As per statistics, 8 out of 10 women suffer from hot flashes as they go through menopause. It is characterized by sudden sweating and reddening of the face. The occurrence of hot flashes is unpredictable. It mainly occurs during and after menopause but can be caused by any hormonal conditions. The exact reason behind them is still unknown, however it is believed that it occurs when the levels of luteinizing hormones and follicle stimulating hormones rise beyond optimum values. Also, shortage of estrogen hormone during menopause can lead to hot flashes. In case, you are facing hot flashes problems and find them quite intolerable, you can try some herbal remedies to improve your state.
List of Herbal Remedies for Hot Flashes
Following is a list of some herbs that can be used as natural remedies for hot flashes.
Dong quai is known to ease menopausal problems. It assists the body to regulate hot flashes. In addition to this, it also relieves mental and emotional stress. Because of these reasons, dong quai is considered to be an emmenagogue. It can contract as well as relax uterine muscles and it owes this property to the diversity in its composition. It contains a water and alcohol soluble, non-volatile oily substance that is excitatory in nature. This substance is responsible for the contraction of the uterine muscles. The component that causes relaxation is another oily substance that is volatile and has a high boiling point. It is believed that the potency of dong quai in treating hot flashes is due to its ability to stabilize blood vessels. However, do not take it without a medical professional's agreement as dong quai side effects are also possible.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is an essential oil. It contains gamma linolenic acid which influences the production of prostaglandins in the body. This makes it worth using for the treatment of hot flashes, sleep disorders and for relieving premenstrual syndrome. The dosage of evening primrose oil is between 2-8 capsules a day, depending upon the severity of the condition. Self medication in case of essential oils is never advisable. Consult an aromatherapist for proper directions for this natural remedy for hot flashes.
This wild plant is a good source of isoflavones, organic compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen. This is because the chemical structure of both isoflavones and estrogen is more or less the same. Hence, isoflavones are able to reactivate estrogen activity in our body. Thus, taking this herb in supplemental form can give a boost to estrogen activity, thereby helping to stop declining estrogen levels associated with menopause. So, by including red clover in the diet, one can expect relief from menopause symptoms.
Relieving menopause symptoms is also possible by using maca, a popular medicinal plant. As we all know, the hormone estrogen is released by the ovaries. However, during menopause the ovaries fail to produce estrogen, resulting in its deficiency. Studies show that maca has a positive impact on ovaries. It assists in restoring the impaired function of the ovaries. Basically, maca targets the pituitary gland (found at the base of the brain) that is known to control function of ovaries. The effects of maca stimulate the pituitary gland, which in turn carries out the necessary actions to improve functionality of the ovaries. Maca therapy for treating menopause symptoms including hot flashes is safe and has gained widespread acceptance as it targets the underlying cause to increase secretion of estrogen levels.
Few studies suggest Chinese or Korean ginseng as an alternate remedy for menopause symptoms. The Korean ginseng, also known as the panax ginseng may help to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes. The various compounds in ginseng positively affect the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that keeps a check on our body temperature. Hot flashes have been associated with improper working of the hypothalamus. Ginseng supports proper functioning of the hypothalamus, which may contribute in regulating body temperature and prevent hot flashes. Few studies also suggest that ginseng provides estrogenic effects, which might elevate estrogen levels in the body. Although further research is awaiting to confirm ginseng's ability to increase estrogen, many women who have used ginseng experience nil or fewer occurrences of hot flashes.
Black cohosh is a very good example of highly efficient home remedies for hot flashes. It also relieves menstrual cramps, vaginal atrophy and dysmenorrhea. It shows estrogenic effect by decreasing the levels of luteinizing hormone. Take 10-12 drops of black cohosh with meals, once a day. It will provide you comfort from hot flashes as well as night sweats within a couple of months' time. This is a 'sure-to-give-positive-results' hot flashes herbal remedy.
Vitex, which is also known as chaste berry, lowers estrogen levels and raises the level of progesterone. This maintains the strength of bones and vaginal walls. It also alters the secretion of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This helps in easing menopause symptoms. Its daily intake increases the secretion of progesterone and luteotropic hormone, but decreases that of FSH and prolactin. The effect of vitex on pituitary function in this manner enables it to regulate hot flashes and dizziness.
There are several other herbal remedies for hot flashes. They include wild yam, red clover, ginseng and licorice root. Wild yam is a native of United States. It resembles a vine plant. Wild yam contains isoflavones that is present in bulk in the extract of wild yam. Isoflavones relieve menopause problems, reduce blood clotting and keep the bones strong. The herb red clover also contains isoflavones, and hence produce the same effects.
The regular intake of ginseng proves to be very helpful in palliating hot flashes. To derive the benefits of ginseng, take it on an empty stomach. It is not recommendable for women with high blood pressure or diabetes. Licorice root is a herb that is known for treating variety of disorders of the female reproductive system, and hence is one of the 'hot flashes home remedies' that are popular among herbalists. It has shown its effectiveness in curing hot flashes as well. Its usage should not extend beyond 4-5 weeks without medical supervision.
Other herbs that may provide relief from hot flashes are given below:
- Red raspberry leaves