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Natural relief for hot flashes/night sweats  RSS feed

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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I'm melting! It has been a week of temperatures in the 90's and with hot flashes and miserable night sweats I am in search of relief.

I looked on the shelves at the local pharmacy. Woah! Confusing.

I've searched here on this site and didn't find so much. Seed cycling was suggested, but how do I fit that in with such an irregular pattern? Hops tea was mentioned. Can't I just drink 🍺 beer? 😀

What have you tried and found to work for you? Please share.

I did find this on Prevention.com. I can do this one out of several they had listed. I think I'll try it for awhile and see what happens:

From Prevention.com
Brew some sage tea
The anecdotal evidence of using sage (Salvia officinalis) to reduce sweating and hot flashes is significant, but until recently, there were no studies on its benefits. That changed in late 2010, with the publication of a Swiss study evaluating the effects of a once-daily sage tablet on 71 postmenopausal women. The researchers found that the average number of hot flashes dropped by half within 4 weeks and by 64% within 8 weeks. Women with severe and very severe hot flashes had even greater benefits, with 79% and 100%, respectively, seeing improvements. Brew your own tea with 1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves or 1 heaping teaspoon of dried sage per cup of boiling water. Let the sage leaves steep for 5 minutes, then strain. You can drink the tea hot or iced, and add some lemon, stevia, honey, or agave nectar to make it more refreshing.

 
Kerry Ceilidh
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Hi
Sage tea, white willow tincture, black cohosh tincture and white peony root are all herbal remedies used to treat hot flashes in menopause.

Hope you get some relief soon 😀
 
Sharol Tilgner
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Regarding Hops, some women do find it helps with hot flashes/flushes. It also contains constituents which exhibit anti-proliferative activity against breast, colon and ovarian cancer cell lines. However, I would suggest that using it in the form of beer might be counter-productive as alcohol is well known for increasing hot flushes/flashes in women. If you were going to use beer any way, I would suggest IPAs which have more hops in them. Some other herbs that you might want to study up on are as follows:

Black cohosh: Black cohosh is well known for its support of the female reproductive tract function. Black cohosh has been shown to suppress luteinizing hormone surges associated with hot flashes in menopausal woman. Research showed constituents suppressed luteinizing hormone release in the following ways. 1) Constituents which were not ligands (functional group) for the estrogen receptor but suppress luteinizing hormone release after chronic treatment, (2)Constituents binding to the estrogen receptor and also suppressing luteinizing hormone release. There were also constituents which were ligands for the estrogen receptor but without an effect of  luteinizing hormone release.  Research with rats shows a reduction of serum levels of luteinizing hormone in ovariectomized rats with a methanol extract of black cohosh and substances in the extract were shown to bind with estrogen receptors in the rat uteri.  Alcohol extracts have shown a decrease in luteinizing hormone in menopausal women.

Chaste tree berry: Although used more for non-menopausal women with excess estrogen, and low progesterone situations, it helps some woman with hot flashes/flushes.

Red Clover: Considered an estrogenic herb, some women claim this controls their hot flashes. It is a rich source of daidzin which is turned into equol by your large intestine bacteria. Equol binds to estrogen receptors. (Many hormonal related herbs rely on intestinal bacteria to be altered into more potent forms.)

Additional herbs that may be considered are Dong quai, Motherwort and Licorice.  I use to own an herbal manufacturing company that made a formula that was helpful for a large number of women. It was Black cohosh (25-30%), Burdock (20-35%) Dong quai (10-20%), Chaste tree (10-20%), Motherwort (10-20%), and Licorice(10-20%).


Here is an additional study on Sage and some more details on the study already mentioned. Many women use Sage and find it is helpful. Both Sage and Hops are not the most tasty of herbs though. So adding better tasting things to the tea helps as already mentioned. Red clover tastes OK, Chaste tree is spicy. :

In an Italian clinical study, of 30 women, hot flashes and night sweats disappeared completely for 20, in 6 the response was good, and in the others symptoms were reduced. The product used was a combination of sage leaf and alfalfa, dose and duration of study not given in the abstract. The researchers mention that hormone levels for estradiol, LH, FSH, PL, and TSH were not changed. However, sensitivity to TRH was increased in 8 women whose GnRH and PL were studied after three months. The authors hypothesize a central activity without side effects. De Leo V, Lanzetta D, Cazzavacca R et al. [Treatment of neurovegetative menopausal symptoms with a phytotherapeutic agent] [Article in Italian] : Minerva Ginecol 1998 May;50(5):207-11.

