In women struggling with the symptoms of menopause, hot flashes are a particularly big deal. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they can have embarrassing effects in which a woman becomes visibly flushed and sweaty. In fact, many report that this is one of the very worst symptoms of menopause, but new research has found that Chinese herbs may be effective at reducing, and even eliminating hot flashes due to hormonal fluctuations.
The study was done in Hong Kong, and it found that women taking an herbal mix known as EXD experienced less than half the number of hot flashes associated with menopause that they had been experiencing before they began taking it. The study is small, and the results don’t suggest astounding results, but for some it may be a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy, which has recently been in the news for the potential that it has for negative side effects that may include breast cancer risk as well as mortality from this type of cancer.
EXD is the combination of six Chinese herbs that are turned into a drinkable tea. Half of the study participants drank the herb tea, and half of the participants drank a placebo. Before beginning the study, the participants in the group that drank the tea had an average 5.8 daily hot flashes; those in the placebo group had had an average 5 daily hot flashes.
While drinking the tea, participants found that their hot flashes dropped to 2.2 daily hot flashes; and the ones they had were not as severe as they previously were. The placebo group found that their hot flashes dropped to 2.5 daily hot flashes.
While researchers report that it’s not a tremendous difference, it is a measurable difference that women seeking alternatives to hormone replacement therapy will likely find promising. Until now, hormone replacement therapy was the only truly effective method for eliminating hot flashes in menopausal women, but the natural Chinese herb combination may be an alternative worth considering, especially for those who are experiencing a tremendously difficult time dealing with their hot flashes.
Health care professionals often recommend that women avoid smoking as nicotine can contribute to the severity of hot flashes. It is also thought that drinking lots of alcohol can be a contributing factor in the number and severity of hot flashes, so doctors will often recommend that alcohol be avoided for a while. Stress should be managed by getting more sleep, and practicing breathing exercises, as well.
Eating well and getting regular exercise are also beneficial when dealing with hot flashes. It can help to reduce the number of them and even eliminate them in some cases.
How a woman chooses to treat her hot flashes will depend on the woman, the severity of the hot flashes and other factors, health care professionals want women to know that they do have treatment options for this problem and talking to a doctor can help ease symptoms and discomfort.