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Hot flashes are temporary and frequent recurring disorders before and after menopause, with sudden heat waves in the body, often accompanied by redness and sweating. A classic hot flash is commonly associated with menopause. Conditions similar to or identical to hot flushes can be included in the symptom type of panic arrhythmias, poisonous tits, diabetes, carcinoids, carcinomas, intoxication, and more. If a woman of childbearing age takes drugs that lower the oestrogen levels, she may also suffer.
A hot flash is an unpredictable sensation of intense heat, usually associated with profuse sweating and increased heartbeats. The skin, especially that of the face and neck, may become reddish and warm to the touch. A hot flash suddenly occurs at the top of the body, starting from the face, neck or chest. Each episode lasts several minutes and at the end, sweating can leave the spot in shivers. Flushes may occur at night as night sweats, thus causing insomnia problems.
This article aims to help the reader to quickly identify the natural remedies useful in the treatment of hot flashes. For some remedies listed, this utility may not have been confirmed by sufficient experimental testing, conducted by scientific method. In addition, any natural remedy presents potential risks and contraindications.
What causes hot flashes
Hot flashes are the most typical symptom of menopause, when they are manifested by changes in hormone levels (curiously, though more rarely, the opposite situation may occur, i.e. cold-related menopausal attacks). In this case, they may occur occasionally or multiple times during the day and decrease as time passes. Men can also experience hot flashes in andropause, for a reduction in testosterone. For the same reason, boilers can occur in patients with prostate cancer or testes who undergo hormone-suppressive hormone therapy.
Heat flashes can also develop as a side effect of some drugs and, sometimes, as a symptom of serious infections. Other situations that favor this manifestation are panic attacks and women’s menstrual or premenstrual periods. In some cases, hot flashes are a symptom of a hypophysis, hypothalamus or thyroid problem due to their implications in body temperature control.
Possible causes of hot flashes are: panic attack, prostate cancer, hyperthyroidism, menopause, rosacea, tumor to the testes.
In menopausal women hot flashes are generally more intense at the face, neck and chest, where the skin may become reddened. They can be associated with an increase in heart rate and intense sweating followed by an equally intense cold. Their frequency ranges from random to random, usually lasting a few minutes and appear mostly at night. The exact cause has not yet been clarified, but it is thought that mainly menstrual hormonal changes and an increase in the sensitivity of the body temperature control system are thought to be involved, which becomes more sensitive to small variations. Fluctuations in hormonal levels may also be the basis for the hot flashes affecting men, in particular a reduction in testosterone and androgen associated with aging.
Both in women and men, however, the problem may be associated with actual pathologies, such as hyperthyroidism, but also prostate cancer, hypothalamus or pituitary gland. Heat flashes can also be triggered by antitumor treatments.
The pathologies that can be associated with heat flushes are as follows:
- Panic attack
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular tumor
Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it would be better to consult your own trusted physician if symptoms persist.
During premenopausal period, the ovaries stop ovulating regularly and this marks the beginning of changes in the menstrual cycle as well as the appearance of some symptoms such as heat flushes. The actual menopause begins in the forty-five and early fifties, when the ovaries cease to produce significant amounts of estrogen and progesterone, the menstrual cycle also ceases. The beginning of menopause is placed a year away from the last menstruation. Women’s reactions vary considerably: some accept change without any problems, others complain of disturbances such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, palpitations, mood swings, anxiety, depression. The decline and fluctuation of estrogen levels are responsible for all these physical and psychic changes defined in the overall “menopausal symptoms”.
Aside from the soybean plant, we have all but noticed. Special attention and attention have been given to recent studies on red clover, which is a concentrated source of phytoestrogenic compounds. The phytocomplex of the plant is in fact mainly characterized by isoflavonic substances, believed to be responsible for the pharmacological profile of the plant: formononetin and biocianine, genistein and daidzein. Biocannol A, in the body, is transformed into genistein which is one of the best known phytoestrogens at present, and formononetin in daidzein.
Numerous clinical trials carried out on thousands of women to evaluate the effectiveness of these natural therapies have been of international significance and have found room for the most prestigious medical and scientific journals, resulting in a positive effect both on symptoms and on the maintenance of bone density, and lowering cholesterol levels. Another important issue however of these studies was the inherent profile of toxicity and safety of these natural therapies. In the case of soy isoflavones, the latter, taken for years at an average dose of 80 mg / day, showed excellent tolerability and no side effects. Among the other plants used are Cimicifuga, virginian Hamamelis, Ginko biloba but the choice and closely related to the subject and you have complaints that complains.
The condition can be confused with fever, but the body temperature is not raised, however, the temperature of the skin increases. Body temperature during hot flashes is usually below 37C. Just before a hot flash, the body temperature may rise, but this happens so quickly that it cannot be measured with a thermometer or rectal thermometer, and the ear thermometer may give false values because of a facial hot flash.
