Regardless of where we are in our journey, at perimenopause, menopause, or beyond, the bottom line is that we will all experience more and more symptoms of dryness as we get older. And the older we get, the drier we will get.

Luckily, adopting commonsense habits that have stood the test of time can help you relieve dryness and remain vibrant throughout the aging process.


Let's start with the most obvious way to increase hydration: water. We all know we need to drink water. Experts suggest that the water required daily is half as many ounces as your body weighs in pounds. For example, someone weighing 160 pounds needs 80 ounces of water daily or eight 10-ounce glasses. Many of us tend to fall short of this goal — an estimated 50% to 70% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. 

Consuming diuretic beverages such as alcohol, coffee, and some sodas and exercising in warm weather exacerbate this shortfall. Diuretics increase urine flow, and with this outflow of urine, water, nutrients, and electrolytes are lost.

Increasing your water intake is an easy first step to reducing symptoms of dryness. Just compute the amount of water you need to drink daily using the formula above, increase it in warm weather as needed, then create a simple system to track your water intake to ensure you reach your goal. Also, remember that it is important to increase fluid consumption before, during, and after a workout to replenish those lost through sweating.


While drinking water is an essential first step for proper hydration, it's not enough. The human body requires more than just water. We also need electrolytes, which are minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Electrolytes help transport water to the cells that need them most. They regulate and maintain adequate fluids throughout your body to ensure that muscles, nerves, and the heart and brain are kept properly moistened.

The irony is that, while water is essential for hydration, drinking large amounts can actually flush out electrolytes from your body. Not replenishing those electrolytes can lead to a condition known as hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Hence, it's important to consume electrolytes along with water if you are experiencing symptoms of dryness. You can easily do so by adding a pinch or so of natural sea salt and/or some fresh fruit juice to a glass of water. Fruits like oranges, lemons, pomegranates, and melons are rich in electrolytes. Or you can use an electrolyte drink mix or consume an electrolyte drink (ideally, one without sugar or artificial sweeteners).


Besides increasing your water intake and using electrolytes, what else can you do to relieve dryness? Natural remedies like the long-term use of botanical remedies or herbs to support healthy moisture levels is a great way to increase essential fluids. For example, water alone cannot replenish the natural oils that protect our skin and hair, or the mucosal tissues of the eyes, mouth, and vaginal area. These are maintained through a complex system of hormonal regulation and nutrient absorption, and this is where botanical remedies make a big difference.

By using botanical remedies on a daily basis in the form of tinctures, alcohol extracts, and/or herbal teas, it may be possible to improve the body's hydration and to slow the common signs of dryness that come with aging.

For example, in the Ayurvedic tradition, Shatavari Root (Asparagus racemosus) is used as a long-term rejuvenating and moisturizing tonic for both women and men. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Peony Root (Paeonia lactiflora) is used to replenish deficient bodily fluids throughout the body. Indigenous people in North America have a long tradition of using Black Cohosh Root (Actaea racemosa) as a restorative and hormone-regulating remedy for the female reproductive system.

These three botanicals and others are the foundation for Tributary Renew Hydration's proprietary formula, designed to be used as a long-term moisture-replenishing tonic for anyone experiencing vaginal dryness, dry skin and hair, chapped lips, brittle nails, or other symptoms of deficient bodily fluids.

To learn more, please see Benefits of Botanicals.


Your food choices are a critical source of essential fluids. We get about 20% of the fluids we need daily from food. Your goal should be to have about 2½ cups of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. While all fresh fruits and vegetables are helpful, those with a high water content, such as watermelon, oranges, strawberries, melons, cabbage, bell pepper, and broccoli, are best. Consuming broth-based soups and smoothies is another good way to increase fluid intake.

In moderation, alcoholic beverages and coffee are fine, but both tend to be warming and drying in nature, promoting water loss through increased urine production and ultimately contributing to symptoms of dryness. The more alcohol or coffee you drink, the more signs of dryness you may experience. If you are experiencing symptoms of dryness, try reducing your alcohol and coffee consumption as you increase your fluid intake with adequate water, juicy fruits, and fresh vegetables. If your dryness symptoms improve, consider reducing the amount of alcohol and coffee you consume regularly. And be sure to increase other sources of hydration described here to balance out their diuretic effect.


Your body needs about twenty different types of fatty acids to maintain good health. Together, they provide all the fats your body needs to stay healthy. While fat has gotten a bad reputation, it is vital to remember that there are good and bad fats. For optimum health and hydration, you must ensure you are consuming enough healthy fats. And in case you are wondering, eating appropriate amounts of healthy fats will not necessarily cause weight gain. In fact, a diet that is too low in the good fats can lead to your body becoming drier, and that includes your vagina.

One especially important type, known as essential fatty acids, or EFAs, is critical for maintaining cellular health and providing the moisture needed to keep your skin elastic, improve your skin's ability to retain moisture, and protect your skin from the potentially damaging effect of the sun's rays. Essential fatty acids are called “essential” because they must be consumed. The body can generate fat all by itself (you probably knew that!), but it can’t generate essential fatty acids. We must get our daily requirements of essential fatty acids from the foods we eat or from EFA supplements.

Two basic types of essential fatty acids are Omega-3 and Omega-6. The typical American diet is high in Omega-6 fatty acids, and these Omega-6s need to be balanced by plenty of foods rich in Omega-3s. The Omega-3s can help to relieve symptoms of dryness, reduce systemic inflammation, improve brain function, relieve symptoms of depression, and support cardiovascular health.

You can experience the benefits of the Omega-3 essential fatty acids by including these foods in your diet on a regular basis:

  • Cold-water fish: salmon, cod, flounder, herring, mackerel, tuna, shrimp, and sardines that are wild-caught or have been tested for mercury
  • Flaxseed, walnut, olive, and avocado oils
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds 
  • Cooked leafy greens such as collards, kale, chard, and dandelion
  • EFA supplements with krill, sea buckthorn, or mercury-free fish oils

In addition, phytoestrogens — plant-derived compounds with properties similar to those of the female hormone estrogen — play a crucial role in maintaining a hormonal balance that contributes to good hydration. These compounds can enhance the body's water-holding capacity and help regulate the balance of electrolytes, which are vital for fluid balance. Moreover, phytoestrogens have been linked to improved skin hydration.

Phytoestrogens are found in many fruits and vegetables and other foods, including the following:

  • Soybeans and soy products, ideally in less processed form, including green soybeans (edamame), tofu, miso soup, and miso paste
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other sprouts, kale, onions, and spinach
  • Berries, fruits, and dried fruits, including strawberries, cranberries, apples, grapes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, dried apricots, dates, and prunes
  • Nuts and seeds, including almonds, flaxseeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Legumes such as chickpeas and lentils
  • Grains such as oats and wheat germ

To learn more about remedying dryness, please see What Causes DrynessBenefits of Botanicals, and Tributary Botanicals.