8 natural remedies for hot flashes
Hot flashes involve a sudden feeling of warmth or heat, often with sweating and a rapid heartbeat. They can last from a few seconds to several minutes and occur at any time of the day or night.
These sudden bursts of heat can make you uncomfortable and anxious, disrupting your daily life. Medical treatments are available, but various natural remedies can also help ease symptoms and bring relief. The following list is in no particular order.
1. Vitamins and supplements
Some studies suggest that certain vitamins and supplements can help alleviate hot flashes.
Research from 2020 notes that oral vitamin E intake significantly reduces hot flashes in the premenopausal stage.
According to the National Institutes of Health, black cohosh, a dietary supplement derived from a plant, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
2. Eating certain foods
Certain foods may also help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes. One example is soy.
According to a 2018 study, soy products contain plant estrogens. These may help ease the frequency and severity of hot flashes during menopause.
But it’s important to note that only some people may benefit from soy, and more research is needed to determine its effectiveness.
Other foods that may be beneficial include flaxseed. Flaxseed contains lignans, which have estrogen-like effects and may help reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.
The DASH diet can help manage cardiovascular problems and boost overall health.
Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, and it can improve mood and overall quality of life. This can benefit people experiencing menopause-related symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all healthy adults engage in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
In a 2016 study, people who participated in a 16-week exercise program experienced fewer and less severe hot flashes than those who did not exercise.
This is because regular exercise helps regulate body temperature and can improve the body’s ability to adapt to changes in temperature. This reduces the likelihood of sudden hot flashes. Regular exercise also improves cardiovascular health, which in turn can improve blood flow and help reduce hot flashes.
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4. Stopping smoking
Smoking has many negative effects on the body, including increasing the risk of developing hot flashes. If you smoke, quitting smoking may be a worthwhile goal for those experiencing hot flashes.
According to a 2015 study, people who quit smoking experienced a reduction in hot flashes compared to those who continued to smoke.
5. Mind-body techniques
Techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes in some people.
A 2021 study notes that people who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program experienced a reduction in the frequency and severity of hot flashes and improved overall quality of life.
Another small 2015 study suggests that all three groups of people who practiced yoga experienced a reduction in the frequency of hot flashes.
Aromatherapy involves using essential oils for therapeutic purposes and may effectively reduce hot flashes. A 2016 study published in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association notes that people who inhaled lavender essential oil experienced a significant reduction in hot flashes.
While more research is needed to confirm these findings, aromatherapy is a safe and pleasant natural remedy for hot flashes.
Hypnosis is a technique that involves inducing a state of altered consciousness or trance-like states, like deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility. In this state, a person is more open to suggestions and may be more receptive to new ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.
Hypnosis may effectively reduce hot flashes by reducing stress and anxiety levels. A 2014 study notes that clinical hypnosis effectively reduced the frequency of hot flashes.
Still, more research is needed to ascertain its safety and effectiveness as an option to consider for managing hot flashes.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles, it uses pressure and massage to stimulate specific points in the body. A 2017 study notes that people who received acupressure treatments experienced a significant reduction in hot flashes.
Hot flashes can be a challenging and uncomfortable symptom of menopause. Still, many natural remedies like exercise, eating certain foods, and quitting smoking can help reduce their frequency and severity.
It’s important to remember that not all natural remedies will work for everyone. Consider discussing any new treatments with a healthcare professional.
- Armand M, et al. (2017). Effect of acupressure on early complications of menopause in women referring to selected health care centers. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494955/
- Ataei-Almanghadim K, et al. (2020). The effect of oral capsule of curcumin and vitamin E on the hot flashes and anxiety in postmenopausal women: A triple blind randomised controlled trial. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229919313068
- Avis NE, et al. (2014). A pilot study of integral yoga for menopausal hot flashes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110168/
- Bailey TG, et al. (2016). Exercise training reduces the frequency of menopausal hot flushes by improving thermoregulatory control. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27163520/
- Bani S, et al. (2013). The effect of folic acid on menopausal hot flashes: A randomized clinical trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4161099/
- Black cohosh. (2020). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh-HealthProfessional/
- Dastjerdi MV, et al. (2018). Effect of soy isoflavone on hot flushes, endometrial thickness, and breast clinical as well as sonographic features. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5971175/
- Elkins GR, et al. (2013). Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of post-menopausal hot flashes: A randomized controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3556367/
- Ghazanfarpour M, et al. (2016). Effects of flaxseed and Hypericum perforatum on hot flash, vaginal atrophy and estrogen-dependent cancers in menopausal women: A systematic review and meta-analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4930534/
- How much physical activity do adults need? (2022). https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
- Kazemzadeh R, et al. (2016). Effect of lavender aromatherapy on menopause hot flushing: A crossover randomized clinical trial. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S172649011630082X
- Şener N, et al. (2021). The effects of mindfulness stress reduction program on postmenopausal women's menopausal complaints and their life quality. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388121001778
- Smith RL, et al. (2015). Does quitting smoking decrease the risk of midlife hot flashes? A longitudinal analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4546860/