A climax-like heat eruption starts up in the head and spreads into the feet, or is restricted to the upper body and rises to the face and throat. At the same time as the heat starts, the face usually starts to blow and the body sweats, and some get heartbreaks (with palpitations). The condition usually lasts for a few minutes, but individual may have a lot shorter (a few seconds) or much longer (several minutes) heat shrinks. The heat escalation is often accompanied by chills. Some people get nightly sweat attacks. Threats of heat can be recurring for several months, but a few women have recurring hot flashes for several years around menopause. They can return once a hour, once a week, or a few times throughout the menopause.
What causes the condition is not entirely clear, but endocrine appears to be due to the altered levels of estrogen (estrogen deficiency) during the climate stock, as well as altered activity on serotonin and norepinephrine. Neurologically, the heat shocks have to do with changes in thermoregulation via hypothalamus. The skin is hot and blushing due to vasodilation, and the neurological conditions can arise in response to this, a misunderstanding that the body temperature would be elevated when it actually increases the blood flow in the skin. The risk of heat loss increases due to smoking, obesity, underweight, sedentary lifestyle, early and rapid climax, and having breast cancer.
Remedies for hot flashes
At the end of the hot flash, the person begins to sweat or is hit by sudden chills of cold. To cope with the hot flashes, there are solutions, such as hormone cure (HRT), alpha 2-agonist drug intake, food containing foods containing phytoestrogens, vitamin C, vitamin E, and bioflavonoids. Try legumes, celery, flaxseed, royal jelly, red clover, vitex, valeriana, sage, mistletoe, hawthorn, chamomile, angelica, hop, ginseng, alchemilla, verbena, passion flower, persecuted tilia, pungitope. You will find descriptions of some of them below.
A high glucidic content gives legumes a good energy power. With the exception of soybeans (rich in precious polyunsaturates), legumes are poor in fat and are particularly indicated in hypolipid diets.
High fiber content makes them eaten and helps prevent conditions with pathological limitations such as mild dyslipidemia, diverticulitis of the colon, constipation, overweight or other pathological conditions such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and other dysmetabolic diseases, malignant tumors of the large intestine, and gallstones of the gallbladder.
Legumes are among the richest calcium-rich vegetable foods. Legumes are plastic foods with a protein content comparable to that of meat (although the biological value is generally less) Vitamin B1, Iron and potassium content is definitely appreciated; however, a certain amount of minerals is neutralized by the abundant presence of phytates, ‘antinutrizative’ substances that reduce their absorption
Legumes are economic and ‘solidal’ foods as they can be used instead of meat by saving natural and economic resources. In order to produce one pound of beef, we need about 16 pounds of wheat and soy; the energy consumed to produce it is ten times higher than that required to produce vegetable proteins.
The essential oil of celery, which constitutes a variable percentage of 2-3%, is characterized by many monoterpenes, including limonene and saliene. It cannot be forgotten the presence of coumarins, furocoumarins (apiumetina) phthalides (eg. seciunolide sedanedolifi, cnidilide, and, especially, 3-n-butylphthalide, (molecule which, as we shall see, plays a pivotal role in the prevention of high cholesterol) , flavonoids and alkaloids, albeit not completely identified. [from reasoned Dictionary of herbal medicine and herbal medicine, A. Bruni]
Initially, anti-hyperlipidic property of celery was disclosed, attributed to the 3-n-butylphthalide phthalide molecule: however, recently, although this ability has been confirmed, it has come to the conclusion that the molecule under consideration is not responsible for it. It seems that the celery yes acts as an excellent natural remedy to combat the deposition of excess lipid, but the action is responsible for the entire aqueous extract, not a single molecule. However, 3-n-butylphthalide is implicated in hypocolesterolemic and antihypertensive action of celery.
Celery probably plays a role – albeit marginal – at the central nervous system level: it is believed that celery consumption acts as a mild antidepressant and anxiolytic, but this hypothesis still leaves a shadow of perplexity among the researchers. Being rich in minerals, celery also acts as a great natural remineraliser.
The diuretic, aperitif and digestive properties of the plant have been known since times immemorial. Finally, celery juice is also used in the treatment of rheumatism, lung disease, kidney and liver failure calculations.
However, the richness of polyunsaturated fatty acids has the defect of amplifying conservation problems; Flaxseed oil, in fact, quickly eradicates and must be obtained by squeezing cold, since these fatty acids easily alter with high temperatures (for this reason it must always be used raw, never for fries or fried). Even crushed seeds should be used within a few days to avoid the above-mentioned irrationalization phenomena.
Oxidation, which would make this food unsuitable for dietetic use, is however exploited in the industrial field. In fact, if exposed to air, flax oil forms a solid brun mass, which is used in the preparation of paints and paints.
Flaxseed oil is generally marketed in small bottles (250 or 500 ml), has a reduced storage time and must be consumed within one month of opening. To protect it from light and heat it should be stored in well-sealed, opaque bottles and stored in a cool place (in the refrigerator after opening, with the cap closed). There are also flaxseed capsules or pearls on the market, however, providing a modest amount of essential fatty acids, unless several daily operations are consumed (equivalent to a dose of at least 3 grams per liter of flaxseed oil).
