Hot flashes are the bane of menopausal women everywhere. Though some lucky ones might not suffer from hot flashes, many women do experience that feeling of uncomfortable warmth that spreads over the head and body, concentrated in the chest and neck. The feeling is accompanied by flushing, or redness all over the body, as well as heavy perspiration. No one really knows what causes hot flashes, but it is believed to be a fluctuation of hormones and biochemicals in the body, brought on by changes in estrogen levels. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies for hot flashes.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes
Choosing natural remedies can often be much better than over the counter or prescription ones. These are a few natural remedies for hot flashes that have worked for women for centuries.
Used for thousands of years, this root is known for boosting the function of the endocrine system, helping to ease the symptoms of hot flashes and aiding the body in coping with stress of all kinds. Available as a powder or capsule, the dosage varies depending upon the product and strength, so be sure to follow the directions very closely.
2. Black Cohosh
This has been used by Native Americans for centuries to treat symptoms that surround menopause, menstruation and other women’s issues. It has been proven to treat irritability, hot flashes, mood swings and more. This is either taken in tea form, extract or capsules – the tea can be taken at the rate of three cups per day, or the capsules and extract can be taken according to package instructions.
Ginseng works by boosting adrenal gland function, thus reducing hot flashes and similar symptoms of menopause. You can eat 1/8 inch of ginseng root every day, or take ¼ tsp. of ginseng tincture twice a day. You might also choose to drink ginseng tea made with appropriate amounts of extract.
4. Red Clover
Estrogen imbalances can be restored with the use of this herb. It can also boost low levels of estrogen. It is most commonly taken in tea form, as a dose of 2 to 3 cups per day.
This soy-based ingredient has been shown to ease the symptoms of hot flashes. It can be taken in many ways, including one to two glasses of soy milk each day, or drinking miso soup three to four times a week. You could also choose to take supplements in capsule form. Just make sure that what you are taking doesn’t contain MSG or genetically engineered soybeans to make the soup, capsule or milk, as this can negate the effects.
6. Clary Sage Essential Oil
This essential oil has properties that mimic that of the natural estrogen hormone in the body. When you take it, you can rest assured that you are helping to balance the hormones that are causing the problem, and thus reducing the hot flashes in both frequency and intensity. To use, inhale the scent through an aromatherapy ritual. You might also try massaging it into your abdomen, breathing deeply as you do so.
7. Aromatherapy Blend
Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years to help alleviate many problems, and hot flashes are no exception. An aromatherapy blend of equal amounts of basil, clary sage oil, star anise, peppermint, and bay laurel in almond oil or other carrier oil can help alleviate hot flashes. Rub the oil on the inside of your wrists three times daily and breathe deeply of the scent.
8. Vitamin C
Known for helping with many ailments, Vitamin C is also proven to help with hot flashes. This supplement helps your adrenal gland function, which in turn eliminates or makes hot flashes easier to handle. You can use between 500 and 2000 milligrams, and sometimes higher, depending upon your doctor’s recommendations.
9. Vitamin E
Studies have shown that vitamin E can help with the severity of hot flashes. Try taking a 400 IU gel cap of vitamin E each day to alleviate the symptoms that come along with the hot flashes.
10. Proper Diets
What you eat can make a difference in how often you have hot flashes and how severe they are. Many women have found that dairy foods, any type of meat and spicy foods can trigger hot flashes or make them more severe.
Look for soy foods that aren’t made with any genetic modifications, and incorporate them into every meal if you can. You can also try a regular serving of beans, especially edemame, which gives your body a natural dose of estrogen-like compounds.
Tips for Using Natural Remedies
Any new therapies should be vetted by your doctor before you begin taking them. Supplements are often a good way to go, as you know exactly how much you are taking. Though herbal remedies from a trained herbalist might be tempting, be sure you know exactly what is in the solutions you get from them.
Finally, remember that not all brands are created equal. The quality, safety and purity of a product varies between brands, and even between large batches manufactured by the same brand. Always note any side effects that begin when you start a new remedy. If you are taking over the counter drugs or prescription drugs, remember that herbal remedies can interact with them; speak to your doctor about which herbal remedies should be avoided if you are on certain medications.