Hot flashes refer to sudden and intense hot sensations on your face and upper body. Often hot flashes are preceded or accompanied by other symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache, weakness or a feeling of suffocation.
Hot flashes are most common in women going through menopause, the time when the menstrual periods stop and many hormonal changes are occurring in the body. The decrease in estrogen in the body that accompanies menopause is the main cause of hot flashes.
Factors like obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive stress, warm baths, saunas, eating spicy foods, and excessive drinking may worsen the symptoms.
How frequently hot flashes occur varies from woman to woman. Some may have hot flashes for a very short time during menopause, while others may have hot flashes for life. As time passes, hot flashes become less severe. However, not every woman going through menopause experiences hot flashes.
Hot flashes can be very uncomfortable as well as annoying as they can distract you from work, cause excessive sweating and make it harder to sleep properly at night, even leading to insomnia.
If you are having problems leading a normal life due to hot flashes, you can get treatment for them. You can opt for medications, therapies or try some simple home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for hot flashes in women.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is very helpful in treating hot flashes. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar helps regulate toxins that the body is trying to eliminate through perspiration. This in turn reduces the incidence and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats.
- Dilute one to two tablespoons of organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, vegetable juice or fruit juice.
- Drink it once or twice daily until the symptoms subside.
Soy foods help balance hormone levels and have some estrogenic activity and hence can effectively treat hot flashes.
After analyzing 19 studies, researchers concluded that soy isoflavone supplements may also help, at least over time. This study was published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society in 2012.
Try to have two servings of soy foods per day. This can be two glasses of soy milk, seven ounces of tofu, or one-half cup of edamame.
Being high in phytoestrogens, particularly lignans, flaxseed is another good home remedy for hot flashes. In a 2007 study by Mayo Clinic researchers, 29 women with hot flashes were asked to eat 1.5 ounces (40 grams) of crushed flaxseed daily for six weeks. At the end of the study, the average number of hot flashes dropped by half and their severity fell by 57 percent.
Plus, flaxseed helps improve mood, reduce joint and muscle pain, reduce chills and lessen sweating.
Try to eat 1.5 ounces of ground flaxseed daily. Simply add a few tablespoons to your oatmeal, yogurt, soup or smoothie every day.
An age-old remedy for hot flashes is sage. According to Ellen Phillips, author of “Everything You Need to Know About Menopause,” sage tea can help reduce the symptoms of hot flashes to a great extent. Sage contains flavonoids, volatile oils and tannins that also promote overall health.
- Add one tablespoon of fresh sage leaves (or one teaspoon of dried sage) to a cup of boiling water.
- Let it steep for five minutes, then strain.
- Add some lemon and honey for taste.
- Drink this tea two or three times daily.
5. Red Clover
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, red clover is an effective herbal remedy for hot flashes as well as night sweats associated with menopause. This herb contains plant isoflavones that have estrogen-like properties that help relieve hot flashes.
- Add one or two teaspoons of dried red clover to a cup of boiling water.
- Cover, steep for 30 minutes and then strain.
- Drink up to three cups of this herbal tea daily.
Note: As red clover can influence other medications, speak with your doctor before trying it.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E has estrogen and can effectively eliminate or reduce the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. It also replaces necessary electrolytes that the body loses through sweating.
In a study at Tarbiat Modarres University in Tehran, 54 patients were given 400 IU vitamin E soft gel capsules daily for several weeks. At the end of the study, there was a reduction in the severity of hot flashes among patients.
- A daily dose of 400 IUs of vitamin E capsule is recommended to reduce hot flashes. Take one 200 IU capsule twice a day with meals.
- Also include leafy greens, tropical fruits and nuts in your diet as they are excellent sources of vitamin E.
Note: Vitamin E may take three to six weeks before you notice a difference.