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
Black cohosh extracts are mainly used for the treatment of menopausal disorders, in particular the hot flashes. Thymicifus and triterpenic glycosides (in particular cimifugoside and acteina) contained therein are endogenous. For this reason, the use of this plant is useful in case of menopausal disturbances and menstrual disorders. More in detail, these triterpene glycosides are capable of suppressing luteinizing hormone secretion (or LH), whose levels are particularly high during the menopausal state. In addition, it appears that black cohosh is also able to exert a relaxing action against smooth muscle muscle.
Finally, from some animal studies, it has emerged that Actaea racemosa also has interesting analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and slightly hypotensive properties. Thanks to the estrogenic activity conferred by the triterpenic glycosides contained in the plant, Actaea can be a valuable remedy in case of menstrual and dysmenorrhea. For the treatment of the aforementioned disorders, the plant should be taken internally. Generally speaking, it is advisable to intake a quantity of hydrophobic extract of germicide corresponding to approximately 40 mg of drug.
As mentioned, thanks to the estrogenic action it is given and the ability to suppress luteinizing hormone secretion, cimeticifusion is a particularly useful remedy for the treatment of menopausal disorders and associated symptoms such as hot flashes, diaphoresis, mood disorders, difficulty concentrating, and agitation states.
Usually, if the powdered plant rhizomes are used; It is advisable to take about 40-200 mg of product per day. If, instead, mother tincture is used (drug / solvent ratio 1:10, using alcohol at 60% as extraction solvent) then it is advisable to take 0.4 to 2 ml of product per day.
Red clover flowers contain volatile oil, flavonoids, coumarin derivatives and cyanogenic glycosides. Among the flavonoids, isoflavones, natural phytoestrogens, are highly studied for their antioxidant and estrogenic effects. In red clover, four different isoflavones are contained: genistein, daidzein, formononetin and biochanin A (genistein precursor). Among the various isoflavones present in red clover, genistein has the highest antioxidant power (three times that of vitamin C) and plays a crucial role in inhibiting the growth of tumor cells.
Red clover phytoestrogens are advertised as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy but currently do not have satisfactory data on their effectiveness. These substances, transformed into the body in phytoestrogens, bind to receptors of physiological estrogens, acting from weak agonists or even antagonists.
Isoflavones contained in red clover have the following properties: antioxidant, antitumor, cholesterol-lowering, especially on LDL, antiatherogenic, direct anti-tumor against estrogen-dependent tumors, and indirect antiangiogenic (prevents the development of blood vessels that feed tumor cells), and antiosteoporotics (favoring bone mineralization).
Red clover has profound benefits for the therapy of menopausal symptoms. Scientifically speaking, the most significant evidence relates to the treatment of high cholesterol and menopausal hot flashes.
Red clover can be used in several ways:
- Dry form, after infusion, to get a hot drink of tea.
- Powder in the capsules.
- For external use, red clover is usually used as an ingredient in baths or wraps to be applied locally.
Red clover dose depends on various factors, such as age, health status, and other conditions. At present, there is insufficient scientific information to determine a suitable dosage for red clover. Keep in mind that ‘natural’ products are not necessarily safe as natural. You should make sure that you follow the directions on the product labels and consult your pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare professional before using them.
In nutritional quantities or suggested by supplementation companies, no known side effects are known. Following overdoses, red clover can cause resurfacing reactions, muscular pain, headache, nausea, vaginal bleeding (stains) in some women. In some animals a reproductive function compromise to sterility (for the ormonosymile action of isoflavones) has been observed.
In the form of supplement, red clover is not considered safe during pregnancy and lactation. External use is not warranted. Red clover could increase the likelihood of bleeding. In the case of hemorrhagic disorders, it is advisable to avoid large quantities and to use it with caution. In the case of breast cancer, uterus, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids, red clover could act as an estrogen, worsening the condition. In S protein deficiency: since this category of patients has greater chances of developing blood clots, it is feared that red clover phytoestrogens may increase this risk. Surgery: for the same reason just described, it is advisable to suspend the red clover at least 2 weeks before the operation.
Which drugs or foods can alter the effect of red clover?
There are a number of drugs that can interact moderately with the active ingredients of red clover:
- Estrogen-based contraceptives and estrogen-based hormone therapy (estradiol, ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel, ethinylestradiol and norethindrone, etc.).
- Medicines modified by the liver of cytochrome P450 1A2, P450 2C19, P450 2C9 and P450 3A4 (many).
- Medications that slow blood coagulation (anticoagulants / antiaggregants, such as aspirin, clopidogrel, diclofenac, ibuprofen, etc.).
