How to Relieve Menopausal Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Proven Natural Remedies

How to Relieve Menopausal Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Proven Natural Remedies

Hot flashes and night sweats are some of the most common menopause symptoms that can last for many years. Natural remedies for hot flashes help to reduce the appearance of flushed red skin, excessive sweating, and a rapid heartbeat. Some good natural supplements for hot flashes include black cohosh, evening primrose oil, red clover, and vitamin E.

Apart from supplements that help treat hot flashes symptoms, there are also some effective essential oils for hot flashes. In fact, aromatherapy using oils such as lavender oil doesn’t just give you hot flash relief, but can also prevent hot flashes and nausea or having dizzy spells.

Knowing how to stop night sweats and hot flashes can also reduce the need to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Many women are now turning to natural remedies for the menopause because of concerns over HRT side effects.

In this article, you will find out the best hot flash remedies and how to stop night sweats. You will learn the best ways to prevent these menopause symptoms naturally.

What are Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are a menopause symptom that causes sweating, a warm face, an increase in internal heat and possible shivering. In some countries, hot flashes are also referred to as hot flushes.

The National Institute on Aging reports that hot flashes at night are called night sweats. There are many treatment options available for getting rid of hot flashes. However, doctors usually recommend trying natural treatments or making lifestyle changes to manage your symptoms. (1)

Hot flashes are due in part to changes in levels of estrogen during the perimenopause stage and menopause. Doctors also think that hot flashes are the result of an imbalance of other hormones in the body. This can cause an increase in core body temperature that results in heat flashes. (2)

What Does a Hot Flash Feel Like? (Symptoms of Hot Flashes)

Most women say that hot flashes feel like an intense wave of heat that comes over them. The “heat wave” is usually felt first of all in the upper body and then spreads throughout the rest of the body.

The publication Informed Health Online reports that the feeling of warmth that overcomes the body is due to a process called vasodilation. This is where the blood vessels dilate, causing more blood to flow and an increase in body temperature. (3)

Depending on how severe the menopause symptoms are, a hot flash can make a woman feel like her heart is racing. At the same time the facial skin, chest, and neck may take on a red blotchy appearance. This can cause some women a measure of discomfort and make them feel self-conscious. (3)

The journal Sleep Medicine Reviews says that hot flashes that occur at night are called night sweats. The excessive sweating in bed can interfere with sleep patterns and result in fatigue and irritability during the day. In some cases, smoking or alcohol consumption can increase the severity of night sweats. (4, 5)

How Long Do Hot Flashes Last?

There are 2 different answers to the question of how long hot flashes last for. There is the length of the individual heat flash, and there is the period of time you can expect hot flashes and night sweats to last for.

According to some doctors, a single hot flash may last for around 3 minutes. This sudden increase in temperature is usually accompanied by a general feeling of intense heat, blotchy skin, and sweating. (3)

Hot flashes in general usually start around the time of your last menstrual period, although some women experience hot flashes much later. Some researchers have found that the earlier the onset of the menopause, the greater length of time hot flashes last for. (1)

The journal JAMA International Medicine reports that on average, the symptoms of hot flashes last for a period of around 7 years. However, for African American women, hot flashes can last for longer with some women experiencing hot flashes for around 12 years. (6)

Best Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

Let’s look in more detail at how you can stop hot flashes by using natural home remedies for symptoms of the menopause.

Many scientists say that alternative and complementary treatment methods for menopausal hot flashes have a lot of promise for many women in their late 40s and 50s. Read on to find out how to use natural remedies such as black cohosh, evening primrose oil, and vitamin E to help with hot flashes. (7)

Vitamin E Helps Relieve Hot Flashes

One way to help stop night sweats naturally is to take vitamin E supplements.

One double-blind controlled trial found that taking 400 IU vitamin E capsules can be viewed as a natural hot flash remedy. In the trial, over 50 women reported relief from hot flashes symptoms after a 4-week period. (11)

Learn more about how taking vitamin E supplements can also help to improve the appearance of your skin and hair during the menopause.