In 2001 the Swiss manufacturing company Bioforce published the results of a clinical trial using their sage extract Menopause Feminine (Menosan in Europe). During 8 weeks, 39 women taking either the extract or a placebo kept a personal diary of their symptoms. 75% of those receiving Menopause Feminine evaluated their condition as better or much better compared with 47% in the placebo group. The mean number of hot flushes reduced by 56.3% with Menopause Feminine and increased by 4.8% in the placebo group. The dose of Sage is usually in the range of 2-3 grams bid/tid.

Sage tends to decrease moisture in the body, so  people may have trouble with it if they are already tend to be dehydrated. Anyone with low adrenal activity will want to be careful as it may tend to dry them out more and lower their blood pressure even further than it already is.

I would also add that women who have any kind of inflammatory issues going on will have more trouble going through menopause usually. People with inflammation, need to identify where it is coming from and address the causative factor.  I work with people who have mold sensitivity and are sensitive to chemicals. These folks are very inflamed. They have less hot flashes when they support their biotransformation pathways and get themselves away from toxins. These people do better with liver herbs that support the biotransformation pathways as the foundation of their therapy. Something like licorice I mentioned above is helpful as part of their herbal formula as it has all the  necessary actions. However, licorice also has a whole lot of possible side effects. It is good to get to know the individual herbs before using any of them.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Hi Kerry,
I know where I can find black cohosh tincture, but I'm not sure I've seen the others there. I'll check.
Thanks. (Party on 😉)
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Wow Sharol! That's a wealth of information there. Thanks! I'm going back to read through that again.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Oooookay. Re-read and looked up words whose definitions​ I didn't know. I'm back.

Got to say "thank you" again. Sage does not seem to be the way to go for someone with Sjögren’s and (naturally) low blood pressure. Glad you pointed that out.

Black cohosh, red clover, chaste tree berry, motherwort... You have provided a great list. I'll see what blended formula I can find.

 
Sharol Tilgner
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Sjogren’s Syndrome is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder. It is characterized by dryness of mouth, eyes, and mucus membranes. Licorice is often given by NDs and herbalists as part of the treatment for it. Note the word INFLAMMATORY. I am pointing this out as people with inflammation should work on the source of inflammation or it will be harder to deal with the hot flashes. I can't suggest anything for you specifically to use as I am not your Doc, but I can tell you that in general people with autoimmune diseases are suffering from inflammation. They need to find the cause of the inflammation. Are they living in, working in or going to school in an enviroment that is off gassing chemicals? Are they  in  a moldy (water damaged) environment. (Think musty smells.) - 24% of the population is genetically sensitive to mold and collects mycotoxins in their body and has trouble removing them. Are they eating or drinking something that is toxic to their specific body? Do they have stressful thoughts, fears that are causing their adrenals to burn out? These are just a few ideas of things that can cause inflammation and lead to all sorts of disease such as Sjogren's. Sjogren's as with all disease is a symptom, not the cause of your feeling un-well.  I am going to list the contraindications for licorice here for you. Don't let them scare you. there are a lot, but it mostly has to do with the fact that licorice will cause an aldosterone type reaction that causes a person to retain salt and pee out potassium.  This then causes fluid to remain in the body with the salt. For people with low blood pressure and inflammation, Licorice can be very helpful. However, for anyone with high blood pressure, edema/water retention, Licorice is a bad idea. I would suggest you see a naturopath or someone who practices like a naturopath such as a functional medicine practitioner. They could be useful to you. A good practitioner will help you find the cause of the inflammation, support you with adrenal herbs, liver herbs, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and whatever else you specifically need. As you work on this, the hot flashes should decrease.

