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Natural Remedies For Hot Flashes

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Q. Help! My menopausal hot flashes are becoming unbearable and debilitating.

I have tried many remedies. Some helped a little (like cutting down on caffeine), but others, like soy, did nothing.

I work with liver transplant patients, and the specialists say that the herb black cohosh can damage the liver. That’s why I'm afraid to try it.

I finally broke down and tried an estrogen patch my doctor prescribed. I had an adverse reaction to it in less than a week. What can you recommend?


A. Although there are reports of liver problems associated with black cohosh, this appears to be an uncommon complication.

A new study suggests that a patented pine bark extract can help ease hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The compound is Pycnogenol, derived from the French maritime pine.

The study included 155 women aged 45 to 55. After six months of treatment with Pycnogenol or placebo, those treated with the pine bark extract had significantly fewer symptoms and lower cholesterol levels than those taking placebo (Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand. Aug. 2007). It may be worth a try.
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I was wondering why at 67 I'm still having hot flashes? I have cut out caffeine to one cup of coffee a day. Is there something else I can do?

I am using natural progesterone cream, which has helped immensely. There are over the counter brands available, but I get a prescription for a specially formulated blend from a compounding pharmacy.

Another option for hot flashes is a natural supplement called Red Raspberry Leaves. I have been taking them for 8 years, one tablet twice a day and I have very mild hot flashes. They can be purchased in Health Food Stores and some Vitamin Stores.

I have to admit I was skeptical about the Pycnogenol, but after only about 4 days of use, my severe hot flashes have completely disappeared. I take 50 mg in the morning and 50 mg in the evening. I used to have 1-2 hot flashes per hour around the clock. Since I have taken Pycnogenol, I haven't had ONE. It feels like a miracle!

I'm 79 years old, I have hot flahes due to a side effect of EVISTA. My doctor wants me to continue taking it. I have adverse reactions to other osteoporosis medication. I really hope that PYCNOGENOL helps me, because I want to take premarin again. I felt fine taking the premarin--I understand the risk, I need help!

At 52, I had surgery and was thrown into menopause. Within a week after my surgery, I had hot flashes four or five times a night. I was worn out. Saw my doctor, he put me on .65 mg of premarin.

About a year ago we talked about me starting to wean off of the premarin. I am taking .3 mg of premarin now. The problem is, and has always been, that I am always hotter than everybody else. If they are comfortable, I am burning up. If I am comfortable, they are freezing. The doctor stated it was a form of hot flash and put me on Keflex, which he said used to be used for high blood pressure, but no longer. He said it was good for hot flashes.

I tried it and within a week I broke out in an itchy rash. I had an allergic reaction to it and had to stop taking it. I have tried herbal medicines and they don't help. I think that is because I did not go through menopause naturally, but was thrown into it.

Another doctor said I should stay on premarin for calcium absorbancy, which I understand, but I am not one to take a lot of perscription medicines. I do take vitamins and minerals.

Is there any help out there for my hot flashes? It has been 10 years and I still have them. Thanks for any advise you can give me.

I had a hysterectomy in 1982. I am now 61 and stopped taking Premarin briefly a few years ago. I feel much better on it, even the low .3 dosage I've gone down to for the last 4 years. All of a sudden these last 2 months, I think I'm experiencing mild-but-noticeable hot flashes??? If so, why... and what should I do? Thanks. pm

What about men and hot flashes? I am 70 and have had them for many years. Help.

I started the Pycnogenol 50 mg twice daily a week ago. The results are dramatic! My hot flashes and night sweats are almost completely gone. I am thrilled that I have my life back! Thank you.

I am a 52 year old woman who at age 49 began to have menopausal symptoms; very irregular periods, lots of hot flashes, night sweats, depression (not wanting to get out of bed in the morning), vaginal dryness which made for painful intercourse, and fuzzy thinking. I've led a very healthy lifestyle including a vegan diet, daily exercise, pure water, no smoking, and almost no alcohol consumption. I've always believed that the body can handle anything, given the right nutrition. However this menopause thing really "threw me for a loop".

Somewhere along the line I had heard of the helpfulness of yams to support the hormones. So I began baking yams and keeping them in the fridge in order to eat some every day. I was certainly a skeptic but had to prove for myself that something so simple couldn't possibly work. However, after only 5 days of eating yams (one half or less per day depending on their size), I stopped having hot flashes and night sweats altogether! What a relief. Within a few days I realized that the vaginal dryness problem was gone. My thinking had cleared up, my depression began to lift, and some other amazing things have occurred which I didn't expect.