Folic Acid Helps Reduce the Severity of Hot Flashes

If you suffer from hot flashes at night or during the daytime, taking folic acid could help to provide menopause relief.

One study involving 70 menopausal women found that taking 1 mg folic acid daily helped to reduce the frequency of hot flashes. The study concluded that folic acid acts as a natural remedy for menopausal hot flashes. Scientists noted that folic acid is good for menopause symptoms because it helped to increase serotonin and has an antidepressant effect. (12)

Another study found that taking 5 mg folic acid daily can act as an alternative to HRT for menopausal women. Taking folic acid helped to reduce symptoms of hot flashes in around 65% of women. (13)

There is also some evidence that folic acid acts like estrogen pills in helping to prevent estrogen deficiency symptoms in the menopause. (14)

Learn more about the connection between folic acid and serotonin in your brain and how this can help you treat depression and anxiety naturally.

Flaxseeds are Good for Hot Flashes

Adding a serving of flaxseeds (also known as linseed) to your diet can help to reduce the symptoms of hot flashes and get rid of night sweats.

A study involving 30 women who wanted to avoid taking estrogen pills for hot flashes found that crushed flaxseeds were a great natural alternative. Consuming 40 g of ground flaxseeds daily was enough to reduce hot flashes by around 50%. (15)

When taking flaxseeds to shorten the length of time hot flashes last, it is important to buy whole flaxseeds. You should put them in a coffee grinder just before using them, as ground flaxseeds can go rancid quickly. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested and that means you will not get all the benefits.

40 g of whole flaxseeds gives you 100 mg of calcium for strong bones, 160 mg of magnesium, and 9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). These are also nutrients that support good health during the menopause. (16)

You can add ground flaxseed to your yogurt or breakfast oatmeal or sprinkle on top of other dishes.

Please read this article if you want to learn more about the amazing health benefits of consuming flaxseeds daily.

Valerian Helps to Treat Hot Flashes Symptoms Naturally

One of the best herbs to take for hot flashes is valerian because it helps you cope with menopause symptoms.

Studies into the therapeutic properties of valerian have found that this herbal remedy for hot flashes has an estrogen-like effect. Women taking 255 mg of valerian 3 times a day reported fewer and less severe hot flashes after an 8-week period. Researchers recommended valerian herbal treatment for hot flashes as an alternative to estrogen pills. (17)

Valerian is also good to take if you suffer from night sweats. Apart from helping to regulate your hormones, valerian is one of the best herbal remedies that help you get to sleep.

To find out more on helping to improve your sleep patterns while going through the menopause, please read my article on foods that make you sleepy.

Taking valerian supplement along with some medications can increase the side effects of some medications, so talk to your doctor before taking valerian.

Evening Primrose to Help Get Relief from Hot Flashes

One of the ways to relieve hot flashes is to take evening primrose oil capsules daily.

Evening primrose oil is well-known for its benefits to feminine health. There is also a lot of scientific evidence that taking evening primrose oil can help to reduce the intensity of hot flashes.

Researchers found in 2013 that taking 500 mg of evening primrose oil twice a day helped to control hot flashes symptoms. From the 56 women in the study, nearly 40% reported improvement in the frequency and severity of hot flashes. (18)

Find out more about the benefits of taking evening primrose oil pills to help improve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Red Clover to Treat Hot Flashes

Red clover is a popular herb for the menopause that also helps to reduce symptoms such as severe hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology reported that taking 80 mg of red clover daily helps to relieve hot flashes naturally. Researchers also noted that taking red clover helped with the symptoms of vaginal atrophy. Overall, the study showed that red clover supplements are good for menopause relief. (19)

Learn more about why taking red clover is good for you if you are going through the menopause. You will also find a delicious red clover tea recipe that you can make at home.

