Hot flashes are often one of the earliest symptoms of impending menopause. This sudden surge of heat that develops without any warning in a woman’s body can last for several minutes and may occur several times a day. The primary reason attributed to hot flashes is the decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. While they do not always require medical attention, hot flashes can severely impact the daily life of women.
According to researchers from John Hopkins Medicine(1), 10 to 15 percent of women reported hot flashes being so severe that it disrupts their normal functions, such as leading a meeting or staying on schedule. If hot flashes are bothering you, there are several natural ways to manage your symptoms. In this article, we discuss some miracle herbs that can treat hot flashes naturally.
Natural Herbs for Treating Hot Flashes
1. Black Cohosh
Black Cohosh is considered one of the best herbs for hot flashes. The herb contains a type of chemical called ‘phytoestrogen’ similar to the human sex hormone estrogen, which is believed to reduce the incidence of hot flashes. A team of researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago have, however, discredited this theory.
According to their findings, Black Cohosh has no estrogenic effects on the human body. Although, it does bind to human serotonin receptors, including the ones that aid in regulating body temperature, and this is possibly what helps relieve hot flashes.
Take Black Cohosh in the form of a capsule, infusions, or tinctures. Due to its bitter and acrid taste, however, capsules are generally more preferred.
The dosage for dietary supplements can vary. The recommended levels of daily intake can range from anywhere between 20mg-80mg. Most organic products for Black Cohosh can also be taken for as long as 12 months with no serious side effects.
[Read: Treat Hot Flashes Naturally]
The herb, Maca, is another top-selling herb for hot flashes. While Maca does not have any estrogenic properties, it is power-packed with phytonutrients, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that can maintain the health of the endocrine system. The nutrients in the herb work to regulate metabolism and stress, increase energy levels, and promote sexual development.
Maca is usually taken in the form of ground powder. Add it to your energy bites or smoothies. Check out the recipes below for some ideas on how you can include Maca powder in your diet:
Do not consume Maca in high quantities. The recommended dosage of Maca per day is 5 grams.
Vitex agnus-castus(2), commonly called Chasteberry, is also a widely recommended herb for hot flashes. While no controlled studies document its effectiveness, there is a wealth of data supporting its efficacy as a natural herb that can treat hot flashes. Chasteberry is believed to act as an agent that inhibits the production of prolactin, excessive amounts of which cause vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and infertility.
Vitex can be taken as capsules or in tincture form. Tinctures are generally more preferred as their effects can be seen right away.
The recommended daily dose is 20-40 milligrams, although up to 240 milligrams is considered safe. If taking tinctures or liquid extract, you can take up to 20-40 drops or 1 measured teaspoon i.e. 5 ml divided into 2 or 3 doses per day.
[Read: Essential Oils For Hot Flashes]
If you have been thinking long and hard about what natural herbs you could take for hot flashes, then you need to look no further than your kitchen cupboard. Fenugreek is a common food spice that you are likely to have at hand. Also called ‘Hu Lu Ba’ in Chinese, this herb contains a chemical compound called Diosgenin, which is thought to help in increasing libido and lessening the severity of hot flashes as well as hormone-induced mood fluctuations.
For hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, fenugreek seed extract and capsules are thought to be most effective. Fenugreek seed extracts and supplements are available in many healthcare and grocery stores or could be bought online.
The recommended dosage is 5 to 30 grams of defatted fenugreek taken three times a day along with meals.
[Read: Fenugreek Benefits]
Did you know?
|Women who are stressed and anxious, obese or smokers tend to have more severe and persistent hot flashes.|
5. Red Clover
Red Clover is widely used in Europe, Asia, and Africa as a natural herb for menopause-related hot flashes. The herb contains chemical constituents called isoflavones, which act like a weaker form of the female sex hormone, estrogen in the body.
Take Red Red in the form of tea, tinctures, or capsules.
- For tea, steep 1 to 2 tsp of dried herb in 8 oz. of hot water for at least half an hour. You can drink 2 to 3 cups of this tea daily.
- The recommended dosage of red clover capsules or supplements is 40 to 160 mg per day or 28 to 85 mg of red clover isoflavones
- For tinctures, use 60-100 drops or 3-5 ml, three times a day.
6. Dandelion Root
The Dandelion Root is another great medicinal herb for treating menopausal symptoms and hot flashes after hysterectomy. The herb contains phytosterols, which are believed to alleviate hot flashes and are also power-packed with essential vitamins and minerals that are important for menopausal women.
Take Dandelion Root as a capsule, tea, tincture, or extract.
The American Botanical Council recommends taking 3-4 grams of the powdered root or herb three times daily. If using as tea, boil 1-2 teaspoons of the herb and root in 150 ml of water, strain after 15 minutes and drink twice daily. For tinctures or fluid extract, take 10-15 drops, 3 times daily or 3-4 ml, respectively.
[Read: Benefits of Dandelion]
7. Dong Quai
Dong Quai is a reputed Chinese herb for hot flashes. The herb contains 7 different coumarin derivatives, including oxypeucedanin, psoralen, osthol, and bergapten. These active agents act as both vasodilators and antispasmodic agents.
Dong Quai is available as capsules, tinctures, and extracts and can be bought from a licensed supplier.
The recommended dosage is 1 standard sized gelatin capsule, 3 times daily or 10 to 40 drops of a tincture, 1 to 3 times daily.
Motherwort is revered as a calmative herb and is especially beneficial for treating hot flashes and mood swings. Studies claim that the herb carries out weak estrogen-like functions similar to that of soy and helps to relieve anxiety, heart palpitations, and irritability.
Motherwort can be taken in the form of a tincture or tea.
- For tea, take 1-2 teaspoons of the dried cut herb per cup of boiling water. Let the leaves steep for at least 10 minutes. Have this for up to 3 times a day.
- For tincture, take 2-4ml, three times a day.
These herbal remedies, unlike prescription medicines, are not, however, show zero or fewer side effects. Known to calm and soothe the impending menopausal pain, the remedies are effective. however, it would be advisable to consult an experienced herbal practitioner before taking them.
[Read: Motherwort Health Benefits]
1. Are hot flashes only caused by menopause?
No, menopause is not the only cause for hot flushes and sweats: exercise, cancer treatment, an overactive thyroid gland, certain medications, alcohol, foods, and additives are all common culprits.
2. How long do hot flashes last?
For some women, hot flashes start to fade away after 6-24 months. But for some women, it can last up to 7 years or even 11 years or more.
3. Why are hot flashes worse at night?
There isn’t any scientific evidence indicating that hot flashes get worse at night. However, if you’re progesterone levels are low, you are sleeping in a warm room, or you eat spicy food or drink alcohol before bed; it can intensify your symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats.