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Estrogen and Hot Flashes
A woman's body goes through many changes during menopause. One effect of the shifting hormone balance that gradually occurs during the years of perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause, is that the body's temperature-regulating mechanism become unstable. Estrogen levels drop and in response the pituitary gland releases other hormones, trying to regain balance. This release of compounds, which act as messengers to different parts of the body, results in a faster heart rate, blood vessels under the skin dilating and sweat glands releasing sweat — in other words, a hot flash.
Hot flashes are common in menopause, and they can be very uncomfortable. Avoiding triggers such as caffeine, too much alcohol, stress and heat can all help to prevent the sensation, but even with a healthy diet, exercise and a stress and toxin-free lifestyle menopausal women are still likely to experience hot flashes to some degree.
Conventional treatment includes the use of prescription medications or hormone replacement therapy. Both options come with unwanted risks and side effects. Using sage for hot flashes is a way to use a natural, effective remedy for this symptom without the side effects of synthetic drugs and hormones.
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Why Sage Is Beneficial
How can sage help to prevent and relieve hot flashes? This herb has an estrogenic effect on the body, making it useful for all symptoms of an estrogen deficiency. It is also one of the best known herbal remedies for excessive sweating, calming the nerve fibers of sweat glands. Another potential reason for the beneficial effect of sage for easing hot flashes is that it is a good source of nutrients which are necessary for helping the body deal with stress and maintain a state of balance, particularly the B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium.
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How to Use Sage
To use sage to help manage hot flashes, as well as other menopausal symptoms, you can drink sage tea. Steep one teaspoonful of the dried herb in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Drink one to three cups daily. Blend with equal parts of dried nettles and peppermint for a more beneficial herbal tea.
You can also take sage in capsule or tincture form, but be sure you are purchasing your supplemental herbs from a trusted source. Look for organic, high-quality products for better potency.
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Using sage for hot flashes is a great way to ease this very uncomfortable symptom without the negative side effects of conventional medications. Everyone cannot use sage however. People with seizure disorders should avoid sage. Also pregnant and nursing women should not take sage — it can stimulate the uterus and decrease a mother's milk supply. Also, be sure to talk to your doctor before regularly using sage if you are taking any medications.
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Balch, Phyllis A. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
Herbs 2000, http://www.herbs2000.com/disorders/sweating.htm
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