The most common herald of menopause is the appearance of hot flashes. These are virtually synonymous in the experience of many women. An adjunct to hot flashes are night sweats where you awaken drenched in sweat, so much so sometimes that you not only need to change your night clothes but the sheets on your bed as well. Both night sweats and hot flashes can be disconcerting if you are frightened of them. Don’t be.
A lot can be said about hot flashes, but there are only two facts that you need to know: First, they are completely harmless. Second, hot flashes are the only symptoms among a long list of stuff usually attributed to menopause that genuinely belong to it.
Women of all ages get hot flashes especially strongly when their ovaries are removed surgically. During pre-menopause, thinner women often experience more drastic alterations in their estrogen levels and are therefore more likely than their bigger sisters to get stronger hot flashes. In most women, hot flashes are at their most intense during the last year or so before the end of menstruation and during the first year afterwards.
Estrogen levels tend to be lower in pre-menopausal women with hot flashes than those without hot flashes. Yet it is quite clear that low estrogen, although it continues to get the blame for hot flashes, it is by no means all that is involved in their production. It is the sudden drop of estrogen in your body that is the real issue. And once your body becomes accustomed to lower levels of estrogen, most hot flashes gradually diminish. Often low estrogen is not involved in hot flashes at all. Hot flashes happen to women if they have been taking supplementary estrogen in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for a time and then stop. .
There are certain foods and habits known to contribute greatly to the incidence of hot flashes. Stop cigarette smoking, drinking, caffeine, and eating hot spicy food. An overactive thyroid can cause hot flashes too, as can insulin resistance, the use of all sorts of potentially dangerous drugs from Big Pharma, and diabetes. Hot flashes are often the result of allergic reactions to foods and the chemicals in the environment. The high levels of steroid hormones used in pharmaceutical hormone replacement suppress important functions in your body, such as those that are connected with allergies and with your body's attempt to detoxify itself. When estrogen decreases rapidly in a menopausal woman who has been taking artificial hormones, then the underlying allergy or toxicity that was being masked by the hormones comes to the surface. Foods can give you reactions such as migraine, headaches and rises in blood pressure as well as hot flashes. It is time to look at your diet, since when offending foods like milk and all cows’ milk products, including yoghurt and cheeses, wheat, chocolate, or oranges are removed from the diet, hot flashes will diminish and may even cease altogether.
By the way, extra estrogen does not “cure” hot flashes. It only masks them for a while. Actually, there is nothing to “cure,” because hot flashes are not a symptom of disease. They are a normal bodily change associated with the transition between the menstrual years and menopause.
The standard medical treatment for hot flashes is estrogen. If you decide to go on estrogen for a few years “to get you through the rough patch,” what you are not told is that when you come off it, your hot flashes are likely to return in force—three years down the road or twenty. Women who have been filled full of fear of menopause—particularly professional women—sometimes sit in trepidation lest a hot flash come over them while in a business meeting to betray that they are menopausal. Women always think they are more evident to the outside world than they are. But even if they were, so what? Why should any woman agree, even tacitly, to buy into the general nonsense that menopause—or perhaps a swollen belly during pregnancy—is something disgraceful to be hidden?
If you have been experiencing hot flashes, change your diet. Also use some powerful and benign herbs. Here are my favorites. They work beautifully:
- Sage: Make an infusion of 1 teaspoon of the dried leaves in a cup of water, allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then drink 1 tablespoon of the tea 1 to 4 times a day. Or you can use 10 to 25 drops of tincture of sage every day.
- Motherwort: It does not make a great tasting tea, so I prefer to take it as a tincture. Take 10 to 25 drops of tincture every 2 to 6 hours.
- Chastetree: Take 1 capsule of powdered berries 3 to 4 times a day, or 15 drops to 1 teaspoon of the tincture 1 to 3 times a day.
- Dong Quai: Make an infusion of a teaspoon of the dried root in a cup of boiling water and drink once a day. Or take 15 to 30 drops of tincture 1 to 3 times a day.
Remember this: The long traditions of natural medicine view hot flashes as the body’s way of detoxifying itself and enhancing immunity. And recent research shows that even a slight raise in temperature in the body can be instrumental in doing both.
Fresh, organic motherwort (leonurus cardiaca) flower tops. organic grain-free alcohol content: 40-50%. filtered water.
Fresh herb strength: 1:2.(500 mg/ml).
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Dried organic chaste tree (vitex agnus castus) berry, Organic grain-free alcohol content: 70-80%, filtered water.
Dry herb strength 1:4. (250 mg/ml).
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Dried cured dong quai (angelica sinensis) root, organic grain-free alcohol content: 25-35%, filtered water.
Fresh herb strength: 1:4 (250 mg/ml).
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Certified organic cane alcohol (71-81%) & distilled water. Gluten-free.
Dry herb / menstruum ratio: 1 : 5
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