While black cohosh, red clover, dong guai, ginseng and kava are said to reduce the symptoms of menopause and many women report that they do, no conclusive evidence says they reduce hot flashes, according to the North American Menopause Society. DrWeil.com suggests treating hot flashes by eating foods made with soy, such as tofu, soy milk and tempeh, which contain isoflavones that may balance hormone levels.
DrWeil.com also recommends trying ground flax seeds, which contain lignins that moderate hormones; vitamin E; B vitamins; and either evening primrose oil or black currant oil to reduce the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Healthline advises sipping ice water and avoiding common triggers for hot flashes such as cigarette smoke, alcohol, caffeine, eating spicy foods, stress, wearing tight clothing and being in a hot room. Healthline also recommends dressing in layers that can be removed easily during hot flashes, wearing cotton pajamas to bed, using cotton bed sheets, and keeping an ice pack and a thermos of ice water near the bed at night. WebMD suggests using fans during the day and sleeping in a cool bedroom at night, using chilled pillows, practicing deep abdominal breathing and exercising daily.
The exact cause of hot flashes is not known, but they are the most frequent symptom of menopause and perimenopause, according to WebMD.