Rarely, these substances have shown remarkable side effects but, before relying on red clover extracts to treat any disease, it is advisable to consult an expert’s opinion, especially if you are already undergoing therapies. Even when the desire to cure by using natural remedies is strong, it should not be forgotten that the abandonment of proven pharmacological therapy in favor of plant substitutes of doubtful clinical efficacy (such as isoflavones of red clover) is a behavior risky for their own health. The discourse changes when using these products for preventive purposes: considering the absence of side effects to the recommended doses and the potential therapeutic effect, they can be consumed with certain tranquility.
The German Commission recommends the use of vitex in menstrual anomalies, premenstrual syndrome and mastodynia relief.
Indications of vitex are: vasomotor disorders associated with menopause (heat-flashes), hyperprolactinaemia, menstrual cycle irregularities (amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, hypermenorreus, polymenorrhoea), premenstrual syndrome (with its psychic and somatic symptoms), breast mastalgia / mastodynia, often present in the days that signal the end of menstrual bleeding) and infertility. Vitex extracts can be used to normalize ovulation and menstruation after breaks caused by birth control pill.
The efficacy of vitex has been confirmed by several randomized clinical trials, particularly in the treatment of cycle disorders, especially mastodynia, and premenstrual syndrome. Particularly encouraging results have certainly contributed to its broad commercial success. However, we must not forget that despite many products that contain it can be purchased freely without prescription, vitex should always and in any case hired on the basis of medical-gynecological advice.
Vitex, due to its hormone-stimulating action, should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation; for the same reason it could interfere with oral contraceptives or with hormone replacement therapy, even if it is only a theoretical assumption and still to be fully evaluated. Another possible interaction is that with antagonists (drugs used for psychosis control) and dopamine agonists (medicines used for depression control and Parkinson’s disease therapy).
Although vitex may stimulate the onset of allergic reactions in predisposed individuals, it is a safe and well-tolerated drug. During the use, sporadic appearance of nausea, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual disorders, itching, urticaria, and exanthema have been reported; these effects, however slight and reversible after the suspension of treatment.
Mistletoe (Viscum album)
Although the mistletoe is considered to be a toxic plant, various properties are attributed to it. In particular, it is believed that this plant has antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulating and even anticancer activity.
The anti-parasitic action is mainly attributed to the flavonoids, lignans and amines contained therein, and appears to be exerted through the reduction of peripheral resistances. Despite this therapeutic use of the mistletoe has not been officially approved, it is not uncommon for this plant to fall into the composition of herbal preparations with indications for the treatment of mild hypertensive conditions.
However, if you are suffering from hypertension, before taking any type of remedy, it is always best to turn to your doctor and avoid self-therapy.
The anthraxal properties of mistletoe, on the other hand, constitute a topic that is still highly debated in the scientific sphere. In fact, some studies carried out in this regard state that mistletoe extract – in particular, the lectins contained therein – are able to exert antineoplastic action through different mechanisms, such as: stimulating the immune system of the patient by increasing production of T lymphocytes, increased activity of natural killer cells, and induction of apoptosis in malignant cells.
Other studies – conducted on patients with different types of cancer – claim that taking mistletoe extracts can improve the quality of life of cancer patients and may be helpful in decreasing the side effects caused by antitumor chemotherapy.
A recent (2014) study conducted in vitro on breast cancer cell lines has shown, however, that concomitant administration of doxorubicin and lectin extracted from the viscera gives rise to a remarkable synergistic effect, causing an inhibition of malignant cell growth Greater than inhibition given by the two individually administered molecules.
Conversely, other authors state that studies of the mitochondrial antineoplastic properties are not sufficient to confirm the actual therapeutic efficacy and some claim that the use of the mole in treating cancers could cause serious damage. However, in some European countries (such as Switzerland), mistletoe is used in preparations that are used as adjuvants in conventional anticancer therapy.
In popular medicine, mistletoe is used to treat various types of disorders. The mistletoe fruit is used as a tonic and expectorant remedy and is also used for the treatment of hot flashes, arteriosclerosis, internal bleeding, gout and epilepsy. At the mists of the mistletoe, however, traditional medicine attributes calming properties and therefore uses it in the treatment of anxiety, agitation and hyperexcitability. Other unapproved use of the mistletoe involves the use of the entire plant – generally within infusions – for the treatment of diarrhea, cough, asthma, amenorrhea, dizziness, nervousness and tachycardia associated with it.
Chinese medicine, on the other hand, uses mistletoe to treat joint pain, tendon pain, muscular and lumbar pain, as well as to use it as a remedy against vaginal bleeding in pregnancy and as a galactogue remedy.
Mistletoe also finds use in homeopathic medicine, where it can easily be found in the form of oral drops, granules and macerated glycerol. In this context, the plant is used for the treatment of dizziness, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias and as a remedy in the event of joint degeneration.
Mistletoe berries, if ingested, are able to cause vomiting and diarrhea until shock. Following oral administration of mistletoe preparations, side effects such as fever, headache, chills, orthostatic hypotension, bradycardia and angina pectoris may occur.
