From Herbs to Hormones and Everything in Between
“Stop hot flashes now” – is a cry for help from all women who are suffering from this dreaded menopause symptom.
Here you can find out about all your treatment choices to help your symptoms:
- Herbs, Supplements and other natural remedies like Black Cohosh, Soy, and Vitamins
- Home remedies include teas, tinctures, topicals and aromatherapy.
- Hormone Therapy and medications
- Alternative Treatments such as Acupuncture and Chinese herbs
- Diet and exercise and other supporting treatments
Right now, Hormone therapy is still the only FDA approved treatment for your symptoms. But many women shy away from this treatment because they heard about all the risks associated with hormones.
By far the most popular way to stop hot flashes is through herbal remedies.
But there are other natural treatments to stop hot flashes that can be used alone or together with herbs. Whatever works for you is the best solution – there is no “one size fits all” hot flash remedy.
Keep in mind that many of the natural treatments can be combined to increase the effect. For example, try some easy lifestyle changes when you start using an herbal remedy.
Rule of Thumb:
Try the natural methods first. If tyou don’t get relief, talk to your doctor about hormones.
Herbs For Hot Flashes
Many herbs are effective to relieve hot flashes. Herbs can be taken as a supplement or used in teas and tonics/tinctures.
Most herbalists prefer tinctures over supplements because there is not much processing involved and it is more natural. Tinctures are basically the extraction of the active chemicals through alcohol.
Supplements for Hot Flashes
You can’t beat the ease of getting an adequate amount of hot flash herbs in one supplement.
Supplements can contain either concentrated individual herbs, such as Black Cohosh, or a mixture of different natural ingredients.
A newer idea that falls actual into the hormone category is DHEA – the weight-loss and anti-aging supplement. Because it is the parent hormone to estrogen and progesterone, it can also be used to treat hot flashes.
Relief From The Food You Eat
Aside from herbs, there are various foods that contain phytoestrogen, a chemical similar to the hormone estrogen.
Soybeans, flaxseed, yams and beans all fall into this group together with many other fruits and vegetables.
But it is doubtful that you can get enough of the active chemicals just from food to help with your symptoms . But all the foods that contain phytoestrogen should be part of a healthy diet anyway and are a great way to support any treatment.
Other Methods to Stop Hot Flashes
You can support the herbal remedies (or any menopause treatment) by making some changes in your life: the use of relaxation techniques, avoiding the worst hot flash triggers, and exercising, will not only help to stop hot flashes but will also put you on the path of a much healthier life.
You can also make some easy lifestyle changes to stop hot flashes for immediate relief.
Essential oils are also used to stop hot flashes. One example is peppermint essential oil that is used topically to cool you down.
Acupuncture is gaining popularity with menopausal women because it was successfully used to treat women with breast cancer who can’t take hormones.
Dr. Csaba Mihaly has a very informative site about acupuncture indications. Check it out!
As it simultaneously relieves some other menopause symptoms long after the acupuncture treatment is stopped, many women are giving this ancient treatment a try.
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with Chinese herbs for a holistic treatment with benefits far beyond hot flash relief.
This means that not just hot flashes are treated but the practitioner considers your whole health history and modifies the treatment accordingly.
Hormones and Other Medications
Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy has come a long way since the days when the only options were synthetic hormones such as Premarin etc. Now hormone treatments include many natural options, that are either FDA approved or available through your compound pharmacy.
These natural hormones are derived from plants and are converted intohormones that are identical to your body’s hormones. (When you follow the link, you can get all the information you need to make an informed decision about hormone therpay).
There are also a number of drugs that were originally developed for other diseases or conditions that have been proven to help with hot flashes. Several medications for the treatment of depression fall in this category(Effexor, Prozac etc).
The use of these medications is not without side effects and risks. So your health care provider will carefully consider your options and health history before prescribing any of these drugs.
A Final Word
Your circumstances, stress levels and health are just some of the reasons that not every treatment works for every woman all the time. Other reasons are:
- The stage of the menopause transition (peri-menopause has different problems than post-menopause)
- Individual and genetic differences (i.e. soy works for some but not all women)
- The supplier of the supplement (get your herbs and supplements only from trusted resources)
- Dosage and length of treatment (some herbs take up to 8 weeks to reach maximum effectiveness)
Keep in mind that many of the natural treatments can be combined to increase the effect.
It is always best to try the least invasive option first to help with ‘power surges”. Only if the natural remedies for hot flashes do not work, ask your doctor about menopause hormone replacement therapy.
However, keep in mind that herbs and other natural treatments do not work overnight. Some herbs need 6 – 8 weeks to reach their maximum effect.
Even if your goal is to “stop hot flashes”, you may learn that you can live with either less frequent or milder symptoms.