Hot flashes are a medical condition that increases the rate of basal temperature of the body. Increase in the temperature results in a feeling of sudden warmth all over the body. However, the major intensity of the temperature is experienced in the face, the neck and sometimes in the chest.
The change in body temperature is so intense that it can change the color of the skin to red. Some people will also notice that hot flashes are accompanied with profuse sweating as well. After a few minutes the person will start to feel intense chill.
This sudden change of body temperature is due to imbalance in the level of hormones in the body. This is one reason hot flashes are very common in menopausal women. The condition can be very uncomfortable and leave the sufferer feeling vulnerable and distressed. The good news is that hot flashes in women undergoing menopause can be prevented and cured using effective herbal remedies. Let us look at some of these remedies.
Herbal Remedies For Treating Hot Flashes
There are many herbal remedies that are commercially available in the market. These remedies are not affordable for everyone and some of these so called herbal medications have absolutely no government backing nor do they guarantee effective treatment. For this reason it is best to prepare your own medications using the herbs.
If you do not have the time for preparing your herbal concoctions then buy herbal medicines from authorized and approved herbal and ayurvedic stores. Remember, before taking any herbal medication consult your doctor and an experienced herbalist as some of the herbs can react harmfully if taken with prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a popular herb that is used in the treatment of various ailments related to the nervous system. The herb has proven successful in the treatment of mild depression in women. St. John’s wort is used for treating hot flashes as it helps maintain the body temperature at the required level.
However, the herb should not be used continuously for more than two years. Also, the herb is known to increase skin sensitivity when exposed to the sun. The herb should not be taken if you are taking prescribed antidepressants.
Chasteberry is also known by other names including Indian spice, tree wild pepper, sage tree hemp and monk’s pepper. The herb is used for treating premenstrual syndromes like extreme pain in the breasts caused due to breast tenderness.
However, the herb also alleviates other premenstrual conditions including migraines, hot flashes, anxiety, and anger and breast fullness. But the herb does not reduce bloating that is commonly caused due to water retention. The only side effect of Chasteberry is that it prevents proper production of prolactin the body.
This herb is very effective in the treatment of hot flashes and night sweats; two very uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause.
Black cohosh has no side effects and is very safe to use. However, herbalists do not recommend using this herb for more than six months.
The seeds of Evening primrose are known for containing gamma-linolenic acid in large quantities. This acid is the considered the best fatty acid for the human body.
Capsules of evening primrose are primarily taken for treating conditions like breast tenderness, urinary inconsistency and some of the menopausal symptoms including hot flashes. However, before using this herb for treating hot flashes it is best to seek advice from an herbalist with regards to its dosage.
The herb ginseng is available in many varieties that include American, Siberian, Korean as well as white and red. Herbalists use ginseng for strengthening the immune system as well as for alleviating stress related disorders. Studies have shown that although ginseng does not treat hot flashes in menopausal women, it does help improve the overall sense of well being in them.
Women have reported to being calmer and more peaceful with themselves and the world after taking supplements of ginseng. However, before you start taking ginseng be absolutely sure about the quality that you are using. Analysis of the herb has shown that the commercially available form of ginseng has only traces of the herb in it. Instead there has been found large quantities of caffeine, lead and other pesticides in place of the herb.
Dong quai is a Chinese herb and is extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating menopausal conditions particularly hot flashes. However, the herb is toxic in nature and should be consumed only in controlled amounts. Too much of dong quai in the body can lead to blood poisoning.
The herb has the potential to cause thinning of blood that can result in excessive bleeding. The herb also increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. All this puts the person at high risk of developing skin cancer. Hence it is best to consult an herbalist before taking dong quai.
Chamomile is a medicinal herb that is being used since ancient times to treat problems related to stress. Menopausal women are extremely stressed out and depressed due to the various conditions they have to suffer at this stage. While drinking chamomile tea does not help treat hot flashes directly, it helps reduce stress which makes it easier to deal with the symptoms of hot flashes.
Drinking 3-4 cups of chamomile tea every day during menopause is known to improve the mood and help the mind and body remain calm and stress free. This makes it easier to put up with hot flashes without getting worked up about them.
In traditional medicine, the roots of Valerian are used for inducing sleep and as a tranquilizer. Women who experience hot flashes are given concoction prepared from the herb to help them sleep better and to keep them calm during incidents of hot flashes. However, the herb is not recommended by some pharmaceutical companies since it has withdrawal side effects like delirium.