My breasts have increased in size and feel full instead of saggy and droopy, and my normal menstrual periods have returned! Go figure?? What surprising results I've gotten from a plain, simple (and delicious) food. The key is to eat them daily.

I was unable to wean off Premarin years ago - on .625 - would stopping premarin one day and starting evista the next eliminate the extremely difficult withdrawal I experienced from premarin?

I am 69-yr-old man and just started hormone therapy for prostate cancer. Hot flashes are some of the side effects. How can the hot flashes be diminished or eliminated?

I'm 48, went off the pill due to migraines and within 2 months menopause began. I was having hot flashes all day, which I could deal with. I could not deal with the loss of sleep caused by the all night long hot flashes. I read your article about Pycnogenol. I bought some and became hot flash free within days. I started with 75mg per day. I now take 60mg per day with the same success. I am hot flash free even when I forget to take it. Thank you so much for the information!

im 36 and had to have a hysterectomy a few months ago. the hot flashes are making me insane. what can i do. i have headaches, and trouble sleeping at night. i expect my family to knock me in the head because i am so hateful.. please help me...

My friend and I, both of us in menopause, noticed that every time we drink milk or eat other dairy products we get hot flashes. Has anyone else noticed this connection?

I would like to ask mj who posted on March 3, 2008 about eating yams - Were the yams sweet potatoes? I have been looking all over Atlanta for yams. All I can find is boniatos, names, and sweet potoatoes. I would really love to try them, because my hot flashes are getting worse.
Please let me know what kind you eat, and where you purchase them.
Thanks,
Diane

I go thru periods of intense hot flashes to none. The worse is when I'm around others, this seems to be the norm for me. I carry tons of paper towels or a wash cloth. I've stopped asking, "is it hot in here or what?" I can't be sure but it seems like the night sweats are gone. It could be that I keep the air conditioner at 70 degrees, 24 hours a day. That's not GREEN is it?

I would like to know if the yams are sweet potatoes or do sweet potatoes do the same thing? Thank you

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YAMS BELONG TO THE GENUS DIOSCOREA AND MAY BE FOUND IN TROPICAL FOOD STORES (ASIAN, LATIN OR AFRICAN).
SWEET POTATOES, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE SOMETIMES TERMED YAMS, BELONG TO THE GENUS IPOMEA. SO FAR AS WE KNOW, SWEET POTATOES DO NOT HELP HOT FLASHES.

I've been perimenopausal for a year+ or so, irregular periods (though that's been normal for me other than when I was on the pill), and now I'm beginning to experience hot flashes, not horrific, but enough to be uncomfortable. Also experiencing a significant drop in libido, vaginal dryness and some pain during intercourse.

I've been on generic Prozac for a couple of years, too, which probably has contributed to some of this. Also on synthroid for low thyroid. I'd been using black cohosh for a couple of years, but the brand I've been using from Trader Joe's is being discontinued!? The brand I'm using right now doesn't seem to be working at all and the flashes have gotten worse day by day.

Until recently, I was working out almost daily for health and weight control, but I've recently moved into a very stressful situation with little time to myself to work out, so that has suffered as well. Hmm, the change is being exacerbated with all these other changes, I suppose!? Any suggestions would be most welcome and appreciated!

I, too, had trouble finding yams to use to control the menopausal hot flashes. I finally found Wild Yam extract capsules and bulk powder on the internet. I take two a day and haven't had another hot flash since. Try Googling
"Wild Yam Extract" to find a site that sells it.

I am taking synthroid, .1 mg -- I would like to try pycnogenol for hot flashes -- would there be a problem with taking both of these? Thanks.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE DON'T KNOW OF ANY INTERACTION. WE SUGGEST SEPARATING THEM BY AT LEAST TWO HOURS, HOWEVER.

I was taking 50 mg pycnogenol for my skin for about a month. About three weeks ago I started getting hot flashes at night for the first time. When I found your website on pycnogenol for hot flashes, I upped the dosage to an extra 50 mg of pycnogenol and I haven't had hot flashes for two nights now. I hope this continues. Thank you for sharing this great discovery.

