Hot flashes associated with menopause can be miserable, but in most cases they do go away on their own, usually within six months to a year. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is less popular now, so these two alternative remedies may be worth a try.
- Black cohosh. Black cohosh has been used in Europe for more than 40 years. In several studies is has been proven to to effectively relieve moderate hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia. For relief of menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes, begin taking 20 mg twice a day for six weeks, then try increasing the dose to 40 mg twice per day if hot flashes do not decrease in severity or intensity. Although early evidence was mixed, black cohosh does not appear to have direct estrogenic effects and women with a history of breast cancer can safely use it.
- Whole soy foods. As you may know, soy foods contain plant estrogens, and Japanese women whose diets contain soy experience fewer hot flashes. Although the role of soy continues to be investigated (other elements of the Japanese diet and lifestyle may play a part), adding some soy to your diet may help. I suggest two helpings daily of whole soy foods such as tofu or edamame.