producing massive side effects fails to deliver genuine healing. They do not address fundamental causes of illness. They only mask symptoms and in the process can poison your body long-term. Meanwhile, conventional health care has become so expensive that none but the top 0.1% of the population can afford it. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year as a result of using patented medicine. It is time for a radical overhaul in how we choose to treat health and healing. Nowhere is this more urgently needed than in addressing the way women’s issues are treated before, during and after menopause. Drug-based synthetic estrogens, progestins and progestogens prescribed in the form of HRT are dangerous and, used long-term, may even be life-threatening. RADICAL REVISION IS DUE Once dazzled by high-tech medical intervention at birth, we women willingly surrendered our bodies to epidurals, episiotomies and fetal monitoring equipment, which promised pain-free, trouble-free childbirth, but too often delivered problems for mother and baby. Then, inspired by the work of visionary doctors such as Michele Odent, Pierre Vellay and Frederic Leboyer, more and more women began to insist on natural childbirth, breastfeeding and good mother-child bonding. We demanded the right to drug-free childbirth and control over our own bodies. Gradually—not without resistance—doctors, hospitals and government agencies became more willing to provide this in response to the demands of us ordinary women, who kept insisting there is a better way. It’s we women ourselves who brought to fruition the natural childbirth revolution. Now it’s time for another revolution—that women’s reproductive and post-reproductive health be naturalized. It’s time we refused to swallow the nonsensical propaganda about the glories of drug-based HRT that continues to be forced upon us by the powers-that-be, and the media. LET TRUTH BE TOLD It’s time for us to begin challenging the “wisdom” of established medical practices. Time for us to dismiss the widespread propaganda which accompanies the sale of HRT. The indiscriminate doling out of potent drug-based hormones can undermine a woman’s fertility as well as trigger the development of her menstrual agonies from PMS and endometriosis to cancer of the breast and womb. The current attempt to make every woman a “patient” for most of her life by subjecting her to drug treatment through HRT is a way of diminishing her personal power and taking away control over one’s own body. I believe these practices to be biologically, politically and morally reprehensible. As Dr Jonathan Wright, Medical Director of Tahoma Clinic in Washington—and long-time advocate of bio-identical, natural hormones—says, “Replacing estrogen that your body is no longer producing with the versions found in conventional HRT is like replacing parts designed for a Chevy with those made for a Mercedes. They may be roughly the same, but with both engine parts and biology, very precise measurements matter.” NEW FACTS In 2002, researchers called a halt to a huge government- run study of HRT therapy used by millions of women under the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) when researchers discovered that long-term use of synthetic estrogen and progestin significantly increased women’s danger of stroke, blood clots, heart disease and invasive breast cancer in these women. Soon after, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published another study, showing that women who take a combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin are at high risk of getting a highly aggressive form of breast cancer. Meanwhile, other studies showed that HRT increases the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia and asthma. Then in 2010 more new research discovered that combined estrogen-progestin HRT increases the risk for more severe forms of breast cancer as well as increasing women’s chances of dying, from the disease and from other causes. This is but a tiny sampling of the research that continues to appear since the turn of the millennium, strongly exposing serious consequences from believing the hype for HRT and choosing to allow such synthetic chemicals into your body. CALL TO ACTION There is mounting dissatisfaction among women themselves. Many women write to me about this. They continue to be told that HRT is the only answer to mid-life depression, hot flushes, loss of sexual appetite and early aging. Women are by no means stupid, provided they have not been brainwashed by a media who these days toe the corporate party line in our chaotic world on the verge of unnecessary wars waged by