I have been asked about the remedies for hot flashes quite a bit recently. This is a common frustration for women who are in peri-menopause or menopause. So I thought I’d dig deep and bring you the most common remedies for relief from hot flashes.
This is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions.
I have not struggled with hot flashes personally yet,(here is what I do to maintain hormone balance and it’s still working for me so far), so I reached out to followers on Facebook and Instagram and boy did I get a response! From women expressing their frustrations with debilitating hot flashes to those singing sweet praises of their personal remedies.
And they are personal, aren’t they?
Women are not simplistic creatures on a GOOD day, are we? You throw hormonal imbalance into the mix and you’ve got yourself one damned volatile cocktail! What works for one of us may fail miserably for another, so when it comes to treating hormonal imbalance, be prepared to really dig your heels in (work with a trusted, integrative physician who specializes in women’s hormonal health) and find what works for you.
Why Do We Get Hot Flashes?
We know that the hypothalamus is a part of the brain that regulates temperature and is sensitive to changing estrogen levels which leads to the thought that the imbalance of hormone levels during peri-menopause is responsible. Because of the hypothalamus + hormone imbalance, even a small change in temperature can trigger a flash. For instance, if you’re working out and start to warm up- a hot flash may occur. The foods we eat, smoking, caffeine, stress and alcohol can all trigger hot flashes.
Well……., that’s just great, right? Shoot me now.
Hang in there. Bear with me. There are things you can do.
The Most Common Remedies for Relief for Hot Flashes
I’m sharing what I’ve found to be the most common remedies, reported by the women who use them, to provide relief from hot flashes. As with anything else- definitely, check with (WORK with) your physician before trying to regulate your own hormones!
Herbs and Supplements
Black Cohosh– Native to North America, taking this regularly reduces the number and severity of hot flashes for most women. It also aids in sleep, which is another vital component to balancing your hormones. Dosage for hot flashes is usually considered to be around 80 milligrams, one to two times per day, to relieve menopause-related symptoms.
Flax Seed Oil– This is particularly promising as a treatment for menopause symptoms because flax seed is a plant containing both omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Flaxseed seems to have some anti-estrogen qualities that could also decrease the risk of breast cancer. (A small study showed that women who consumed 40 grams (4TBS) of ground flaxseed daily had a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of hot flashes (by 57%)- and there are zero side effects.
**A follower on Facebook reported that she began taking Flax seed and Black Cohosh at the advice of a friend at the very onset of peri-menopause. She took them daily and now, 17 years later…post menopausal, she has never had the first hot flash. Not one. **
Vitex or Chasteberry– (160–240 milligrams daily) Chasteberry has clinical proof, as well as loads of great reviews from women who use it, that it provides relief for hot flashes. It also has many of the same hormone-balancing properties as black cohosh, helping to regulate hormones tied to sleep problems, fibroids, skin changes and irregular periods. Chasteberry helps balance the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising the levels of progesterone.
Maca (1000–2000 milligrams daily): As an adaptogen, maca is used to decreas cortisol levels. It can help reduce hot flashes, low energy/fatigue, restlessness and weight gain while improving libido and energy. (You can also use Maca powder to add to your smoothies or shakes.)
Other Adaptogens– Such as ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola and holy basil can help improve thyroid function, lower cholesterol, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce brain cell degeneration, and stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels……..all of which can provide relief for hot flashes.
Natural Progesterone Cream– (1/4 tsp daily) This is one of the things that has been so helpful for me. The application of progesterone cream has been shown to significantly reduce menopausal symptoms including relief for hot flashes. After natural progesterone cream is applied, it sits in the fatty tissues and is used by the body as needed. ** Interesting side note: Natural progesterone cream is not patentable- so pharmaceutical funding for progesterone research has gone in the direction of more expensive patentable progestin.
Essential oils are fascinating to me and I’m still “discovering” them. The main essential oils used to provide relief from hot flashes are Clary Sage, Peppermint and Thyme oil. The only difficulty with essential oils is that not all are created equal. Unfortunately, companies can claim therapeutic grade oil with only a very small percentage of pure essential oil, meaning the rest is filler and potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals! I will only buy essential oils from this trusted source. Because of their effectiveness and safety, I’m planning a more detailed post on how to use essential oils to help with menopause symptoms.