In addition, after taking high dose mistletoe preparations, midriasis or myosis, hallucinations, delusions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gastroenteritis may also occur. Following the use of parental kidney extract, however, there may be: mild body temperature increase, headache, inflammation at the injection site, enlargement of the lymph nodes, and allergic reactions that may occur in the form of itching, local or generalized urticaria, exanthema, multiforme erythema, angioedema, chills, dyspnoea, bronchospasm and shock.
Mistletoe berries are toxic and, if ingested, can give rise to poisoning and cause epileptic seizures, vomiting and diarrhea until shock. Avoid taking the mistletoe in case of hypersensitivity to one or more components.
In addition, the use of the mists is also contraindicated in patients with chronic and progressive infections (such as tuberculosis or AIDS), hyperthyroidism, spinal cord tumors, intracranial tumors, and central nervous system tumors.
Finally, the use of mistletoe is also contraindicated during pregnancy (since the plant is believed to be abortive) and during lactation.
Mistletoe and its preparations may interfere with the activity of drugs such as anticoagulants, immunosuppressant, antidepressants. Some of the negative effects caused by mistletoe are attributed to the lectines contained therein. In fact, these molecules cause red blood cell agglutination, especially after prolonged use. For this reason and for the toxicity of this plant, before using mistletoe preparations, it is always best to contact your doctor.
Hawthorn is widely used in the treatment of various types of cardiovascular disorders due to the antipertensive and cototropic and inotropic properties of which it is endowed. More in detail, these properties are attributable to proantocandidines contained in the same plant. In fact, these molecules seem to act by increasing the permeability of calcium ion membrane membranes and increasing intracellular AMP cyclic concentrations. All this results in a reduction in the spasm of the coronary arteries, increased flow and myocardial contractility and a reduction in peripheral vascular resistance. While, at high doses, proanthocyanidins seem to have a sedative effect.
The flavonoids contained in the hawthorn, on the other hand, are able to exert an antioxidant action and inhibit platelet aggregation, as well as have proven to possess some antimicrobial, antiviral and cytotoxic activity as well.
However, the use of hawthorn has been officially approved for the treatment of those mild cardiovascular disorders (class II of the NYHA classification, New York Heart Association) characterized by a reduction in cardiac output. As stated above, hawthorn may be used in the treatment of mild cardiovascular disorders associated with decreased heart rate due to the cronotropic and inotropic positive properties exercised by the proanthocyanidins contained therein.
When hawthorn is used as an extract (solvent: 45% v / v ethanol), it is generally advised to take 160-900 mg of product per day to be administered in fractional doses. The duration of treatment should not exceed six weeks. N.B.: When hawthorn is used for therapeutic purposes, it is essential to use defined and standardized active ingredients (proanthocyanidins or flavonoids) since only then can you know the exact amount of pharmacologically active substances you are taking.
When using hawthorn preparations, the doses of the product to be taken may vary depending on the amount of active substance contained. This quantity is usually reported directly by the manufacturer on the package or on the package leaflet of the same product, so it is very important to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. In any case, before taking any kind of preparation containing hawthorn for therapeutic purposes, it is best to contact your doctor beforehand.
The effects of hawthorn on the heart are also known in popular medicine, which uses it to treat hypertension, heart ischemia and arrhythmias, as well as cardiotonic and sedative remedy, but not only. Indeed, hawthorn is also used to reduce inflammation, to decrease capillary fragility and to prevent degradation of collagen at the articular level (these activities attributed to hawthorn are most likely to be attributed to the flavonoids contained therein). Hawthorn is also used in the homeopathic field, with indications for the treatment of heart failure, arrhythmias, palpitations and angina pectoris, as well as being used as a remedy against anxiety and stress sensations.
Hawthorn applications for the treatment of the aforesaid disorders are neither approved nor supported by the appropriate experimental tests, or have not exceeded them. For this reason, they may be without therapeutic efficacy or even be harmful to health. In some cases, side effects such as palpitations, tachycardia, dizziness, headache, hot flashes, dyspnoea, gastrointestinal disorders and flatulence may occur.
The use of hawthorn is contraindicated in the case of known hypersensitivity to the herb, during pregnancy, during lactation and in children under 12 years of age.
Hawthorn can interfere with the activity of:
- Platelet antibodies, as it may increase the risk of bleeding.
- Cardiogenic glycosides, because the hawthorn can increase its activity.
- Antiarrhythmic, as this plant exposes its effects with a mechanism of action that can be attributed to class III antiarrhythmics.
The use of hawthorn for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders should be made with the doctor’s advice and under strict control of the doctor. In fact, it is good that your doctor regularly monitors the heart rate and arterial pressure of patients undergoing treatment. If at the end of a six-week treatment there is no change, or if you experience lower limb edema or chest pain, contact your doctor immediately.