insane governments. Women are smart. We know in our gut that such advice goes against our deepest intuition. Now is the time for us to stand up, band together, and make sure our voices are heard. For a long time, menstruation was talked about as a disease. Now it’s menopause which is treated as the biggest “crisis” demanding extreme medical treatment. Why? And because HRT is a billion dollar business, magazines and the internet are full of “reassuring” information about how “beneficial” and “necessary” are the synthetic hormones in the form of HRT given to women. You’ll find all sorts of soft-sounding names of organisations eager to give you such advice. They too are not to be trusted. Why? Because many conveniently toe the party line, like much of the media—choosing to minimize the dangers of HRT, under the guidance of strong control and direction from profit-seeking corporations. In the USA now, half of menopausal women are still using synthetic hormones, having been told that HRT is the only possible answer for alleviating their suffering during a time of profound change in their lives. Pharmaceutical companies forecast that, within the next decade, 75% of menopausal and post-menopausal women will be on HRT for the rest of their lives. A few loud voices still insist that HRT is “the most important advance in this half of the century”, proselytizing that taking hormone drugs can safeguard a woman’s bones and heart as well as keep her eternally young. None of these claims have been adequately proven, while many—including the notion that HRT can be used as a youth treatment—are blatantly false. SOME GOOD NEWS Despite our being asked to believe that HRT is both a miracle of modern science and an essential treatment for menopausal women, there is much evidence that, once the immediate flush of excitement of a new treatment is over, most women’s experience of using HRT does not back up these assertions. Many who start HRT initially experience a kind of euphoria, primarily because the one thing that estrogen replacement gets rid of almost immediately is the hot flushes that can disturb your sleep and contribute to exhaustion. But the hot flushes return as soon as they come off it. And significant numbers of women report that, a few months later, their experience of HRT has worsened dramatically, because of side-effects it can engender including mood swings, decreased control over the bladder, fatigue, headaches, and many other miserie that have developed since they began taking it. Some of the most common complaints I hear from women who have used prolonged HRT include migraines, bleeding, depression, water retention, increased blood pressure, weight gain, thrush, breast problems, varicose veins and chest pains. A Swedish survey in the university town of Linkoping showed that 48% of women who go on HRT stop taking the drug within a year. A British study examined the reasons most commonly given by women who give up HRT after starting the treatment: Half of these women stopped taking it because of side-effects, about one-fifth because they were advised to do so by their doctors, and about one-third either because they are afraid of long-term consequences such as cancer, or because HRT has shown itself to be ineffective in significantly helping them. THE ROAD AHEAD So where do we go from here? A woman’s hormonal system, with all its ebbs and flows, which parallel those of the earth’s tides and the moon itself, acts as an interface between her emotional life and her body. Mess with her hormones and you may even undermine her ability to grow spiritually. There are better, natural ways of handling them. In the next six weeks I will be sharing them with you. I will be writing another three articles—every other week—at www.lesliekenton.com. They will address the most important issues in relation to handling menopause naturally. Here are some of the issues I’ll be writing about: What is natural Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) all about? How does it work? How is it different from pharmaceutical HRT? What causes hot flushes and how can you clear them naturally? Can BHRT be useful in managing stress? How is your hormone balance related to diet, lifestyle and attaining optimal health? Are there specific herbal remedies that work to counter premenopausal, menopausal and post menopausal issues ? Be sure to join me—every other week—at www.lesliekenton.com. I look forward to connecting with you and hearing back from you about your own experiences, as well as receiving your comments and questions while you are reading this important series, which I am passionate about sharing with you.

