- Take the Menopause Quiz
- Menopause and Perimenopause Slideshow
- Osteoporosis Slideshow Pictures
- Patient Comments: Hot Flashes - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Hot Flashes - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Hot Flashes - Causes
- Patient Comments: Hot Flashes - Feel Like and Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Hot Flashes - Natural and Home Remedies
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
- Hot flash definition and facts
- What are hot flashes?
- How long do hot flashes last?
- What causes hot flashes?
- What do hot flashes feel like (symptoms)?
- How is the cause of hot flashes diagnosed?
- What are the treatments and remedies for hot flashes?
- Hormone therapy for hot flashes
- Bioidentical hormone therapy for hot flashes
- Other prescription drug treatments for hot flashes
- What natural and home remedies treat hot flashes?
- 1. Phytoestrogens for menopause symptoms
- 2. Black cohosh for hot flashes
- 3. Other vitamins and herbs for hot flashes
- Which specialties of doctors treat hot flashes?
- Can hot flashes be prevented?
Quick GuideMenopause & Perimenopause: Symptoms, Signs
What natural and home remedies treat hot flashes?
Some women report that exercise programs or relaxation methods have helped to control hot flashes, but controlled studies have failed to show a benefit of these practices in relieving the symptoms of hot flashes. Maintaining a cool sleep environment and the use of cotton bedclothes can help ease some of the discomfort associated with hot flashes and associated night sweats.
Many women turn to alternative therapies, including herbal products, vitamins, plant estrogens, and other substances, for the treatment of hot flashes. Doctors can be reluctant to recommend alternative treatments because these nonprescription products are not regulated by the FDA (like prescription medications), and their ingredients and strength can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For products that are not regulated by the FDA, testing and proof of safety is not required for marketing of these products. Long-term, scientifically controlled studies for these products are either lacking or have not proved the safely and effectiveness of many of the so-called natural or alternative remedies.
Some alternative treatments, however, have been evaluated in well-designed clinical trials. Alternative treatments that have been scientifically studied with some research include phytoestrogens (plant estrogens, isoflavones), black cohosh, and vitamin E.
1. Phytoestrogens for menopause symptoms
Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in soy and other plants (such as chick peas and lentils) that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. They have a chemical structure that is similar to the estrogens naturally produced by the body, but their effectiveness as an estrogen has been determined to be much lower than true estrogens.
Some studies have shown that these compounds may help relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. In particular, women who have had breast cancer and do not want to take hormone therapy (HT) with estrogen sometimes use soy products for relief of menopausal symptoms. However, some phytoestrogens can actually have anti-estrogenic properties in certain situations, and the overall risks of these preparations have not yet been determined.
There is also a perception among many women that plant estrogens are "natural" and therefore safer than hormone therapy, but this has never been proven scientifically. Further research is needed to fully characterize the safety and potential risks of phytoestrogens.