Here is the long list contraindications for licorice. It is from a new book that is being edited, so it might have an error in grammar or some such thing.
Contraindications: Licorice is contraindicated in high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis and cholestatic liver disorders. Chronic licorice use mimics aldosteronism by increasing sodium resorption and potassium excretion by the kidneys. This action is due to glycyrrhizin content. 185 De-glycyrrhinized licorice has been investigated for its clinical use and safety. Its use has been controversial. There is 2-9% glycyrrhizin in licorice root. The de-glycyrrhinized root extract has a maximum of 3% glycyrrhizin in it.
The toxic symptoms are hypertension, edema, hypokalemia, vertigo and headache. This ceases when it is withdrawn or by concurrent use of antialdosterone agents. Doses of 3 or more grams a day should not be taken for more than 6 weeks unless monitored under the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner. Elderly people are more prone to pseudoaldosteronism due to a greater increase of glycyrrhetinic acid levels from increased production by their gut bacterial flora enzymes on glycyrrhizin. 365 Licorice potentiates the activity of anthraquinone drugs or herbs containing anthraquinones, like cascara and buckthorn, by increasing the wettability of the bowel contents because of the high surfactant activity of glycyrrhizin. It also potentiates the toxicity of cardiac glycosides like digitalis due to potassium loss in the urine. There may also be an additive effect with thiazide diuretics. When used with corticoid treatment, glycyrrhizin interferes with 5 beta-reductase breakdown of corticosteroids, thus prolonging its biological half-life. 404 When someone discontinues the use of licorice after consuming it over a long period of time, they should withdraw from it slowly, unless they are discontinuing it due to side effects. In the case of dangerous side effects, they should immediately withdraw from its use.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Hey Karen, hot flashes are a PAIN. Especially when they wake you up! Gah.

Very few of the "normal" solutions worked for me. ANYTHING that is slightly estrogenic increased my hot flashes. That includes hops, licorice, black cohosh, skullcap, and other herbs and foods I was surprised to learn can be estrogenic but can't recall right now. It's supposed to be the reverse. So with the seed cycling stuff, since it's more adaptogenic (which I think is key for me), I largely stuck with the estrogen balancing seeds, the flax and pumpkin, and that helped me the most. Since I was doing that, it didn't matter how irregular my cycles were. And by the way, others with irregular or ceased cycles some times follow the moon cycles for their seed cycling.

That said, I've since learned a number of things after working with a simply stellar Naturopath in Missoula (Christine White, N.D. at Black Bear Naturopathic Clinic if anyone local wants a recommendation).

I think Sharol's comments about licorice and inflammation are spot on, though my system was so depressed in several key ways that my body was not able to respond to very simple stressors or inflammation. Little things were taking forever to heal or recover and I'm simply not *that* old yet!!

a) my thyroid was not in balance, not supported as it should be - which is connected to all the other hormone/endrocrine systems. We're rebalancing all that.
b) my body dumps iodine, which is a necessary precursor to all of these other hormone/endocrine things - I feel better on a kelp or iodine supplement.
c) my progesterone is weak but fairly decent, and my estrogen is dominant - this was learned from a fantastic hormone test Dr. White had me take - we are balancing this with supplements.
d) my cortisol levels are off / my adrenals are depleted, which also affects hormones and endocrines, so we're supporting that, too.
e) for years my liver has shown little hints of stress (non-alcoholic fatty liver, sort of, maybe..) so this article hit home for me:  https://www.liverdoctor.com/case-study-hot-flashes-and-fatty-liver/.

Currently, one of the helpful supplements I'm taking does have licorice, which has made me more prone to hot flashes in the past. And sure enough, in the evenings, I'm getting little hot flashes again (without the full-on sweats) that I haven't had in months. I'm okay with it for now, since I think once my systems are back balanced, I won't take that supplement any more, or I could switch to something without the licorice. 

Your things might be the reverse of this - maybe your progesterone is dominant, and your estrogen is weak...who knows? So, of course, don't follow exactly what I'm doing. I'm just hoping some of it might lead to ideas for you.

In reviewing all my tests that showed the a) through d) above, Dr. White said she didn't know how I was getting out of bed in the morning! And now that I have more energy and mental clarity, I see what she means. So. much. better.

Here's hoping you, too, find ways to reduce your hot flashes and night sweats!