Become Ageless

Discover Agelessness: Become a Dreamer of the Day & Transform Your Life!

I learned the secret of agelessness when, many years ago, I came upon a quotation from someone I much admire. Let me share it with you: “All men dream; but not equally.” he said. “Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” The quotation comes from T.E. Lawrence. I adore it. It transformed my own vision of aging. It reminded me of the imaginative power each of us has to create our unique path. It taught me that there is no need to fear growing older. Each one of us can live a rich and fulfilling life at any age. Yet too few of us make use of our powerful abilities to envision, then bring into being, what we long for. If, like me, you’d prefer to die young late in life, there are two things for you to do: First, get savvy about how to care for yourself naturally. Second, start to practice Lawrence of Arabia’s dictate. Decide to become a “dreamer of the day”. Then “act with open eyes to make it possible.” The growing understanding of natural medicine, together with reputable research into high-tech biochemistry, has made this transformation possible. Once little more than a pipe-dream, agelessness is becoming a reality. Savvy gerontologists have challenged the assumed maximum lifespans of human beings. They show us that people in the know can make intelligent use of antioxidant nutrients, electromagnetic treatments, and a myriad of other safe, natural anti-aging tools—including an organic, high-raw diet—to prevent physical degeneration and restore a healthy balance to their bodies and their lives. It is never too late to begin. Instead of prescribing dangerous drugs, this new wave of visionary scientists and practitioners show that the foods we eat exert powerful effects on control centers in the brain. These powerful loci direct metabolic processes on which your health depends—from hormonal behavior, weight and appetite, to emotional and mental states—even, believe it or not, the way we perceive the nature of reality. What few people yet know—and what I have been studying and teaching for decades—is that these control centers in the brain are also filters through which we experience profound spiritual growth. Choose to live on a diet of convenience foods, sugars, and carbohydrates, as more than 90% of people now do, and your brain’s control centers become crippled. You begin to age rapidly. Then, should you be urged to buy into relying on pharmaceutical drugs, eventually your body becomes poisoned by them. Become aware of this. Fresh foods grown on healthy soils foods and top quality nutrients do not poison the body’s crucial enzymes, nor do they block vital cell receptors, on which your health depends. Taking drugs long-term does both, bringing about not only ill-health and rapid aging, but unbalanced emotions, mental fog, and a strong sense that—in ways you cannot even articulate—you have lost trust and connections with yourself, although you may have no idea how this has happened. Changing the way you eat and care for your body can begin, within a few weeks, not only to transform your health. It can expand your consciousness and help you change your life for the better on virtually every level. Forget your chronological age. It’s a very limited indication of your biological and functional age. These are the measurements that really matter. Older people are capable of far more than society would have us believe. At any age, people can learn how to live by the principles of natural wellbeing and become highly resistant to the ravages of degeneration and chronic illness. They come to know their bodies. They face each morning in fresh anticipation about what the day can bring. They’ve learned to dismiss the negative brainwashing continually bombarding us from mainstream media, the medical profession and government directives. They know, for instance that, as George M. Mann MD says, “The diet-heart hypothesis which suggests that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease has been repeatedly shown to be wrong. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century.” Those in the know refuse to allow themselves to be deceived any longer. Savvy, independent people have every right to boast of their increased longevity and high resistance to degeneration. They’ve earned it. These people seek truths and continue to uncover them. They choose to shun unnecessary drugs, to banish convenience foods, to make at least 50 to 75% of the foods they eat organic. They reject negative beliefs about growing older. They become not old, but ageless. Agelessness makes available to you a steadily maturing wisdom which is one of the greatest blessings as years go by. You become someone whose experience and awareness has not been distorted by an ill-functioning mind or waning vitality. Our sense of time expands and helps us come alive to the present moment. In a powerful, real, and positive way, this draws it towards the future. And when we are able to project ourselves into the future, that future becomes not an abstract consideration, but an experience of great rewards. The future of the planet is our future. We are responsible for it. If we wish, we can start to see ourselves as caretakers of our earth instead of tenants in a rented property. At last, the freedom from mental and physical degeneration which agelessness brings is no longer an empty dream. It is happening to many who are awakening. Who cares if, at the age of 85, you are still capable of running a marathon, or if you look 20 years older or younger than you are chronologically? Such things matter little by themselves. But high-level health, mental clarity and well-being which are the rewards of agelessness—no matter how old one is chronologically—are of urgent concern to all of us as residents of the earth. They form the foundation on which we human beings can build if we are to make use of our creative potentials. In the full use of such creativity lies the future of ourselves, our children and our planet. Have I become one of Lawrence’s “dreamers of the day”? I certainly have. It’s dreams that create the true mythologies by which we live our lives. I believe each and every one of us urgently needs solid dreams to give our lives direction—dreams which, tempered by the wisdom of age, are large enough and rich enough to carry us forward. Such dreams not only have power. They can help us bring forth exciting new realities.