I'm the one that "upped" my pycnogenol to an additional 50 mg. Pycnogenol continues to eliminate my hot flashes a week later! I'm so excited about this.

RE: The yams...are canned yams effective?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: CANNED YAMS ARE USUALLY SWEET POTATOES RATHER THAN TRUE YAMS.

I have had hot flashes on and off for more than 10 years. I had a hysterectomy a little more than a year ago and they became more frequent. Now the hot flashes are a constant. I just bought a bottle of Pycnogenol last night after reading all these testimonials. I also bought a bottle of Black Cohosh. Is it ok to take both or would that be over-kill?

A year ago at age 60, I had ductal carcinoma in situ, non-invasive cancer, in one breast, subsequent surgery, 6 weeks of radiation, plus I will be taking tamoxifin for the next 5 years. I've been told to avoid estrogen products. Does pycogenol or wild yams have any adverse indications as a solution for my hot flashes?

I am now 38, but I have been experiencing hot flashes and irregular periods since age 33 (that is how my 4th child came along). I am at a point where the flashes are happening many times a day and night. I am going to try pycnogenol and keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for all the comments. It helped me to decide.

I have been taking contraceptive (Lo-ovral) for many years and for the past year have started perimenopausal symptoms (hot flashes, palpitations, mood swings). My doctor was surprised I had the symptoms in spite of the contraceptive, but she said I should continue taking it. Does anyone know if it would be safe to take Pycnogenol while continuing the contraceptive?

Hot Flashes, HOT FLASHES...............what's a girl to do? I'll tell you what to do. You look for alternatives that will help to lessen the symptoms that come out of nowhere to make your life miserable and crazy! I suffered with them for quite awhile and then I decided to try a few things to help alleviate the hot flashes and the night sweats or make them more bearable.

Someone had suggested using a satin pillowcase, because they are smooth and the fabric is nice and cool. Trust me, it works, Especially when you flip the pillow over.

The second thing I do and what I have to found to work best for me is an eye pillow, right out of the freezer. I keep it there so its ready at a moments notice. I use a peppermint scented one because it opens up my sinuses and that helps me to breathe a lot better and helps any sinus or tension related headaches. The cold flax seed inside the eye pillow surrounds my eyes, temples, forehead and cheeks. You will be amazed at just how much relief and comfort you will get. The weight of the flax seed applies just enough acupressure to soothe and relax your facial muscles so your not so tense and uncomfortable . The eye pillow also blocks out all light so you can truly relax and get some needed rest.

Well, I hope this helps you. Good luck!

I have just started taking pycogenol for hot flashes. I see some people are taking 100mg a day and in the medical trials in France women were taking 200mg per day. However, on the container it says do not exceed stated dose-60mg a day. Can I safely take more than 60mg? I am also taking Clonidine, is it OK to take both?

I have a food allergy to potatoes. Are Yams in the potato family? Will I also be allergic to Yams? I hear that Yams or the Wild Yam supplement can help Hot Flashes and some other problems due to Menopause.

I use a Bio Identical Natural Progesterone Cream called Happy PMS. Dr John Lee wrote a book called "What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause". Natural Progesterone comes from wild yams but has been converted to progesterone by enzymes in the lab. I would say the reason the wild yams helped some women is that they have some adrenal issues. Dr Lee says that wild yams will not convert to progesterone in the body because we don't have the enzymes that it take to convert them. I am 51 and in full blown menopause.....I have NO HOT FLASHES or night sweats. My mind is clear as it can be. I feel totally balanced. Check out Dr. Lee's books from your local library. It will make sense to you.

I take Synthroid.112 for hypothyroidism and Lisinopril 10/12.5 HCTZ for high blood pressure. I cannot take HRT because of a condition that I have called "Occipital Neuralgia" (severe headaches). My neurologist says the HRT would bring on more headaches. I am very interested in Pycnogenol, but am wondering if I can take it with my above mentioned meds. Thank you.

I was taking premarin and Provera in one tablet low dosage . My Heart specialist told me to stop taking it. I quit 6 months ago and started getting hot flashes right away. I am almost 70 and 1/2 so I don't want to run the risk of damaging my heart my Dr says it isn't good for your heart.

The hot flashes are very annoying. They come on me in a department store, shopping, at a market, laying in bed. Nothing helps . It sounds like it is very common for older women to experience them. I am disappointed I thought by this age I would be finished with them.