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh, when I thought I would be trying to do more seed cycling per my cycles, I created this Excel moon cycle calendar that I'd planned to print and put on my refrigerator. But than I didn't fill it all out when I found out only the flax/pumpkin combo was helping me.

The first is a screenshot of what it looks like. The second is the actual Excel file you could download if you want to make one for yourself.

Thanks to Kelda Lorax of https://www.facebook.com/stardustmarketgarden/, for the moon calendar inspiration. I think she no longer has the website I credited on my version of a moon calendar. I added her calendar here, too, since she said it was okay to share.



moon-calendar.png
[Thumbnail for moon-calendar.png]
moon calendar for seed cycling
Filename: 2017-Moon-Calendar.xlsx
Description: 2017 Moon Calendar (in MS Excel) to download
File size: 46 Kbytes
2017-Moon-Calendar-by-Kelda.jpg
[Thumbnail for 2017-Moon-Calendar-by-Kelda.jpg]
2017 Moon Calendar by Kelda
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Hey Jocelyn! Thanks for the information. I read the liver article, but I didn't really relate. I will look into cycling when I have time to study it.

I have been finding a little relief using a product containing black cohosh and soy isoflavones. I've used it for a month and a half now. It has reduced them considerably but not completely. I find I have them most often after eating or drinking something hot (temperature or spicy hot) and, oddly enough, I have them in association with negative/stressful thoughts. I've been trying to drink more ice water, for sure. That helps a lot too. For me, it always seems I feel heat more in my face and upper back. I am still awaken by episodes of hot, cold, repeat several times a night on most nights. (Not that I slept well before now.) I feel like a couple of the seven dwarfs all rolled into one - sleepy, dopey, sweaty, bitchy and forgetful. I'm too young for all this.

I read an article recently about a woman who is in her 80's and still having hot flashes. It was in a "ask the doctors" type of column in the newspaper. She was on medication prescribed by her doctor, but she said that it didn't help much. The doctor answering her in the newspaper didn't offer her much more than what she was already prescribed. I couldn't imagine. Poor woman!
 
Judith Browning
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It's been awhile for me and I never had any hot flashes...all fairly smooth really.  I have always attributed that to cutting dairy out of my diet.  Earlier in that same decade I was practically binging on cottage cheese, other cheeses and milk...all conventional, off the shelf dairy and ended up with a huge ovarian cyst.  My understanding was that the hormones in the dairy were messing with me...so I stopped dairy all together for most of that decade and I think that's what allowed me to slip right through menopause without much fuss.
I don't think this would be a problem with organic or more thoughtfully raised milk.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Judith, good on you for figuring out the milk link with your ovarian cyst and dodging hot flashes. I've heard those cysts can be doubling-over-painful (to say the least)!!

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:...and, oddly enough, I have them in association with negative/stressful thoughts.

Yaass!! I had this, too. It almost felt like when you blush, from something embarrassing or stressful, that can't stop and turns into a hot flash. Oy vey, those are weird!!

I know a guy (yes, a man, oddly enough) who would get night sweats if he ate any kind of peppers, even sweet (bell) peppers. Which makes me think there could be something to the whole 5 element acupuncture/Chinese medicine theories about "cooling" foods and drinks versus "warming/hot" foods and drinks. I never quite cut peppers out of my diet (I think red bell peppers are one of my key high vitamin C foods since I don't eat much fresh fruit), though it might be worth trying.

The best thing for me was the seed cycling, and my hot flashes were pretty much done and over with. Then just recently, on my new program with my N.D., one of the supplements was giving me hot flashes again! Noooo!!! So I've cut that one out of the routine (it was an adrenal/energy support formula) and the hot flashes are already dissipating, thank goodness!

I do hope you find relief, Karen!
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Judith, I have been diagnosed with ovarian cysts. I had no idea that it could be dairy related. Jocelyn wrote, "those cysts can be doubling-over-painful (to say the least)!! " That is true!! Although, the MALE doctor I saw said that they aren't painful. Ha!

Jocelyn Campbell wrote: one of the supplements was giving me hot flashes again!

I wonder if that was niacin (vitamin B3). I've taken it before, but only the "flush-free" kind. It can produce flushes similar to hot flashes.

Thank you both for your posts.
 
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