Nature's Female Aphrodisiacs

Experience Intense Desire w/ Aphrodisiacs: Used by Women for Centuries

Most people treat aphrodisiacs as folk fantasy. Don’t be deceived. When libido flags in women, there are many herbs that can help revive it. The biochemistry of plants like ginseng, dong quai, fennel, shilajit—even a few essential oils can bring powerful sexual regeneration to your body and intensify your libido. It’s your own individual response to specific herbs that holds the key to which aphrodisiacs are best for you. Loss of your libido can have many different causes. So when turning to herbs for help in the sexual arena, you will need to experiment a bit to find which plants work best for you. But watch out. It can not only be easy to create an experience of intense desire; it can be just as easy for a woman to end up fertilized by the results of it. Shatavari—Asparagus racemosus This Ayurvedic female rejuvenation tonic is also an excellent aphrodisiac as well. It’s been used for thousands of years as a female tonic to correct menstrual and menopausal imbalances as well. Traditionally known as “She who has 1,000 husbands”, it was long believed to give a woman the strength and passion to handle 1,000 lovers. Organic shatavari root extract contains a full spectrum of active and synergistic constituents, including saponins containing shatavarin. Use only this herb which is naturally grown or ethically wild crafted so it contains no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Wild Yam—Dioscorea villosa Often restores a woman’s libido so successfully that I wouldn’t advise you to use it unless you have a sexual partner. You can take it as a tincture—½ to1 teaspoon in water twice a day—or as a dried herb in capsules, 4-6 capsules a day. I have known women who take as many as 10 capsules a day, but less than this works very well for most. American Ginseng—Panax ginseng Is as good a raiser of libido in women as it is in men, despite the assumption that it is a male plant. It is particularly useful for post-menopausal women. Drink it as a tea three or four times a day. Be patient it takes time to do its work. Shilajit—known by many names in many countries Has been used as an aphrodisiac and female fertility treatment for centuries. One of the most powerful “herbal” substances known, it has been used for thousands of years all over the world. It comes in a thick, tar-like form containing over 80 minerals from Himalayan rocks. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and anti-anxiety, as well as anti-aging. Be sure to buy only the highest grade of Shilajit, wild crafted and gathered from the Himalayas, since only the finest will bring you your desired goal. Fennel—Foeniculum vulgare Is replete with plant steroids. In animal experiments it has been shown to raise the libido of both males and females. You can take it as a tea. Bruise a teaspoon of organic fennel seeds and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink. Caution: Do not use fennel oil on your body when you are pregnant, as it has been known to cause miscarriage. Other simple herbs which you can add to your foods with a good reputation for enhancing libido are parsley, fenugreek—great to sprout and eat in salads—ginger, and anis. Even coca, from which chocolate is made, is a mild aphrodisiac. You can also use certain essential oils to enhance libido on the night. Massage your body and your partner’s with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or apricot oil to which you have added one of the aphrodisiac essences: Clary sage, ylang ylang, rose, or jasmine. Of course, this is for external use only. It’s powerful stuff—you need only 1 drop of an essential oil to each teaspoon of carrier oil. A capsule of vitamin E squeezed into the oil when you mix it helps keep it fresh longer. Next week on our Sacred Truth Podcast, we’ll be looking at some of the best aphrodisiacs for men, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out the links below for the best products you can find. Paradise Herbs, Organics, Shatavari, 60 Veggie Caps Paradise Organic Shatavari ultimate ayurvedic extract is the highest quality nature has to offer. Using a 100% natural extraction method the true essence and breath of the whole herbs is captured therefore retaining all of its active and synergistic constituents in the balanced ratio nature intended. Order Paradise Herbs, Organics, Shatavar from iherb Herb Pharm, Wild Yam We prepare our Wild Yam Extract from the rhizome of Dioscorea villosa vines which are Certified Organically Grown especially for us in their native forest habitat in eastern Kentucky. Order Herb Pharm, Wild Yam from iherb Nature's Way, Wild Yam, Root Capsules Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) was historically offered as "colic root" and used in herbal remedies for gastrointestinal irritations. In recent years it has become popular for women's health. Order Nature's Way, Wild Yam from iherb Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has long been a popular herb. Modern research confirms both American and Asian ginsengs contain ginsenosides and supports their long history of use. Order Triple Leaf Tea, American Ginseng from iherb Dragon Herbs, High Mountain Shilajit Shilajit is one of the premier "herbal" substances known to humankind. Shilajit has been used for thousands of years throughout much of the world as a tonic. Order Dragon Herbs, High Mountain Shilajit from iherb Organic Whole Fennel Seed A graceful plant, fennel is an aromatic, hardy, perennial with golden yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Also known as garden fennel, this plant's botanical name, Foeniculum vulgare, comes from the Latin for "fragrant hay" Order Organic Whole Fennel Seed from iherb

The Greatest Journey

Unlock the Hidden Magic of Menopause: Claim Your Treasures!

