Herbs that stop hot flashes, sort of

October 15, 2012 at 12:00 am in Healthy Living by VN Editors

When you don’t want to pursue any sort of hormone therapy, you can always turn to herbs that stop hot flashes. But before you find something that does work, you may have to go through a whole lot of trial-and-error.

Stop hot flashes?

Look, there’s no cure for hot flashes. It’s just that simple. This is something that’s caused by menopause, which is an unavoidable biological process. What actually happens is that you begin to lose estrogen around a certain age. For American women, the average is 51. Hormone Replacement Therapy can be used to replace that estrogen; you simply receive regular injections, take pills or possibly wear a patch that allows your body to absorb the hormones. This is the closest you can come to a cure, and many women report great reduction in hot flashes and other menopause symptoms while undergoing HRT.

However, many medical experts have advised against HRT to stop hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy has been linked to increased cancer risk. Though it is still used, many women do not want to take the risk.

Potential treatments to stop hot flashes get less effective from there. Many physicians advise deep breathing, meditation and other stress-relieving techniques, as stress makes hot flashes worse. Avoiding certain food triggers, like chocolate, can also help you lessen the effect of hot flashes. But if you’re looking to medicate the problem, there’s a wide variety of herbal remedies that may help.

Herbal for hot flashes

Instead of taking prescription medications, you can always try botanicals to stop hot flashes. Some women swear by their pet cures, but many herbal remedies don’t stand up to scientific study. For some, certain herbs can be effective, but the one that worked for your sister may not do the trick for you.

  • Maca root. Some say radish-like maca root can stop hot flashes. It certainly packs a punch in the vitamins department. Maca root contains several B vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. However, it’s not without side effects. Maca root can increase testosterone production, and because of its high iodine content it should not be used by those with thyroid disease. It can also cause breakouts, mood swings and, in some women, hot flashes. Yes, for some women maca root will actually trigger the flashes you want to avoid.
  • Dong quai. Known as “female ginseng,” dong quai is a Chinese herb that’s reputed to be one of the best for treating hot flashes. Women who take dong quai are advised against using it long-term. It’s also not safe for women who are considered to be at risk for uterine, ovarian and breast cancer.
  • Flaxseed. A very popular potential cure for hot flashes, flaxseed enjoys a reputation for being a menopause treatment. Conflicting studies make it hard to determine whether or not this is true. Proponents of the herb say it’s particularly effective for treating hot flashes and hormonal night sweats.

Find more options to stop hot flashes in our free special report, 5 Proven Remedies to Reduce Hot Flashes During Menopause.

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