Passionflower for Relief from Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

One of the effective hot flash remedies that you can take to get natural menopause relief is passionflower extracts.

Passionflower (also called passiflora) can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in the menopause. Apart from alleviating many menopause-related symptoms such as depression and insomnia, passion flower also helps to relieve hot flashes. (20)

One study found that taking passionflower extracts helped to decrease the number of hot flashes in a 4-week period. (21)

Chasteberry Tree (Vitex agnus castus) Extracts to Prevent Hot Flashes

Another way to address the causes of hot flashes and stop your body from becoming hot and sweaty during the menopause is to take chasteberry (vitex) extracts.

There are many studies pointing to the effectiveness of natural supplements such as chasteberry for hot flashes. One study found that chasteberry (vitex agnus castus) was just as effective as passionflower for hot flashes relief. (21)

A review of studies carried out on chasteberry for helping to stop night sweats and hot flashes found that the natural supplement can treat many menopausal symptoms. (22)

You can learn more about how taking chasteberry tree extracts (vitex) can help balance hormone levels and also alleviate the discomfort of PMS.

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) for Hot Flash Relief

One menopause supplement that may help as a home remedy for hot flashes and night sweats is dong quai. The root of this traditional Chinese herb is usually combined with other herbs to treat women’s reproductive problems.

Dong quai is such an effective remedy for treating pre and postmenopausal symptoms that it is also called female ginseng.

One study involving 55 postmenopausal women found that a combination of dong quai and chamomile helped to quickly alleviate hot flashes. In the study, women took a specific natural product containing dong quai and chamomile. Nearly 70% of women reported immediate relief from hot flashes and around 90% reported a decrease in the number of hot flashes over a 12-week period. (23)

Scientists recommend dong quai and chamomile as an alternative to what estrogen pills can do as a hormone replacement therapy.

Apart from taking dong quai during the menopause, find out what other supplements help provide menopause relief.

Maca Root to Lower the Frequency of Hot Flashes

Another natural treatment for hot flashes after the menopause is to take maca root supplements.

Maca is a plant that grows in the Andes Mountains and its root has medicinal properties similar to that of ginseng.

One small study involving 20 women who were in the early stages of the menopause found that taking 1,000 mg maca capsules was effective in relieving menopausal symptoms. Maca helped to balance hormones to provide menopause relief. The study found that 2 maca capsules a day of 500 mg each were enough to completely eliminate hot flashes in many cases. (25)

Find out how maca can help to improve male and female sexual health and also help reduce anxiety.

Fermented Soy to Help Balance Hormones and Prevent Hot Flashes

Soy products have an estrogen-like effect on the body and can help to regulate hormones during the menopause. However, some women are concerned about the risk of too many soy products increasing their risk of breast cancer.

Is soy safe to take during the menopause for hot flashes? The Journal of Nutrition reported on some studies showing that consuming soy during the menopause can help to relieve many symptoms. However, other studies report conflicting results. (26)

It is important to note that a randomized clinical trial in 2018 found that taking soy extracts during the menopause did not increase the risk of breast cancer. The trial found that taking 50 mg isoflavone extracted from soy helped to reduce the frequency of hot flashes without compromising breast tissue. (27)

However if you are concerned about the effect of soy products on breast health, then taking fermented soy products can also help to stop hot flashes and night sweats. One study from Japan found that taking 10 mg of a fermented soy product helped to stop hot flashes and muscle stiffness. (28)

Further reading: Soy or Soy Milk: Is it Really Bad or Good for You (Science Based)

Omega 3 May Alleviate Night Sweats

A study from 2018 checked the effect of taking omega 3 supplement on vasomotor symptoms in menopausal women. The scientists found that omega-3 supplements may alleviate night sweats but have no benefit in reducing hot flashes or improving sleep quality and quality of life during the menopausal period. (37)

The research analyzed data from 483 women and found that the women reported lower frequency and severity of night sweats. The researchers commented that further studies are needed to conclude if omega-3 supplements are of benefit in alleviating vasomotor symptoms in menopausal women.