Clary Sage oil– The biggest benefit of clary sage is that it helps balance out estrogen production in the body. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% and improved thyroid hormone levels. Try adding a few drops to a tissue or napkin and inhaling and exhaling. This allows the oil to enter your body through your nose. This process can also produce antidepressant-like effects.
Thyme oil– thyme essential oil has progesterone balancing effects it benefits the body by improving progesterone production, helping to bring balance to your hormones and decrease hot flashes.
Peppermint oil– Peppermint oil may also reduce your discomfort when experiencing hot flashes. Add two drops to a tissue. Hold the tissue up to your nose while breathing slowly and/or apply this oil to your wrists and ankles to stomp out hot flashes. You can also try mixing up the following recipe in a spray bottle to help provide an instant cool down in when you get a hot flash:
2 TBS Witch Hazel
2 TBS water
10 drops of Peppermint essential oil
20 drops of Clary Sage essential oil
Click here to Learn More About Essential Oils .
The North American Menopausal Society has recognized acupuncture’s benefit for reducing hot flashes as well as improving sleep patterns in postmenopausal women. Most women who receive acupuncture as a treatment for menopausal symptoms report less frequent and less severe hot flashes after about 4 weeks of treatment. If you decide to try acupuncture be sure to book your sessions with an experienced, well-trained acupuncturist. Go to nccaom.org to find a certified practitioner near you.
Your endocannabinoid system helps modulate the regulation of homeostasis across all major body systems so that that all systems work in harmony with one another. Because hot flashes can have a neurochemical basis, (which is why some anti-depressants can alleviate them). CBD’s influence on the body’s serotonin system could be the reason that some women swear by CBD for this symptom. I personally take CBD oil and as I stated earlier, I haven’t had any hot flashes yet. I have no idea if those two things are related, but thought I’d mention it and I’ve linked the exact brand that I use below.:More About CBD OIL
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has become the main treatment offered to menopausal (and premenopausal) women. HRT can come in the form of estrogen pills, creams, gels or patches. In some cases, HRT involves the use of both estrogen and progestin. Many women tend to experience depression during menopause, so antidepressants are sometimes prescribed, along with HRT. All of these treatments can soothe symptoms or in some cases actually, worsen them before a suitable synthetic balance can be achieved. And of course, there are precautions and side effects to be weighed. HRT has been a godsend for some women and a nightmare for others. So obviously, HRT is something that each woman, along with her VERY SUPPORTIVE, EDUCATED AND OPEN MINDED physician will have to decide on.
For me personally, even though I definitely lean toward the all-natural approach whenever possible, if my symptoms were debilitating and I’d tried all of the “natural” remedies, I’d definitely start working toward finding relief with HRT.
When thinking about managing hot flashes, it is important to think of it in terms of balancing your hormones. I am linking exactly what I personally use at this time and what I am finding success with here:
To prove what a frustration this is for women, every product I’ve linked below was developed for the sole purpose of relief from hot flashes and/or night sweats!
Other Considerations that may help
Limit and/or reduce caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and spicy foods as they are all triggers for hot flashes and many women report improvement in the duration, intensity and/or frequency by eliminating or cutting back on these as well as making sure that they are staying hydrated throughout the day.
Try the new high tech “cooling pajamas” at night. Oprah is a fan. I’ve linked several different brands below, in varying price ranges but all are designed to keep you comfortable and cool at night- even during night sweats and come with rave reviews for their effectiveness.
At Home Hormone Test
Everlywell offers easy at home tests to check your hormone levels. They offer simple sample collection, free shipping, and physician-reviewed results and insights sent to your device in just days. You can take these with you to your doctor or nurse practitioner or just use them to get a better view of your overall hormonal health. They offer over 30 tests online. I have used these several times myself and I’m a huge fan because I am all about trying to be responsible for my own health. Find out more HERE and take 20% off of your first test by using this link: 20% OFF EVERLYWELL.
I really hope that this has been helpful for you. I learned a lot both from research as well as just listening to other women. If this was helpful to you I would love it if you’d share this on Pinterest for other women to find.
Do you have anything to add? Have you had success with anything on this topic? I’d love for you to share it in the comments below, so we can all benefit. I have the very best readers anywhere! I appreciate you guys so much!