I have long been sure in every fiber of my being that the joys of menopause are the world's best kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim that joy, a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard its gate. As you stand at the brink of it, it can appear that only darkness, danger and decay lie beyond. And in a way this is true - although most certainly not in the way most women believe. For having myself passed through the doorway of menopause into the realms beyond—almost twenty years ago now—I am certain, as thousands of women from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, that menopause is the most exciting passage a woman ever makes. Of course nobody told me this beforehand. It was a secret I had to discover for myself. Like most modern women my head had been filled with the horrors of hot flushes, fainting spells and dry vaginas; with memories of my mother's tears shed over a wrinkle that appeared one day to mar her perfect face; with the prospect of enforced celibacy—after all, no man can feel lust for an old woman, or can he? It was partly by accident, I think, and partly because—despite good health and secure family circumstances—my own journey through menopause was not an easy one, that I discovered this secret, which throughout history women living in patriarchal cultures have guarded close to their hearts: The doorway of menopause which each of us is invited to pass through is a call to adventure. It connects the ordinary world in which we have been living to a numinous zone of magnified power. Within that zone are hidden treasures to match our wildest dreams. But, like every prize worth having, these riches can only be claimed and brought back if a woman is bold enough and persistent enough to answer the call. What is calling? Nothing less than her own soul. This call to adventure which a woman hears at menopause can arrive in as many different forms as there are women to hear it. But, whatever shape it takes, its purpose is the same. It is asking her—imploring her—to leave behind the comfortable world of her ordinary existence and for a time to venture into a challenging unfamiliar place. It is asking her to set out on her own hero's journey—a journey which is completely unique to her. Sometimes this entails making an outer journey to a real place, moving to a new job, or leaving behind a marriage which has outlived its usefulness. For many the journey takes place only in the mind, the heart and the spirit. Either way it is primarily an inner journey which takes a woman out of her ordinary world with all its ordinary assumptions to transform the way she thinks and lives—from weakness to strength, from grief to purpose, from despair to hope—and then brings her home again. So important do I feel the mysterious transformation that begins in a woman’s life as menopause approaches, that I would like to share with you some of the magic I and so many others have discovered in this extraordinary life-changing passage in future blogs. I hope you will join me.

Sacred Truth Ep. 56: Beware Of "The Pill"