Black Cohosh Could Help Treat Hot Flashes But the Results are Inconsistent

Black cohosh for the menopause is one very popular supplement for helping hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.

There are mixed results from studies into the effectiveness of black cohosh as a natural remedy for menopause. One study involving over 400 postmenopausal women found that black cohosh helped to reduce symptoms relating to the menopause. After taking the supplement for a year, scientists noted an improvement in menopause-related complaints. (8)

However, another study published in the medical journal Menopause found that taking black cohosh and red clover for a year didn’t result in any improvement in vasomotor symptoms. (9) Vasomotor symptoms are symptoms that relate to the constriction or dilatation of blood vessels.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies about treating menopausal hot flashes with black cohosh have shown inconsistent results. (10)

Today, black cohosh appears as tinctures, tablets or dried herb and is sold in drugstores and health stores. People with pre-existing liver problems, or those taking any other medication that affects the liver, should either avoid black cohosh or check in with their health care provider prior to use. (35)

The same applies to women who have or have had breast cancer or uterine cancer. Women who are pregnant should also avoid black cohosh as it can induce labor. (35)

Essential Oils for Hot Flashes During Menopause

As well as taking supplements for hot flashes and sweating, there are also a number of essential oils that promote good health during the menopause.

Many essential oils have compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen and can provide relief from the effects of poor sleep, hot flashes, and breast pain.

Let’s look at two essential oils that help with hot flashes symptoms during the menopause – these are lavender and bitter orange essential oils.

Use lavender oil to help reduce symptoms of hot flashes

Lavender essential oil is a great all-around oil for treating many health complaints as well as relief from hot flashes.

One clinical trial involving 100 women who were experiencing menopausal flushing found that lavender aromatherapy helped to reduce heat flashes. The women inhaled lavender aromas for 20 minutes 2 times a day. Over a 12-week period, they reported a decrease in the number of hot flashes. (29)

Another study found that aromatherapy using an essential oil blend including lavender oil also helped as a home remedy for hot flashes. (30)

Use bitter orange (neroli oil) for menopause symptoms

Inhaling bitter orange essential oil is another way to get relief from night sweats and hot flashes in menopausal women.

One study found that inhaling neroli oil (bitter orange) for 5 minutes 2 times a day was enough to give relief from some menopause symptoms. Menopausal women inhaling neroli oil had more estrogen, fewer hot flashes, lower blood pressure, and increased sexual desire. (31)

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hot Flashes – Does it Work?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a popular home remedy for addressing a number of health issues. You may also be wondering if you can use apple cider vinegar as an effective remedy for hot flashes.

While there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that apple cider vinegar helps hot flashes after the menopause, drinking a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar daily can help to boost your health.

You can find out more about the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar every day.

Alternative Remedies to Get Relief from Hot Flashes

Apart from the many home remedies for dealing with night sweats and hot flashes that are mentioned in this article, there are some other ways you can help get relief from these menopause symptoms.

Here are a few suggestions:

Lose weight. To help reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes, it is important to manage your weight after the menopause. One study in 2015 found that losing weight can help to manage hot flashes and also has many other health benefits. (32)

Relaxation. To stop night sweats naturally and avoid hot flashes, it is important to deal with stress and anxiety. Scientists have found that mindfulness can help to reduce the discomfort associated with night sweats and menopausal flushing. (33)

Stay physically active. Studies have shown that physical activity for women over 50 can help to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes. (34)

Avoiding triggers. Although it might be impossible to completely avoid hot flashes during menopause, there are certain triggers that may cause them to be more frequent or more severe. To prevent hot flashes, it is advised to avoid the following triggers: stress, heat, smoking, excess caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. (36)

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