Women are increasingly asking their doctors “do herbs for hot flashes really work?” The answer may surprise them when the answer that they get is “yes.” First, it is important to have a basic knowledge as to what exactly hot flashes are, and what their correlation to herbs are. Hot flashes are very uncomfortable flushes that are caused by hormonal changes. Frequently, hot flashes first appear around the time of menopause, or even during the peri-menopausal time, which can occur years after the actual menopause appears. During a hot flash, the individual may experiencing extreme heat, sweating and skin reddening. In addition, dizziness, rapid heart rate and nausea may occur. Herbs for hot flashes may work by cooling the system or act by reproducing the effects of the hormone estrogen on the body.
Herbs for hot flashes that may be effective include Dong quai and Black cohash. Dong quai is believed to stabilize the blood vessels which may be helpful in minimizing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Black cohash, on the other hand is said to not only relieve hot flashes, but it may also be effective in treating depression and menstrual cramps. The herb for hot flashes is believed to work because it’s properties are similar to that of estrogen.
Other herbs for hot flashes include motherwort and licorice root. Motherwort may be effective in treating hot flashes as well as relieving anxiety and insomnia. Both of these symptoms are common during menopause, and a tincture of this herb may alleviate or reduce symptoms. Licorice root may contain estrogenic properties and therefore mimic the effects that it has on the body, including easing hot flashes. In addition, because of this action, licorice root may also be beneficial in those suffering from premenstrual syndrome. This herb is also known for it’s usefulness in treating such medical conditions such as infection, peptic ulcers and malaria.
Herbs for hot flashes may also be more effective if used in conjunction with other remedies such as avoiding spicy and acidic foods, limiting hot drinks and foregoing caffeine. In addition, not drinking alcoholic beverages, avoiding stress and eating a healthy diet, may help herbs for hot flashes work more effectively. Although natural, herbs for hot flashes are not without side effects. It is important to check with a qualified professional who is knowledgeable in herbal remedies about possible interactions. For example, herbs may be contraindicated with certain medications, or may even reduce or intensity the efficiency of some prescription medication. In addition, people may experience allergic reaction to herbal remedies as well.
Herbs for hot flashes, however, are usually very well tolerated, and may be taken with little adverse reaction or side effects. They have been used for thousands of years to alleviate a variety of conditions and symptoms without negative effects. Starting with the minimally effective dose is always most prudent, and then working up to a more therapeutic dose may be recommended when taking herbs for hot flashes. In addition, it is prudent for the consumer to purchase their herbs from a reputable source to make sure that what they are taking are of the utmost quality. Prices and quality may vary, so it is to the benefit of the consumer to do their homework on the company or herbalist to which they are purchasing their products from. Consumers may be pleasantly surprised when they start to see a decrease in the frequency of their hot flashes that have been a direct result from the herbs, so next time someone asks them “do herbs for hot flashes really work?” the consumer can tell them, from personal experience that the herbs did indeed work for them.