Hop are attributed to sedative properties that are used in phytotherapy to counteract anxiety, restlessness, nervous excitement and insomnia. These activities have been confirmed by several clinical trials, so that the use of the plant for the treatment of these disorders has been officially approved. The leaders of the sedative action exerted by hop appear to be lupulone and umulone, more precisely the products resulting from their oxidation, among which there is the 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol.
Hop have also been explored for potential antitumor activity that seems to be exerted by the phytoestrogens contained within it. In fact, a study on this has claimed that hop can inhibit the growth of cancer cells through the estrogenic effect exerted by the phytoestrogens present within the same plant. However, another in vitro study has shown that flavonoids – particularly xanthumol – are able to exert anti-proliferative action against malignant breast, ovarian and colon cancer cells.
Another study, still conducted in vitro, has, however, shown that hop is able to inhibit the development of malignant cells of acute monoblastic leukemia. However, despite the results obtained, the above-mentioned hop medicine applications have not been approved since further and more thorough studies are needed.
Thanks to the sedative action exerted by hop and its abundance, hop can be used as a remedy for the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, agitation and insomnia, including that brought by nocturnal hot flashes.
For the treatment of the aforementioned conditions, hop is taken internally in the form of liquid, mother tincture or other oral preparations. When using the 1: 1 hop liquid extract (using ethanol at 45% as extraction solvent), the usual recommended dose is about 0.5 to 2 ml of product. When, on the other hand, mother tincture (drug / solvent ratio 1:5, using ethanol at 60% as extraction solvent) is used, the usual recommended dose is about 1-2 ml of product.
When hop is used for therapeutic purposes, it is essential to use defined and standardized preparations in active ingredients since only then can you know the exact amount of pharmacologically active substances you are taking.
When using hop preparations, the doses of the product to be taken may vary depending on the amount of active substances contained. This quantity is usually reported directly by the manufacturer on the package or on the package leaflet of the same product, so it is very important to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. In any case, before engaging any kind of hop preparation for therapeutic purposes, it is best to contact your doctor beforehand.
In popular medicine, hop is used internally for the treatment of inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, neuropathic pain and priapism; while it is used externally to treat ulcers and skin abrasions. Other unapproved hop uses include internal intake as a stomach remedy to stimulate appetite and secretion of gastric juices, so to aid digestive processes. Hop is also exploited by homeopathic medicine, where it is used as a remedy against shaking, insomnia and sperm.
Generally, hop homeopathic remedy can easily be found in the form of granules. The dose of remedy to be taken may differ from one individual to another, depending also on the type of homeopathic dilution that is intended to be used.
Hop applications for the treatment of the aforementioned disorders are neither approved nor supported by the appropriate experimental tests or have not passed them. For this reason, they may be without therapeutic efficacy or even be harmful to health.
Excessive use of hop – especially if extended for long periods – can cause side effects such as dizziness and cognitive changes. In addition, hop may cause allergic reactions, even severe, in sensitive individuals.
Among the constituents there are phytoestrogens, including 8-prenylnaringenin, but there is no data on its use in menopausal disorders, nor are standardized hippopotrole extract in phytoestrogens.
Hop is contraindicated in patients with depression and during pregnancy. Finally, some authors claim that the use of hop is contraindicated in women with estrogen-dependent breast cancer (due to the phytoestrogens in the plant).
- Possible interaction with psychopharmaceuticals and with alcohol for the sedative effect;
- Hormonal therapies: possible interaction with the estrogenic effect;
- Hop interacts with barbiturates by increasing the sleep time.
Butcher’s-broom (Ruscus aculeatus)
Butcher’s-broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a perennial shrub-like plant growing spontaneously in the forests and undergrowths of all Europe. The drug is made of rhizome (a robust and branched underground stem) and is particularly well known in the cosmetic field for its diuretic, anti-eremic, vasoconstrictive, anti-inflammatory and vasoprotective properties. For these reasons, butcher’s-broom finds ample room for drainage products and for the treatment of cellulite, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
The main components responsible for the above properties are two steroid saponins, known as ruscogenin and neururuscogenin, and various flavonoids (such as routine or ruthoside). These substances carry out their activity by increasing the capillary wall resistance and normalizing its permeability; this results in less leakage of liquids and a reduction in bleeding symptoms.
Butcher’s-broom is appreciated in venous insufficiency therapy, as it favors the return of blood from the periphery to the heart; this effect is also useful in the presence of edema, hence the use in drainage products, against tired, heavy and swollen legs.
Ruscus is often advised to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease, such as itching and burning, and in the presence of anal and anal fissures.
On the market, lyophilized extracts of Ruscus aculeatus or its rhizomes are easily available (improperly called ‘brown root’ and suitable for decoction). The dry extract is generally marketed in the form of particles or drops and is widely used also in the preparation of gel and ointment dedicated to treating the disorders and conditions listed above. To this end it is commonly added to other ingredients with which share the same phytotherapeutic properties (Asian centella, hippocastan, red vine, blueberry, acerola, ginko biloba) and vitamins (C, E). The recommended dosage for preparations to be taken orally is around 100-150 mg / day (providing an average of 7 to 15 mg of ruscogenin).
