Home Hot Flash Remedy

Hot flashes are sweeping sensations of heat that pass through the body, causing reddening and perspiration. The face is most often affected and may show redness in either an even or blotchy pattern. Sweating may be mild or profuse. Hot flashes at night are commonly called night sweats and disturb sleep. The cause of hot flashes is not known but is believed to be influenced by changing levels of hormones during and after menopause. Standard practice is to treat the symptoms of menopause with hormone replacement therapy, which can have significant side effects. Homeopathic options also are available.

Triggers

Foods, strong emotions and other factors can trigger a hot flash. Avoiding these triggers can reduce the risk of hot flashes. Foods to avoid include: spicy or acidic foods such as cayenne or pickles, white sugar, saturated or unsaturated fats, hot drinks, caffeine and drinks containing alcohol. Intense emotions such as unexpressed anger or stress also can act as a trigger. Hot weather, hot tubs and saunas and the use of tobacco or marijuana are on the list of triggers as well.

Exercise

During a hot flash, endorphin levels plummet. Exercise decreases the luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) by feeding the hypothalamus and causes endorphin levels to rise. Moderate exercise at least three times a week can be enough to substantially reduce hot flashes.

Breathing

Controlled deep breathing exercises also can reduce hot flashes. Taking 6 to 8 deep breaths per minute for 15 minutes, twice a day can decrease hot flashes by 40 percent. This technique can be helpful at the onset of a hot flash to shorten its duration or intensity.

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Herbal Remedies

Chaste Berry or vitex is useful in controlling hot flashes because of its effect in altering LH and FSH. It lowers estrogen and raises progesterone, which keeps bones and vaginal walls strong. Results are not experienced until 2 to 3 months after first taking it. Best results need a full year to accumulate.

Black Cohosh was used by America Indians for symptoms of menopause and is effective for relieving hot flashes. Taking 10-15 drops once or twice a day for several months should prove sufficient. Black Cohosh is not without risk. Consult with your doctor before taking it.

Motherwort aids in relieving hot flashes, anxiety and insomnia and eases stress. Use 15-25 drops of tincture 1-6 times per day for three months. It should not be used if you experience menstrual flooding.

Clothing

Clothing made of natural fibers tends to vent heat away from the body. Cotton, wool and silk are good examples. Wearing layers of clothing can be beneficial because layers can be removed during a hot flash and added back afterward or during a subsequent chill.

Vitamins

Hot flashes cause loss of vitamins B and C as well as magnesium and potassium. Supplements can be taken to counter the effect. Vitamin E in 400 to 800 IUs also can help treat hot flashes. People with diabetes, high blood pressure or rheumatic heart conditions should not take vitamin E unless instructed to do so by their doctor. Evening primrose oil can aid sleep and ease hot flashes.