It seems that this is common I have read a lot of women complaining that are over 60.

Any helpful hints?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WITH TIME, THE HOT FLASHES SHOULD FADE ON THEIR OWN. YOU DELAYED THEM WITH HRT.

TO EASE THEM NOW, YOU COULD TRY PYCNOGENOL. AT LEAST ONE STUDY SHOWED THIS HERBAL PRODUCT MIGHT HELP. OTHER HERBS THAT MAY HELP INCLUDE BLACK COHOSH WITH ST. JOHN'S WORT. IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS, BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR PHARMACIST FOR POSSIBLE INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS YOU ARE TAKING.

I am 61 and my sister is 57 and we both just recently started taking the pine bark and it has WORKED, it is GREAT and we both have tried everything and I mean everything and the pine bark extract has brought relief to both of us...Good Luck

In the LA Times 06.14.2010 I read about Pycnogenol in the column "People's Pharmacy". Where can I buy Pycnogenol?
Thanks

I started having major hot flashes after the passing of my Mom in May 2008. I can only guess menopause has kicked into effect... I have tried several "remedies"... to no avail. I few days ago I typed in "debilitating hot flashes", and some how came to this site. I stopped the other "supplements" before I found and started "pycnogenol". It's only been 2 days now, still sweating like a pig... though I started 50 mg a day, wanted to make sure no effects on my heart... seems ok, will up the mgs tomorrow to 1/50mg twice a day... wish me luck...

I was in denial about my hot flashes because I thought 42 was surely too young... When a neighbor and I decided to try the South Beach diet - essentially cutting out all sugar, then slowly working natural sugars back in, and monitoring carbohydrate intake carefully, both of us eventually noticed that we were no longer experiencing the hot flashes and other symptoms! I "fell off the wagon" and binged on chocolate ice cream one evening, and the next day, suffered a couple of short "hot spots."

I'm a believer now! My whole family is eating healthier because I'm keeping us away from refined sugars and eating a lot more protein and vegetables!

I am 71 years old and have been getting the most severe hot flashes for the last two years. Not one of my doctors had a solution. During a recent emotional and disturbing night when sleep was was cut by these flashes and at one point, I thought "this must be how you can go mad". So violent were they that the oncoming "flash" felt like a sound, a "bang".

My sweating day or night leaves me with sweat dripping down my face and neck, hair dripping with sweat and it just not only embarrassing but such an annoyance.

Twenty years ago I started on Premarin 1,25 mg and Progesterone 5mg. I took it roughly for 15 years, then my doctor cut the strength by half. I was fine with that for awhile, until early in 2009 these very strong flashes started. My doctors did not have a remedy.

I am at a point were I don't know what to do. A recent visit to my family doctor who suggested I try sweet potato extract, but reading about it, am not sure. I also could not find it in my area.

Two months ago I stopped taking both hormones since it was not helping me at all. Also, Shortly after I began with the hormone replacement therapy, I had an occular vein occlusion, which has left me blind in one eye. I take medication for high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, plus 81 mg. aspirin. Pycnoginol sounds like a remedy. Is this by prescription?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PYCNOGENOL IS SOLD WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION AS AN HERBAL SUPPLEMENT. WE HOPE IT WILL HELP YOU, THOUGH WE DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE.

Wow... and I thought I was the only one suffering so with hot flashes, waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding away, feeling like my body temperature was out of control, only to kick off the covers to freeze long enough to get cooled off, turning the pillow over and over, putting back on only the sheets... only to do this 5-10 times a night! Marina, I hear you!

I have tried many supplements, do not want to take drug related remedies, want to do it naturally if at all possible. The one lady who spoke of yams and having her menses back, I dunno if I want to go that far. There are advantages to that part, no surprises!

I have noticed the difference when I am not eating right (low fat, light carbs, low sugar, more veges & fruits, lean proteins) and not exercising - sitting around watching TV and being on the computer too much, that the hot flashes seem to increase with more frequency. Every time I hear of a woman doing something off her rocker, I wonder if she too, had hot flashes!

I also have occiptal neurologia and take premarin and synthroid. I use to get the headaches/migraines if the estrogen amount wasn't right. But once I found the right premarin dose, it didn't make the migraines work. I also do something called "Radio Frequency Ablation" by an anesthesiologist in a pain clinic. This deadens a nerve that gets pinched which causes occiptal neurolgia pain. The nerve regenerates but then I have the procedure done again in a year. Insurance has to pay for it.

