Normally hot flashes resolve a couple of years after a woman's last period. However, for some women, it can take up to ten years for their bodies to adapt to the decrease in estrogen.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes
Phytoestrogens are technically referred to as anti-estrogens because they bind to estrogen receptors, blocking estrogen. However, phytoestrogens are capable of exerting estrogenic effects and tend to balance the effects of estrogen.
Cultures that have a diet high in phytoestrogens rarely have hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms. Foods high in phytoestrogens include soy, flaxseed, nuts, whole grains, apples, celery, and alfalfa.
In a 12 week study, involving 51 women, hot flashes were reduced by 57% in women who received 60mg of isoflavones (which contain phytoestrogen).
Black cohosh has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries to treat gynecological complaints including menopausal symptoms. Fukinolic acid, a compound in black cohosh has been shown to have estrogenic activity in vitro.
Although some studies show no evidence of black cohosh being a cure for hot flashes, numerous studies have shown positive results. In one study, involving 629 women, a special extract of black cohosh (trade name: Remifemin) produced clear improvement in hot flashes in 86% of the women taking it within 6-8 weeks.
Other herbal remedies for hot flashes:
- dong quai (this had better effects when taken with black cohosh)
- false unicorn
Other natural remedies for hot flashes include:
Yoga and meditation have been used as a cure for hot flashes and has benefited many women.
Slow, deep abdominal breathing (6-8 breaths per minute) 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening, and at the onset of a hot flash is said to decrease hot flashes.
Bee pollen, royal jelly, vitamin E, and Ferr phos are all said to be effective remedies for hot flashes.
Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, stress, heat, and smoking which can trigger hot flashes.
Until you do find a cure for hot flashes, wear clothes made of natural fibers (disperses heat away from the body), dress in layers so clothing can be added or removed easily, and keep a small battery operated fan nearby.
-  Planta Medica 65: 763-764, 1999
-  Gyne 3 (1982): 14-6
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