Home remedies for hot flashes can prove to be a boon for nearly all 40 plus women who are plagued by menopause and its dramatic effects. Menopause is a time of great upheaval and affects not just the body but upsets the emotional rhythm as well.The body is losing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone permanently and it must adjust to the lack of them.
Hot flashes are a part of the constellation of symptoms that occur during menopause. Although the exact reason behind them is uncertain but a general agreement exists that the hypothalamus is trying to get used to the lack of oestrogen and progesterone. Hypothalamus is the thermostat of our body. It is situated in the brain and utilises oestrogen to function optimally in regulating body temperature.
Due to menopause, one can experience extreme heat suddenly along with sweating occasionally followed by chills. The sensation starts in the face or neck or chest and then spreads all over. They are termed as “power surges” or “hot flashes”. Hot flashes are maximally disturbing during the first year or two of menopause and tend to subside as the body adapts to lower levels of oestrogen.
Before we list out remedies for hot flashes, here are a few pointers you can bear in mind to avoid the accompanied unpleasantness:
Exercise – Inculcate a daily regimen of basic stretching and muscle strengthening exercises. They help regulate hormones and body temperature.
Try dietary change – Research shows that foods rich in substances called as “Phytoestrogens” reduce hot flashes. Include 1-2 servings of soy foods such as tofu or soy milk each day. Also you may try alfalfa, flaxseeds, red clover, garlic, sesame seeds, corn, anise seeds, oats and peas.
Taking 400 to 800 I.U of natural vitamin E in the form of d-alpha tocopherol daily usually helps. Check up with your family physician before consuming large amounts of vitamin E if you have co-morbidities like Diabetes or hypertension. Also, helpings of citrus fruits and dark green vegetables containing Vitamin C could be considered as home remedies for hot flashes.
Bioflavonoids are widely found in citrus fruits, especially in the pulp and the white inner rind. Bioflavonoids have phytoestrogenic activity and having 1-2 servings a day will go a long way in relieving those sudden heated moments.
Yoga and meditation – They have a calming effect on rattled nerves and help regulate breathing patterns and bring emotional stability.
Wear loose clothing – Wear thin natural garments like cotton and wool rather than nylons. They absorb moisture, allow for better aeration and keep the skin cool during a power surge. Using bedding with natural fibre like cotton or linen sheets is better than using one heavy blanket.
– Caffeine: Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages like colas.
– Smoking: Stop smoking. It worsens hot flashes.
– Alcohol: Saying no to alcohol is a must.
– Lower the heat: Avoid “heated” arguments and anxiety-producing situations.
– Avoid large meals: Eating six small meals a day instead of three larger ones will help regulate body temperature.
Below are a few time tested remedies for hot flashes:
1. Water – Drink 8 glasses of steam-distilled water daily. Keep your body cool from within.
2. Primrose oil – Take 800 mg of evening primerose oil thrice daily.
3. Herbal tea – Boil 2 tbs of garden sage and anise seeds with 1 tbs of motherwort in 2 cups of water. Cool, strain and have a cupful daily before bed to prevent nightly surges. Garden sage reduces perspiration by 50% and motherwort calms the palpitations. Anise seeds are phytoestrogenic. They keep you well hydrated and therefore cooler. Other flowers like chamomile, linden flower or mint can also be used similarly to make delicious cooling teas that soothe the mind and body.
4. Herbal tincture – Take 2 teaspoons of cohosh root tincture and 1 teaspoon each of dong quai root, sarsaparilla, liquorice root, chaste tree and ginseng root tinctures. Mix all the ingredients and take a teaspoon a day.
5. Aromatherapy – 5-10 drops of lavender, geranium, clary sage, violet, linden blossom or sandalwood added to bath water will ease you before bedtime. Or, try adding a few drops to your pillow. Alternatively you can make a concoction and keep it in a glass spray bottle.
6. Face mist – Mix a quarter cup each of aloe vera juice and rosewater with 5-7 drops of lavender or geranium essential oil. Store them in a glass spray bottle and shake well. Moisten skin with a spray during a hot flash for a calming and cooling sensation. Use it as often as desired. Carry around the bottle and use it as a face mist.
7. Sage tea – It is another time honoured tea. Drink a cupful daily to prevent the nightly flashes.
Remember hot flashes are more often than not, the body’s way of adjusting to menopause. So, don’t let it hassle you. Now that you know about some home remedies for hot flashes, you should be more at ease.
– Dr. Rachita Narsaria