Closely associated with Menopause and the years immediately preceding the end of a woman's reproductive capacity, hot flashes may be only slightly annoying or temporarily debilitating. The Mayo Clinic lists symptoms such as the sensation of heat in the upper body, redness, increased heart rate, sweating and chills at the end of the hot flash. Less frequently, you may also experience dizziness, weakness and fatigue. There are medications to treat hot flashes and night sweats, but you can also choose an herbal therapy. Consult your doctor before starting an herbal program to discuss possible medications, diets or lifestyle interactions.
Unlike synthetic hormone replacement therapy (TRH), isoflavones, substances similar to natural estrogens found in plants, are generally safe, according to the Mayo Clinic. Asian women who consume soy products rich in isoflavones have a lower number of complaints regarding hot flashes. Soy is also available in the form of a supplement.
Both red clover, wild yam, licorice root and kudzu provide isoflavones, and it is possible to consume them in the form of capsules, in the form of tinctures or as tea. These herbal products are available in health food stores. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine reports that doses may vary due to the quality or concentration of the product. Consult an herbal specialist to determine the best dose for your needs.
Identified by the Mayo Clinic as a popular alternative to hormone replacement therapy, black cohosh is available in the form of tea, as a supplement, in the form of a tincture or as an extract. In addition, you can find it in commercial mixtures of herbs to treat hot flashes and disorders related to menstruation. Its short-term use (6 months) can help reduce hot flashes. Use it under the direction of a doctor in naturopathies or a qualified specialist in herbs.
There are additional herbs that can reduce or eliminate hot flashes in some women. Not everyone experiences the same results from a specific herb, so you may want to try one herb at a time to find the best option for your symptoms.
Herbs with the potential to reduce or eliminate hot flashes include chasteberry, violet, sage, motherwort, ginseng, fennel, and chickweed.