Continuing with last week's theme of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), shall mention some more natural ways of dealing with the symptoms of menopause.

The fact that HRT with its synthetic oestrogens and progesterones can triple the risk of getting breast cancer in women is, indeed, worrying and there are many other natural ways of dealing with "the change".

Let us consider some more re-balancing remedies according to symptoms:

HOT FLUSHES Hot flushes can be the most distressing symptom for women. Drink fennel, mint, lime or rose tea. Fennel is very cooling and contains plant sterols which help the hormone system. Mint is a cooling herb which also helps digestion and bloating, another common symptom. Last week, I mentioned the menopause tea from various re-balancing herbs that I have prepared. Please do give me feedback on that. Gently massage the forehead, face, neck, soles of feet and the six chakras (between the eyes, front of the throat, chest, solar plexus, around the belly button, the lower abdomen and the sacral area. Use cooling and spiritual oils like myrrh, rose and vetiver oil. Add five to ten drops to peach kernel oil. (Contact Wish Clinic on the number given if you need any of these oils).

SWELLING, OEDEMA AND BLOATING Water retention, swelling and weight gain can be helped by herbs which work as diuretics. Dandelion tea, for example, is an excellent tea to drink. Also try fennel, mint and dandelion mixed in a blender to make a ready powder. The Ayurvedic herbal remedy called rasayan churna with punarnava (boerhaavia diffusa) is a well-proven diuretic tonic for men and women. It contains tribulus terrestris, a diuretic which strengthens the urinary system, and tinospora and amla to strengthen the liver.

OSTEOPOROSIS Shilajit, the exudate from special stones in the Himalayas, has been used for centuries to strengthen bones and joints but it also works as a rejuvenator and aphrodisiac as it contains vital minerals. Guggul is the gum of a species of myrrh tree and is excellent for maintaining the strength of the bones. The advantage of taking guggul is that it helps keep down cholesterol, helps the thyroid function, helps lose weight and is a precursor of the hormones. Guggul is combined with various herbs to treat different conditions. I recommend trifala guggul for menopausal aches and pains and osteoporosis.

GENERAL WEAKNESS/LACK OF LIBIDO Dasmool arishtha (the ten-root tonic), satavari (asparagus racemosus), ashwagandha and chyavanprash (from Indian gooseberry pulp) are just a few of the powerful Ayurvedic preparations available which can help enormously.

MOOD SWINGS AND DEPRESSION Yogic breathing or Pranayama will help control mood swings and depression. For classes, call Wish Clinic 01273 430022.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove. Call them on: 01273 777448 or e-mail: