Hot flashes are experienced by 3/4 of all women undergoing menopause, making it the number one symptom of menopause. This makes natural relief for hot flashes an extremely hot topic (pun intended). Hot flashes involve a temporary sensation of heat coming off the body, sometimes associated with sweating or flushing of the skin. They can last from 30 seconds to 10 minutes and can be extremely annoying and debilitating.
At one time, hormone replacement therapy was the go-to treatment for women experiencing severe menopausal symptoms. Further studies through the years showed that the risks outweighed the benefits. Because of this, many women turned to natural remedies for menopausal symptoms.
8 Ways to Find Natural Relief for Hot Flashes
1. Simple changes in behavior. This includes learning how to dress in layers so that you can take off layers of clothing when the hot flashes become intense. It also includes having ice water handy so you can sip on it when the hot flashes start. You can also wear light pajamas that are loose-fitting and use bed linens made with cotton that breathe better and can reduce the incidence of night sweats.
2. Herbal relief. While studies of their effectiveness are mixed, many women use herbal remedies to control symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa). Studies have shown that it is natural relief for hot flashes, profuse perspiration, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, nervousness, depression, and sleep disturbance. Women with liver disease or those taking high blood pressure medication should use caution when using this herb.
- Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus-castus). Relief can be found for mood swings, irritability, breast tenderness, bloating and menstrual cramps. It should not be ingested by those taking the pill or other hormonal contraceptives.
- Red clover (Trifolium pratense). This relief-giving herb has been clinically proven to reduce night sweats by 75% and can also relieve insomnia. It can also provide a protective effect on the heart and bones.
- Sage (Salvia officinalis). Sage acts as a regulator for the hypothalamus (our body’s thermostat and other roles), which means it rocks as relief for hot flashes and night sweats. It also acts as a memory aid and can bring relief to the muddled mind which often comes along with menopause.
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). This brings relief to those suffering from sleep disturbances caused by anxiety, with no morning after-effects.
- St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This is well-known for relief from mild depression which many menopausal women experience because of all the changes taking place.
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea). Tired all the time? Stressed? Sleeping badly? Poor concentration and memory? Rhodiola may provide the relief you are looking for.
3. Acupuncture. Acupuncture can decrease the incidence and intensity of hot flashes without side effects that you can have if you are taking medication. A study out of the British Medical Journal in 2011 showed that women who chose acupuncture for menopausal symptoms, had fewer hot flashes and other menopausal-related symptoms.
4. Eating a well-balanced diet. This means eating more fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and healthy fats. Much as menopause might drive us to drink, consuming it can be a trigger for hot flashes. The decision is yours. Also, avoid foods high in sugar and unsaturated fats.
5. Meditation. Mindfulness meditation involves a deep focus of experiences on a moment-to-moment basis. A study by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health found mindfulness training reduced the intensity of hot flashes and also other menopause symptoms such as anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It also increased the overall quality of life of those in the study.
6. Quit smoking. Smoking can trigger hot flashes; so, make every attempt to quit. Smoking can be a trigger for hot flashes; and it is detrimental to your health in more ways than one. Try vaping, only as a bridge to quitting.
7. Get regular exercise. Aerobic exercise has been found to decrease the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Take part in any physical activity that increases the heart rate and respiratory rate. Aerobic exercises include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, running, swimming, tennis and, to some degree, golf. Try engaging in anaerobic exercise, which involves lifting weights or doing resistance exercises using your own body weight.
The advantages of natural relief for hot flashes include: 1) little or no side effects 2) completely safe in the right doses, and 3) there is an undeniable sense that you are in sync with nature. By utilizing all the healing herbs available for your health and well-being, you are doing the very best you can for your mind, body and soul. Take care, and….