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How can Herbal Supplements help with Hot Flashes?

When that initial feeling of heat begins to build, you know what is coming next. The feeling may only last a few minutes, but it is intense and challenging to get through. Your mind begins to think you may actually burn up from the inside, and concentrating on anything is difficult. There is typically no warning of when they will start or how long they will last. You are constantly on guard, preparing yourself for the next one. Hopefully, you are not in a meeting or somewhere else that won’t allow you to strip off your outer layer of clothing or fan yourself to cool down.

The “they” we are referring to are hot flashes. Unless you have personally experienced one, it is not easy to understand the intensity surrounding their occurrence. For some people, hot flashes drastically alter their life. Sleeping is nearly impossible, workplace wardrobes are changed, and some fanning devices must always be within reach. Irritability sets in from lack of sleep and overall discomfort. Hot flashes are most often connected to women as they begin entering into a Menopausal state. Men may also be impacted if taking certain medications or undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy.  

How do I know which herbs to use?

1. Black CohoshReduces StressClears Heat

2. Cannabis Seeds

Clears HeatNourishes Yin
3. GinsengReduces StressSupports the entire body, acts as an adaptogen
4. Mulberry LeafDeficiency in blood drynessHelps support Yin
5. PassionflowerHelps with SleepCalming effect
6. PeppermintDisperses HeatOil is used to reduce hot flash intensity
7. Red CloverCooling helps with hot flashesCleans the blood, clears heat
8. Red Peony RootCools BloodReduces the level of heat in the blood
9. Sesame SeedDeficiency in blood drynessHelps support Yin
10. Valerian RootHelps with Sleep
A complex herb that can relax or stimulate

How often have you “pushed through” when you are overtired, sick, or have too much work to do? Each time you push through, you are depleting something from your body. Drinking coffee or taking other energy boosters is common. Without rest and rejuvenation, the blood and Yin become depleted. This is very common for women in particular. In addition, each month, some of their blood is lost during the menses period. This happens for decades, and during this time, the blood can become weakened. 

Herbal treatments have been proven by studies like this one completed on 60 women to cause a significant improvement in hot flashes. You may have heard reference to certain herbs like Black Cohosh, Valerian, or Evening Primrose Oil as treatments for hot flashes. These are good herbal remedies, but only scratch the surface of possible combinations that may benefit your body. Working with a TCM provider like those at Holistic Acupuncture will ensure you have the best blend of herbs for you.

How does TCM view Hot Flashes?

It’s easy to think that you need to put out the fire to decrease heat. While some TCM Herbal treatments focus on reducing heat, many focus on supporting the Yin. Since the imbalance is due to a decrease in the Yin energy, it is the main focus of treatment in TCM. Supporting and nourishing the Yin through herbal supplements will boost its cooling effects and allow the body to find balance again. Once the Yin and Yang energies return to balance, the hot flashes will become less severe and less frequent.

Which Herbs could help with Hot Flashes?

What are the causes of deficiency in Yin?

Chinese herbal medicine for hot flashes

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views hot flashes as an imbalance of Yin and Yang. Yin is the feminine aspect of energy and keeps the body cool and calm, while Yang is masculine and creates warmth and activity. A depletion of Kidney Yin is often associated with the imbalance that causes hot flashes. Since the Yin is depleted, heat takes over and results in various symptoms. Hot flashes are one of them. The Yin deficiency can also cause irritability, insomnia, and increased thirst. Treatments such as acupuncture and herbal supplements will support the Yin and cool the Yang to regain balance.

You may be tempted to grab a single herb from your local health store and try it to solve your hot flashes. However, it is best to visit with a practitioner who can evaluate you as an individual since each person’s body is different. They will work closely with you to determine your history and symptoms. Once they determine the areas you need to have addressed, they will recommend the best combination of herbal supplements to support you. Holistic Acupuncture can get you going with an evaluation and plan to get your hot flashes under control.