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Cinnamon and Pycnogenol Fight Hot Flashes

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Q. I started taking cinnamon to regulate my blood sugar. (I do not have diabetes, but I want to keep it that way.)

A very surprising side effect was that my hot flashes have subsided tremendously. Have you heard of this?

A. We could find no published research in the U.S. on the use of cinnamon to ease hot flashes. This spice seems to be part of a traditional treatment in China and Japan, however, and is being studied at the University of Minnesota.

Some readers report benefit from French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). One woman wrote, “At 48, I went off the pill due to migraines and within two months menopause began. I was having hot flashes all day. I could deal with those, but not with the loss of sleep caused by hot flashes all night long. I read about Pycnogenol, bought some and became hot flash free within days.”

For more information about other natural ways to control blood sugar and menopausal symptoms you may be interested in Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy. It is available in libraries, bookstores and online at www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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I'm a 55 year old recently diagnosed diabetic who takes cinnamon, but I can't say it's done anything for my hot flashes or night sweats. They're as bad as ever. But Pycnogenol sounds worth a try!

My wife tried Pycnogenol and initially noticed a big decrease in hot flashes. Eventually they returned. She takes 40mg of Giodan daily and her hot flashes have been reduced to no more then one a day and the intensity is not close to that of a regular hot flash. This has been working for 6 weeks now.

I've been taking 100 mg. of Pycnogenol daily for several weeks, and unfortunately, it has not helped the hot flashes at all. In fact, I think it has actually made them worse. The frequency has been about the same, usually 2 to 4 an hour, but they are much more severe since I've started taking this product. I finally stopped talking it last July.

I have been taking cinnamon with meals (I am not diabetic) and do notice a brief cessation of the hot flashes for maybe an hour or so.

The person that wrote about cinnamon helping her hot flashes may have been helped because her blood sugars stayed more level; even though she was not diabetic, she could have sudden rises or drops, which can make a person "Feel" like they are having a hot flash.

After a high carb meal (like cooked Pinto beans, corn muffins,milk, etc.) my husband will complain of feeling flushed. (it is a temporary rise in glucose; I check him occasionally and he is not diabetic.) The way his symptoms make him feel, if he were a woman, he'd say he was having a hot flash!
So, if women who use cinnamon say their hot flashes are less frequent, they might be controlling their rise/fall of blood sugars after or between meals.

I have had terrible times with hot flashes, but a doctor prescribed hormonal creams which were very successful. Then a small bout of cancer and the gynecologist said
no more of that. The creams were the best thing I had ever used for hot flashes. They must be mixed by a compounding pharmacist.

How would you go about taking cinnamon for the hot flashes? Do you sprinkle cinnamon or do you take it in a capsule? How much would you take?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IF YOU ARE TAKING CINNAMON REGULARLY, GO FOR THE CAPSULE. LOOK FOR A WATER-EXTRACTED PRODUCT. THAT WILL BE SAFER FOR THE LIVER.

How much cinnamon and what form? The powder or stick?
Thanks.

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