More and more women are looking for natural hot flash relief or "home remedies" for hot flashes. For many years the treatment of choice was hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but the medical community has now identified the risks associated with long-term use of HRT. Since some women begin to suffer from hot flashes, bed sweats and other menopausal symptoms five or six years before their menstrual cycles end and then may continue to have them for several years afterwards, it is not unusual for a woman to need relief or treatment for ten years. The longer she uses HRT, the greater her risk of developing serious medical conditions including cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke.


There are several types of home remedies for hot flashes. There are the things that you avoid, because they may trigger hot flashes or worsen their severity. There are the things that you can do to relieve or possibly prevent the frequency of them. And then there are herbs, botanicals and even some foods that may provide hot flash relief. First, we'll look at the things that typically trigger hot flashes; those things to be avoided.


Dietary, Herbal and Botanical Home Remedies for Hot Flashes


A lot is being said about soy beans for menopausal symptoms. Soy beans contain a compound called isoflavones, which are plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens may have an estrogen-like effect on a woman's body, provide hot flash relief and possibly relieve other menopausal symptoms. While some experts suggest that adding soy to the diet may be a better choice than dietary supplements that contain the active compound, the research conducted thus far indicates that dietary supplements decrease hot flashes much more effectively than food products such as soy flour. For women who are allergic to soy, isoflavones can be found in other plants, such as red clover.


Black cohosh is one of the most popular home remedies for hot flashes. Researchers have found it to be even more effective than soy isoflavones. Sarsaparilla is an ancient remedy for hormonal imbalances and may provide hot flash relief. Ginseng is effective for some women, not for others. Chasteberry, although often recommended, does not appear to reduce hot flashes, but can be helpful for other menopausal symptoms. Wild yam is sometimes recommended because it contains a compound that can be used to create synthetic hormones. Dong Quai root is another one of the home remedies for hot flashes, but some scientific studies have found that it is ineffective for hot flash relief, though it may improve other symptoms.


Home Remedies for Hot Flashes

Eating foods rich in phytoestrogens, especially soy foods, has been shown to decrease the intensity of hot flashes by helping to balance estrogen levels. Try to eat one or two servings of soy foods such as tofu, tempeh, and soy milk each day. Dietary supplements that help to relieve hot flashes include vitamin E and bioflavonoids. In clinical studies, vitamin E has been shown to reduce the incidence of hot flashes. Take 400 to 800 I.U.S of natural vitamin E in the form of d-alpha tocopherol daily. If you suffer from hypertension or diabetes, check with your doctor before taking large amounts of vitamin E. Bioflavonoids are found abundantly in citrus fruits, especially in the white inner rind and pulp. Bioflavonoids have phytoestrogenic activity and have been shown to markedly reduce the incidence of hot flashes. Eat one or two servings of fresh citrus fruits daily, including as much of the white inner peel as possible. In addition, take supplemental bioflavonoids combined with vitamin C, which helps to strengthen adrenal function. Take 1,000 units of vitamin C combined with bioflavonoids three times a day.


Home Remedies for Hot Flashes

Herbs have been used for centuries by women to prevent and relieve hot flashes. Cool herbal teas can be sipped throughout the day to keep your body well-hydrated. Try fragrant herbs such as chamomile, linden flower, and mint, which make delicious teas and have a calming and soothing effect on the mind and body. Many herbs, such as black cohosh and the Chinese herb dong quai, are rich in phytoestrogens, plant estrogens which help to normalize hormone levels. Taking these herbs regularly helps to balance hormones and prevent hot flashes.


Home Remedies for Hot Flashes

Relaxing baths ease physical and emotional tension and are a wonderful treat for relieving the discomfort of hot flashes. Avoid hot water, which can raise body temperature and trigger hot flashes. Draw a tub of tepid water, and add one cup of baking soda as a skin soother. Essential oils add fragrance and subtle healing properties. Lavender, geranium, clary sage, and rose essential oils all help to balance hormones and promote relaxation. Add 5 to 10 drops total of one or more essential

oils to a tubful of water.


Home Remedies for Hot Flashes

Simple measures can help to alleviate hot flashes. Avoid overheating your home or workplace, and dress in layers that make it easy to add or remove clothing as needed. Natural fibers such as silk and linen help to maintain a comfortable body temperature by allowing perspiration to evaporate quickly. Keep a small paper or bamboo fan handy for quick cooling during a hot flash. Natural-fiber bedding will help to keep you comfortable during the night. Use pure cotton or linen sheets, and

instead of one heavy blanket or comforter, sleep with thin layers of cotton or wool blankets and a lightweight down comforter that can be added or removed as needed.


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Emotional stress is often a trigger for hot flashes. Practices such as deep rhythmical breathing and meditation create a calm internal environment that keeps your body and emotions in balance. You can also relieve emotional and physical tension with regular exercise such as a daily half-hour brisk walk. Avoid walking in the hot sun, though, because excessive heat can bring on a hot flash. During hot weather, walk in the early morning or evening. Other types of exercise that have a calming

and cooling effect are swimming, tai chi, and yoga. The long, slow stretches of yoga and the gentle, flowing movements of taichi are excellent for creating a deep sense of peace and relaxation and are wonderful practices for bringing the body and mind into harmony.


Homemade Hot Flash Relief Herbal Tea


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons garden sage

1 tablespoon motherwort

2 teaspoons anise seeds

2 cups water


Preparation Method:

Pour boiling water over herbs, cover, and let steep until cool. Strain, and drink one cup of cool tea before bed. The aromatic oil that gives garden sage (Salvia officinalis) its characteristic scent and flavor has strong astringent properties that reduce perspiration by up to 50 percent. Motherwort is a wonderful herbal ally for menopausal women; it has relaxing properties and helps to calm the heart palpitations that often accompany middleof-the-night hot flashes. Anise seeds are a source of phytoestrogens and add a pleasant sweetness to the tea that helps to soften the bitterness of the motherwort. Insomnia often accompanies hot flashes that occur at night. If you are troubled by sleeplessness, add to the formula one tablespoon of passionflower, a pleasant-tasting herb that has gentle relaxing properties.


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