Phytoestrogens as a natural remedy for menopausal hot flashes
During menopause, the ovaries cease to produce estrogen and this causes a decrease in the hormones released in the body, the cause that most affects the many changes and disorders that manifest themselves in the female body during this period. An excellent treatment to replace hormones that decrease in menopause is given by phytoestrogens or vegetable substances similar to female hormones that compensate for the lowering of naturally occurring estrogens. This treatment also has no side effects and the risks of substitution hormone proposed by traditional medicine.
Phytoestrogens are found in high concentration and excellent quality in preparations of soy and red clover a complete and extremely effective product. Chose those made with the a holistically balanced technique, and therefore on non-alcoholic basis, which compensates for the lowering of typical hormones of menopause.
In a particular period such as menopausal women, the female body is in turmoil and this can lead to a feeling of malaise caused by the fluid that is retained and the inflammation that can occur. To reduce the feeling of heaviness and swelling caused by water retention and generic inflammation, good help can be ginkgo biloba and red vine, natural elements that stimulate microcirculation, strengthening the capillary endothelium and fluidize the blood for a good draining effect and anti-inflammatory, useful in counteracting water retention.
To counter inflammation and water retention, you can use a natural preparation based on angelica, melissa, agnocasto and hawthorn, natural extracts that favor sleep; ginkgo and red vine which have an excellent draining and anti-erogenous effect to counteract water retention. Hot flashes caused by estrogen deficiency can also be controlled by such phytoestrogens as wakame algae, which, by means of fucoxanthin, breaks down the “white fat” accumulated above all abdominal. It contains substances that accelerate metabolism and thermogenesis such as green tea, coleus forskholii, piper longum, which also has the ability to make more active the other substances with which it is taken, and orthosyphon that has a diuretic action, draining and slightly anti-inflammatory, useful to combat water retention associated with hot flashes.
Essential oils for hot flashes and other herbal remedies
“Linum usitatissimum” is the name of the plant – belonging to the Linaceae family, of which there are 20 species – that gives these precious oleaginous seeds that can be defined, in all respects, the seeds of health because of their many beneficial nutritional properties for the body, even in spite of their small size: so it is important to consume them regularly and put them into your diet. The earliest cultivations of this plant seem to have been located in Ethiopia and Egypt, already over 6,000 years ago for, then, to reach our continent in the pre-Roman period. Here are some useful tips and information on flax seeds.
Flaxseed consumption is indicated during menopause: they can be successfully employed not only to address the problem of hot flashes, but also to prevent osteoporosis and other bone disorders. Flaxseeds reinforce the immune system and contribute to the purification of the body, as well as help to prevent breast, prostate and colon cancer due to the antitumor properties present thanks to their being high on lignans that act as a natural estrogen. This precious food also fights wrinkles, hair loss, aging, intolerance, hemorrhoids, abscesses, throat inflammation and rheumatic pain.
Assuming flaxseed on a daily basis, we help the body to purify, but we also help the body thanks to the presence of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, whose flax seeds are rich: their intake allows us to Balance their proper contribution to our diet; Omega 6 is much more present in various foods than the rarer Omega 3. Flaxseed is therefore an indispensable help, especially for those who are vegetarian or vegan: they are, in fact, considered – as well as their derivatives, flaxseed oil and flaxseed flour – one of the most valuable vegetable sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Eat a handful of ground linseed a day to instantly ensure the body’s daily needs for these fatty acids, thus addressing the problem of hot flashes.
How to use them:
Flaxseed - according to the opinion of nutritionists - should not be taken as whole, as our body would not be able to digest them in this form. To benefit from the properties of flaxseed, it is advisable to chop them and smudge them immediately before ingesting them. In doing so, the body will be able to assimilate the precious nutrients present without them dispersed. Regarding the amount of flax seed to be eaten daily, it is advisable to take from 3 to 6 teaspoons of flaxseed per day. Flax seeds should not be eaten boiled, but it is necessary to take them raw, as heat and cooking alter their properties. Alternatively, use flaxseed oil for dressing, or take 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil if your palate is not averse to it.
Evening primrose (Primula veris or officinalis) is a plant of the Primulaceae family. Note for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties, it is useful against insomnia and headache. Primrose flowers are rich in triterpenic saponins (5-10%); The most important is the primulus, and as infusions are effective remedies in the treatment of insomnia and headache. The roots of the plant contain two phenolic ethers, derived from salicylic acid, primrose and primulone, which are transformed by hydrolysis into salicylic acid derivatives whose analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic virtues are well-known: in fact, they are the same virtues which characterize aspirin. Its intake is indicated to calm the rheumatic pain and the treatment of gout caused by the presence of uric acid, to relieve edema or swelling at the extremities, and to reabsorb the hematomas. In addition, primrose has expectorant and mucolytic properties. In form of decoction, it finds use in the treatment of insomnia caused by night-time hot flashes.