Anyway though, it is possible to take HRT with this condition. It just took awhile to find the right dosage. In fact, I take TOO MUCH estrogen, have been on it for 20 years and need to try lower my amount as it is making my synthroid for hypothyroidism a problem.

I am waking up 5 or 6 times a night and can't take it anymore!!! Husband sleeps in another room so I don't disturb him. This is not the life I want or deserve! 63 years old and still having hot flashes/night sweats for about 10 years. Only when I was on HRT or bio identical treatment I was in HEAVEN!

I am going to try the pycnogenol, as nothing else (natural) works for me. Doctor wanted to put me on anti depressant meds, but I refused. Too many side effects.
I still feel the bio identical hormone therapy is safer than synthetic hormones, but my doctor won't let me use that anymore either.
Good Grief, Charlie Brown, isn't there something they can come up with that really works!!!

I'm 64 and went off Estradiol that I had been taking for years because I simply didn't want to be beholding to any pharmaceutical product for my health and well-being. The resulting hot flashes are almost debilitating in frequency and severity. After reading about pycnogenol last night I ordered some from my online pharmacy and am excited to find something that everyone (apparently) who has taken it found relief with. I also have high cholesterol so maybe I'll find that will go down as well! Yay!

I have been suffering hot flashes for several years. I have noticed that I will get an intense hot flash soon after eating any sugar or anything with sugar in it. The same goes for grain. So I am guessing that the type of carbs that are in grain products and sugars bring on hot flashes. I have never had that problem with fruit and vegetables.

I have been putting up with them thinking they would eventually go away. After 5 years of this I am just sick of it and I am going to do what I can to put a stop to it. I have had enough. I feel for y'all. It is as bad as you say.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I will be trying them one at a time to see what works for me. I'll tell you what helps.

How are you now after taking the phynogenol?
How much taken each day?

LORD JESUS BLESS

Sage capsules works for hot flashes - from my own experience. One tablet a day lasts 24 hours. Health food stores carry it - all natural

I've been suffering a lot of hot flashes since I entered menopause my doctor says she cant prescribe any medication, I've been going on web sites looking for information and I was just reading all these comments I'm going to try PYCNOGENOL to see if I can have my hot flashes gone cause its horrible that's for the information.

After reading your comments. I'd like to suggest 2 spoonsful of apple cider vinegar (with the mother - dregs) in a glass of water in the morning and before going to bed. I'm using Bragg organic apple cider vinegar brand.

No other treatment has worked for me. I've tried all products from the shops except HRT. Soy milk, tofu, vitamins, menopause herbal treatments.

I came across a link that suggested Apple cider vinegar about two months ago. Some women said that the problem had gone with the first dose, but it took me a bit over a week to stop all hot flashes.My hot flashes were really intense and my torso and nape used to become all wet.
I hope this helps my friends.

If you are experiencing hot flashes, PLEASE try this. It worked for me, thank goodness, in two days. I hope I did not jinx myself. It's Apple Cider Vinegar, I bought the store brand. In an 8 oz glass of water, add 2 tablespoons of ACV. I have my "cocktail" in the morning and one at night.

I was having flashes once an hour, now I am having maybe four a day and they are not as bad as they were before! Such a relief. I don't know how long I should do this, but it is my new BFF. Good luck!

Thanks to everyone who has posted here. My new Doctor refused to refill my HRT prescription until I stop smoking. I am trying but in the meantime after a month off the HRT I am having hot flashes all day long as well as at night.

Have been researching natural products and happened upon this sight. I'm feeling very confident that one of your suggestions will work and I will be able to be comfortable until I can go to my doctor and say "I quit smoking". However, if one of these remedies you have suggested works I will not return the HRT.

Thank you again.

I am so glad I found this sight!

could be the hormones that are in the dairy. dairy cattle are given hormones to increase their milk production, and just like a human mother to child (in breast milk which is what cow milk IS) it gets passed to the people that drink it.

I'm 46 years old and for the past 7 years I have been getting hot flushes. They have gotten worse over the past couple of months and I have missed a few periods. Is this the menopause? My doctor says I'm too young and blood test came back normal including thyroid tests and kidney tests is there anything else that could be causing these symptoms?

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