Hot flashes are one of the most common signs or symptoms of menopause. They affect eight out of every ten menopausal women. Their frequency, duration and severity vary from woman to woman. Some suffer from them only occasionally, for example once in every few weeks or even months, while others have them all the time.
Symptoms of hot flashes
Hot flashes are a normal occurrence in menopause. They are not dangerous and they do not indicate an underlying health condition. Still, they are very unpleasant and often quite frustrating. They are characterized by sudden reddening of the face, accompanied by the feeling of heat and sweating.
Causes of hot flashes
Although the actual mechanism behind hot flashes is not completely clear, it is certain that they are closely associated with hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Hot flashes can also affect people who are not in menopause but have problems with hormonal levels.
There is no cure for hot flashes but there are many herbs that can be used to alleviate them.
Herbs for hot flashes
Dong quai is a herb widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for a number of ailments, but mostly for hot flashes. It stabilizes the blood vessels, which has a direct impact on hot flashes, and it also helps with emotional stress. It can be found in herbalists’ stores and specialized Chinese medicine shops, but it is recommended to consult a physician before using it, because it has several side effects.
Evening primrose is another beneficial herb for hot flashes. It usually comes in the form of essential oil. The oil contains gamma linoleic acid that regulates the production of prostaglandins. Aside from hot flashes, it is also beneficial for PMS and sleeping problems.
Black cohosh and vitex
Black cohosh is a herb that is very helpful for women, as it solves a number of typically female issues, such as PMS, menstrual cramps, vaginal atrophy, hot flashes and several more. This remedy, which works by decreasing the levels of luteinizing hormone, is one of the most widely used remedies for hot flashes and other ailments of menopause.
Vitex or chaste berry is a herb that lowers the estrogen and increases the progesterone levels. It also protects the bones and improves the tone of the vaginal walls.
Other herbs and side effects
Other herbs that can be used for relieving hot flashes include wild yam, licorice, ginseng and red clover. Most of them can be purchased online or in specialized stores.
Before using any of the herbal remedies for hot flashes, it is important to consult a doctor and to learn about their potential side effects.