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Monday, March 5, 2007

Using Herbs for Hot Flashes

Using Herbs for Hot Flashes by Danna Schneider

We've all heard the term "hot flashes", unless we've lived under a rock, or are too young to pay attentino to such health woes. Hot flashes are typically associated with the period in life where a woman goes through what is called perimenopause, and then menopause.

This is the time of life for a woman where her menstrual cycle slows down, and eventually stops. There is also a profound hormonal shift in the body which lowers the levels of the signature female hormone estrogen in the body.

This dip in estrogen and subsequent increase of other hormones in the body causes several shifts that result in body changes which unfortunately involved discomfort and many times emotionally trying times. A big part of this landmark shift is something that has been medically and popularly coined as "hot flashes". Hot flashes are pretty much exactly what they sound like.

They are periods of time, varying in their length, where the body suddenly feels extremely overheated. Have you ever been in a highly stressful situation, or been put on the spot? There is a high likelihood that you felt something like a hot flash, with instantaneous sweating, a possible feeling of nausea and the sense that your body was suddenly "on fire".

The only problem is, menopausal and perimenopausal hot flashes tend to not only last longer and occur more frequently than the dubious uncomfortable situation we've all been in, and they also have some additional side effects that are even scarier if you're not sure what's happening to you. This is exactly the reason why so much attention has been focused on this symptom of menopause.

Women find this uncontrollable and unpredictable aspect of the life changing period to be alarming, and of course they seek ways to reduce them or even eliminate them.

There are some supplements on the market currently that are stocked on the shelves of popular drug stores and grocery stores, but what do they have in them that helps hot flashes, and can also aid in offsetting the other symptoms of menopause and the accompanying hormonal imbalance?

Many times the primary ingredient you will see in natural menopausal relief supplements are herbs and botanicals which contain a compound called soy, or soy isoflavones. These natural plant chemicals can gently mimic the effect of estrogen in a woman's body, and can help to replenish the effects of this hormone in the female body.

This is the reason they are used in herbal medicine to help diminish or help eliminate hot flashes, as well as alleviate other unpleasant symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.

Along with soy, there are a variety of other estrogen-mimicking compounds that are found in nature's herbs that are commonly used in modern day hormonal control supplements as well as dating back thousands of years for women who suffered from various side effects of estrogen deficiency.

Evening primrose oil is a very popular herb used to quell hot flashes. Evening primrose oil has long been used, sometimes in conjunction with other herbs, to remedy hot flashes by helping to restore balance in the body.

Evening primrose oil can, in some women who may be sensitive, produce unpleasant side effects , so just carefully read labels when you purchase anything.

Another herb that comes highly recommended for female hormone balance and hot flash symptoms is black cohosh. Black cohosh is another herb that has mild estrogen mimicking qualities, but again, this herb should be treated with caution as well, as it has been known to cause gastrointestinal issues for some sensitive individuals.

Other herbs that have these same mild estrogen qualities, and can also be taken are wild yam, fennel seed, and flax seed, the latter of which I personally like to use in cooking which is probably even better than buying it as a supplement.

It usually is recommended when you first start taking an herb, to start with small doses, to minimize any potential side effects and test the waters for any personal sensitivities to a particular herb before delving in head first.

With a little caution, and armed with some knowledge of herbs that you can seek which can help with hot flashes, many women have found that these herbs, or even combinations of these herbs has resulted in a very successful treatment for their hot flas

Danna Schneider is the founder of Menopause Symptom Relief and Herbal Remedies for Menopause where news and suggestions on new natural ways to combat menopause symptoms and hot flashes can be found. .

Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net