Are there home remedies for hot flash relief?


Quick Answer

According to the North American Menopause Society, several herbal home remedies are scientifically unproven, yet have a reputation for reducing hot flashes in women. Black cohosh, otherwise known as Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa, is thought by some to reduce hot flashes though studies have been inconclusive. Black cohosh may cause liver problems, although it is not believed to affect tissue sensitive to hormones such as the uterus and breasts.

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Full Answer

The North American Menopause Society notes that red clover, or Trifolium pratense, is also believed to be effective in treating hot flashes, although studies in animals show that it has harmful effects on hormone-sensitive tissues. Angelica sinensis, known as dong quai in Chinese medicine, has been used to treat hot flashes and other gynecologic conditions for over 1,200 years, but according to the University of Maryland, studies have not proven whether it is effective or acts like an estrogen or blocks estrogen in the body.

Prevention magazine recommends deep, slow breathing, known as diaphragmatic breathing, to cope with hot flashes by inhaling for at least five seconds through the nose and exhaling for five seconds through the mouth. It also recommends progressive muscle relaxation and positive thinking. Mayo Clinic recommends staying cool by wearing layers that are easy to remove; avoiding hot and spicy foods, caffeinated beverages and alcohol; quitting smoking; and losing weight to reduce hot flashes, which it says vary in intensity and duration and usually go away after several years.

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