Women's Health

How Can I Tame Hot Flashes Naturally?: Health Advice for Women Over 40

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We all have hot flashes and it seems there’s always someone telling us how to manage them — whether it be cooling ourselves down via a fan or sucking on ice. Some of the advice is either absurd, silly, or doesn’t work. However, we desperately need relief.

That’s why we put a reader’s question about hot flashes to an expert. Here, Barbara DePree, MD, tells you how to tame hot flashes naturally.

Q: I’ve been using black cohosh for almost a year to control my hot flashes. It’s been a lifesaver, but it suddenly stopped working. Is there another natural remedy I can try?

A: Yes! While black cohosh effectively relieves hot flashes for many women, research shows that relief begins to wane after six to 12 months.

For my patients seeking non-hormonal treatment, I suggest over-the-counter Swedish pollen flower extract, which helps restore the body’s natural temperature regulating mechanism — without side effects. Researchers credit the antioxidant properties of the pollen for the benefits. One to try: Relizen (Buy a single box from HelloBonafide.com, $55). In a survey of more than 400 women who used it, the frequency and severity of hot f lashes were reduced by 75 percent after three months.

Also smart: Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which can cause hot flashes, and aim to walk for 20 minutes a day to ward off stress — another hot-flash trigger.

Put FIRST to work for you!

Barbara DePree, MD, is a gynecologist in private practice and director of Women’s Midlife Services at Michigan’s Holland Hospital. A Certified Menopause Practitioner, she is the founder of MiddlesexMD.com, an educational resource for women’s sexual health in perimenopause and beyond. To ask her a question, send an email to health@firstforwomen.com.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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