Dangerous Side-Effects of HRT & Progestin Exposed: 63-Year Study

For more than 50 years we women have been sold birth control pills. I first came upon it when I was 21 years old. Having given birth to a little girl my second child—and I was concerned about not becoming pregnant again. At that time birth control pills were dolled out for free to women. You just showed up at the Margaret Sanger Clinic, then housed in a building at 17 W. 16th St in New York not far from where I lived. I went there believing this new discovery—the birth control pill—would prevent me from having any unwanted pregnancies in the future. I was given a container of pills and told to take one each day. Believing in this wondrous new discovery, I returned to my apartment and took the first pill. Within two or three hours I felt quite sick. But, trying to be a good girl, I persisted. Over the next three days I swallowed the second and third pill as well. I spent those three days sitting in my king-size bed literally moaning because I felt so unwell. It was at that point I realized that this marvelous new discovery was most certainly not for me. I never touched the birth control pill, or any other pharmaceutical akin to it from that day until this. Meanwhile, over the next 30 years "The Pill" became a worldwide success. Or so it seemed. In the early 1980s "Direct To Consumers" advertising came into being. Women everywhere began to be bombarded on television and in magazines with a lot of hyped information about a wide variety of birth control pills and other artificial drugs, all of which were full of artificial hormones. By now of course birth control pills have become a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, 50% of all oral contraceptive drugs are now sold worldwide. There's no question that being able to take a pill to prevent pregnancy can be convenient. But at what cost to the health of any woman who takes them long term? It’s essential that women learn to balance the risks of taking these pharmaceuticals with their supposed great benefits and convenience. These days, contraceptives are offered in many forms. Most women are prescribed an IUD containing artificial hormones. These are widely used in the UK. Meanwhile, in a few European countries—from Denmark and Sweden to Norway and the Czech Republic—hormone-free intrauterine devices are available. Some of these non-hormonal products are given free in countries with universal government health insurance. In the United States, however, there is only one nonhormonal IUD. It's known as Paragard. And it is by no means the top seller. There all sorts of other products you can use for family planning. These include condoms, diaphragms, spermicides, and other non-hormonal birth control methods such as regular injections and permanent sterilization. So what's the problem? Let’s start here: In 2012 a huge study was carried out on Depo-Provera. This is a contraceptive injection based on an artificial hormone called a progestogen. It found that women who received prescribed shots of Depo-Provera every few months more than doubled their risk of developing breast cancer. Of course birth control is not the only reason that women take "The Pill." Many, especially teenagers, are prescribed "The Pill" in an attempt to make their experience of menstruation more bearable hopefully easing monthly cramps and helping to alleviate premenstrual syndrome. What few women regardless of age are aware of—especially young women—is that using artificial hormones, in the form of “The Pill” or any other form, which are doled out almost like candies these days, can seriously undermine their health long-term and do damage to their lives. Austrian geneticist Josef Penninger discovered that there is a dangerous connection between progestin—an artificial hormone used in many birth control pills—and conventional HRT significantly increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have identified the mechanism that allows synthetic sex hormones to influence these cells. It can switch on a hormone in your body known as RANKL within the cells—especially your breast cells—which makes them divide and multiply. It can also prevent cells from dying as they are supposed to in order to make room for new healthier cells. And since stem cells in the breast have the ability to renew themselves, this can make you prone to breast cancer. As Penninger says, “I have to admit it completely surprised me just how massive the effects on the system were. Millions of women take progesterone derivatives in contraceptives and for hormonal replacement therapy.” There are lots of natural alternatives to clearing PMS and the monthly menstrual agonies that women—particularly young women—experience. Homeopathy, acupuncture, and chiropractors can be of tremendous help. Simply supplementing your diet with a good form of magnesium can make a huge difference. Steering clear of plastic water bottles that contain dangerous BPA (Bisphenol A) is also important. So can making simple changes in what you choose to eat, like avoiding packaged convenience foods of all kinds. For many women, just giving up cows milk products including cream, cow’s milk yogurt, and cows milk cheese makes a huge difference in clearing up cramps and PMS. Also, stay away from carbohydrates that come from grains and cereals and refuse to take sugar in any form. Sheep, goat, and buffalo milk make wonderful cheeses, yogurts, and other products. Finally, eat REAL FOODS—proteins from animals that have been raised on green grass, together with organic vegtables and a few fruits. Do this for as short a time as three weeks to a month, and your health can literally be transformed. Try it and find out for yourself.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Enter Menopause & Unleash Your Hero's Journey: Gifts of Turning 50

