Help! I’ve turned into a raging chocoholic! Since turning 40, I’ve become obsessed with chocolate. I get cravings that are so bad, I can’t concentrate on anything until I have some. How can I get this under control?

Chocolate cravings could be a sign of adrenal slowdown from perimenopausal hormonal shifts. Try drinking black licorice tea, which contains glycyrrhizin. This compound has adrenal-rejuvenating properties, as well as mild estrogen, and progesterone like effects to help restore optimal female-hormone activity. My favorite is Traditional Medicinals Organic Licorice Root Tea ($4 for 16 bags, at health food stores), which also satisfies my sweet tooth. Though package directions of whichever tea you choose may indicate otherwise, I recommend limiting yourself to two wellbrewed cups only every other day since licorice can cause a fatigue-inducing potassium imbalance. After six weeks of use, take a five-day break before repeating the regimen. One to three cycles helps most women. Caution: If you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure, do not consume licorice products.

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