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Herbs For Hot Flashes

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Herbs for Hot Flashes

Menopause is a time of transition for a woman's body. If you're currently in the midst of this change in your life, you know that many symptoms can develop due to the changes taking place inside you. One of the most troubling of these symptoms is hot flashes. These are sudden periods of warmth that are unrelated to temperatures in the room or physical exercise. While hot flashes are a healthy and natural part of menopause, many women find that they interfere with their daily lives because of the discomfort they bring. Hot flashes occur due to the changes of hormone levels in your body. During menopause, the amount of the key female sex hormone estrogen declines dramatically. Doctors believe that these changes can affect the hypothalamus. This is the gland that functions as the body's thermostat and keeps your inner temperature regulated. For centuries, herbs have been used as alternative treatments to reduce symptoms of hot flashes. Some scientists speculate that many of these herbs used in alternative medicine contain phytoestrogens. These are plant chemicals that are very similar to the estrogen produced by the human body. These researchers hypothesize that when you take an herb that contains phytoestrogens, it temporarily adds to the amount of estrogen in your body. This could alleviate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause such as changes in mood.

Choosing Herbs for Hot Flashes

Many different herbs have been identified as containing phytoestrogens. These include black cohosh, red clover, dong quai, kava, Panax (Asian) ginseng and soy. Thus far, there is no conclusive evidence that proves any herb that contains phytoestrogens can be effective at reducing hot flashes. Some tests have proved promising, but there have been conflicting health care studies on many of the herbs. This means there is much more research needed to confirm the benefits of any herb being used for hot flashes. If you choose to add a supplement to your diet in order to address hot flashes, talk to your doctor first. Each of the herbs commonly used for dealing with hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms poses a risk for side effects. Many also interact with prescription medications for various conditions and dietary supplements. Your doctor can help you determine which of the traditional herbs for hot flashes would be safest for you to try and how much you should take each day.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.

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