This is an interview I gave about what it means to turn 50 years old and the gifts that this process can bring. Tally: You’ve always said that turning 50 and entering menopause are great gifts, Leslie, What do you mean by this? TURNING 50 Leslie: Let me first be personal,Tally. My 50th birthday was the only birthday in my life that I cared about. It felt to me as though 50 was a watershed—the moment in time where I left behind my previous life in order to create a new life for myself. At that time I was writing my first novel, Ludwig: A Spiritual Thriller, about Beethoven. My eldest son, Branton, gave me an amazing birthday gift. What he did was lay aside two days for me and a dozen other people to celebrate, not just my birthday, but their own passages in their own lives. One of the things he did—he sent six bouquets of my favorite flowers—Oriental lilies—each containing a dozen lilies. Then on the Friday night there was a knock at the door. I opened the front door to find a woman with a violin in her hand. She said “Hello. We are a quartet from the Welsh National Opera, and we have come to play Beethoven’s late quartets for you.” Anyway, I had done a fast to celebrate my life-change at 50, basically. I wasn’t, at that time, entering menopause—it was about a year later that I did. Tally: Well my own experience of turning 50 was pretty bleak. I was already in the menopause. I felt horrible—tears all the time, hot flushes, insomnia. I felt very stressed by the whole thing. I also lost my waist for a while, which really upset me. So for me, it wasn’t a great experience. How could I make it a bit better? Leslie: I think you weren’t prepared for it, Tally. Menopause is the most important moment in a woman’s life, for a lot of reasons. My menopause was not easy in the beginning either. Why? Because I had been filled with the same kind of fear and nonsense that the media fills all of us with about menopause. You know the kind of stuff—“Oh my god, what if I have a hot flush when I’m in the boardroom?” and “You’ll get old and dry up if you don’t use HRT!” THE GIFTS OF MENOPAUSE Yet somewhere, deep inside, I sensed that the gifts of menopause might be the world’s best kept secret. Entering menopause, we venture through a gateway to enter into a sacred space that is brand new to our lives. We pass through this portal to claim the joy that every woman can feel, but has not yet known. As we stand at the brink of menopause, it feels as though only darkness lies beyond, lasting for the rest of our lives. This is true, but not in the way that most women believe. For having myself passed through that doorway into the realms beyond—20 years ago now—I discovered for myself something which women from all cultures have whispered to each other for thousands of years: Menopause is the most freeing passage a woman can make. HERO’S JOURNEY The transformation it can bring is rich and endless. Your life can become a journey in which you tap into your own individual power and freedom. For every woman it’s a voyage of discovery which, step by step, wants us to examine and discard misconceptions about ourselves and our lives, to get rid of the fear, and to come face to face with the implications of what this kind of female transformation means. The call to menopause, which each of us hears, comes in as many different forms as there are women to hear it. But whatever shape it takes, its purpose is the same. It’s asking us to leave behind the comfortable world of our ordinary existence and enter unfamiliar, yet sacred, territory. It’s asking each of us to set out on our own hero’s journey. Sometimes, this urges us to make an outer journey to a real place, find a new job, or leave behind a marriage that has outlived its usefulness. But for most of us, the journey takes place in our hearts, in our minds, in our spirits. What is wonderful, is this: however it happens, this journey takes a woman out of her ordinary world, and away from all of the outdated, false assumptions we carry about who we are. It takes us out of an experience of fear into one of strength; out of an experience of grief and regret towards the discovery of a new sense of purpose—from despair to hope. Now it’s time to recognize that all of the things that take place in a woman’s life—like what happened to you, Tally, with your hot flushes and “Oh my god, what’s happening to me?”—are fundamentally a call from your soul. It’s saying to you “You’ve lived a good life until now, you’ve cared for other people, you’ve been responsible and honorable in what you’re doing, but where is the essence of Tally?” Now’s the time for you to learn to live your life from the very core of your being? HERBAL SECRETS Let’s go back to those hot flushes. I have a very extraordinary point of view as far as they’re concerned. If you’re in a boardroom, you have a hot flush and it bothers the men who are with you, that’s their problem, not yours. Most men are scared to death of women in the menopause. They’re not aware of it, but the power that women access within themselves is phenomenal. On a practical level, hot flushes are easy things to deal with. Herbs like black cohosh—also known as black snakeroot, or sheng ma in Chinese medicine—and sage are great to support the process. Motherwort is absolutely marvelous for the menopause transition because it’s so comforting. When you mix together some of these herbs they work best. What I would never do is get into hormone replacement therapy. Menopause signals to us that it’s time to stop being the lover, the mother, the good employee—all of the things we grow up thinking we’re supposed to live up to—and just spend time being with yourself, in that inner place, discovering who you really are. When you do this, you find that even the physical experiences of menopause which are supposed to be negative are really a call from your soul, urging you to find out who you are, and begin to live out the fantastic power, energy, and freedom that menopause is offering. These are rewards of the natural menopause, and of the transformation that menopause can bring to a woman’s life if she’s willing to embrace it. Choose to answer the call, and your menopausal passage can become the most exciting hero’s journey anyone ever takes.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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