Evening primrose oil is a natural tonic for women’s reproductive health. In this case, the oil can be used regularly to produce estrogen and fresh to the skin. Since the oil contains quite a lot of gamma linolenic acid, it can help you to fall asleep quickly and sleep the livelong night.
How to use it:
Decoction: Take 1 tablespoon of evening primrose root and 1 cup of water. Pour the crushed root into cold water, turn on the heat and bring it to a boil. Boil for a few minutes and turn off the fire. Cover and leave in infusion for 10 min. Filter the infusion and drink it in full stomach against cough, colds and joint pain.
Syrup: 4 teaspoons of primrose root, 1l of water, 300 g of sugar. Place the root in cold water and bring to boiling. Boil for 5 minutes, after this period, turn off the fire and leave for 10 minutes in infusion, then filter. Take freshly filtered water, add the sugar and bring to boil again until the liquid has thickened, then let it cool and bottleneck. Take before bedtime.
Essential oil: Pour a few drops in a glass of warm water and drink before bedtime. Use a small amount to imbibe the skin. Focus on areas that sweat a lot.
Spices from your pantry
Herbs and spices have been shown to contain a lot of isoflavones – a type of phytoestrogen that reduces hot flashes. A precious role in menopausal diet is played by phytoestrogens. These are substances considered true “plant estrogens”, which are effective in counteracting the menopausal disturbances (heat flushes, wrinkles, dryness of the mucous membranes, skin and hair fragility …). In addition, phytoestrogens (isoflavones, lignans, and cumestans) appear to have a protective action against some neoplasms (breast, endometrium, ovary). Phytoestrogens also decrease cardiovascular risk and help to prevent osteoporosis and bone fragility.
How to use them:
Take 1 teaspoon of cloves and 250 ml of water. Boil the water and add the spicy cloves. Let it sit for several minutes and drink twice daily.
The virtues of honey are decidedly inestimable. Several scientific studies have proved that it could be beneficial to fight against the inconveniences of the menopause. By combining clover honey with certain essential oils, it is possible to fight more effectively against the discomforts of menopause such as hot flashes. Before taking any of these mixtures, make sure not to have any contraindications, such as a history of hormone-dependent cancers. It is best to discuss this with your doctor.
How to use it:
Take 1 teaspoon clover honey, 1 drop of essential oil of sage, 1 drop of essential oil of green anise, 1 drop of essential oil of niaouli. These oils mimic the effects of estrogens (sage, green anise) that the body stops producing, and hormones (niaouli), which decrease with menopause causing hot flashes.
Another recipe is based on the following ingredients: 2 teaspoons clover honey, 2 drops of cypress essential oil, 2 drops of peppermint essential oil. The properties of mint and cypress make it possible to fight hot flashes.
Apple cider vinegar
As a cure, cider vinegar can relieve those problems associated with menopause. If you sweat excessively during hot flashes, think apple cider vinegar, a natural product that helps curb the symptoms.
How to use it:
Every night before going to bed, take a shower paying special attention to the armpit area; use soapy water so as to remove any trace of body fat, and thus facilitate the absorption of apple cider vinegar. Wipe washed and dried armpits with a piece of cotton soaked with cider vinegar. Make sure you work the entire area so that it feels well moistened. The next day it will suffice to do as usual after the shower, a little deodorant, the vinegar will help keep your pores tighter. Apply the same method as above for the face, avoiding the periphery of the eyes.
If your hot flashes affect hands, wash them with soap to remove any body fat and soak your hands in a bowl filled with vinegar for five to ten minutes. Then wash and rinse your hands afterwards. You can apply this method several times a day, but be careful not to cause irritation. If pure vinegar burns you too much hands opt for a mixture of water and cider vinegar in equal proportions.
Apple cider vinegar can also be used internally to regulate hot flashes from within. Dissolve 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water and sip on it before bedtime to feel relief from nocturnal hot flashes and excessive sweating.
Sage has many properties that can bring many benefits. The herb is rich in various acids, enzymes, vitamins B1 and C, flavonoids and estrogen substances. The presence of tannins in sage infusion effectively stimulates the production of estrogens, so the use of this decoction is beneficial to counteract the early symptoms of menopause. Sage is used to remedy painful menstrual syndromes and menopausal disorders, such as hot flashes. A study has shown that by introducing into the daily diet of menopausal woman’s sage leaves for a period of 4 to 8 months, the intensity of the flushes can be reduced by 50%. By acting on the nervous system, sage and its preparations are also able to reduce the anxiety, stress and depression that may occur when menopause arrives.
However, it is important to be aware of the contraindications, because it is also known to be a neurotoxic toxic reaction caused by the use of essential oil in high doses. In general, we can say that the plant can stimulate the body.
How to use it:
Sage infusion can be prepared with both fresh and dry leaves. In the case of dried leaves, these are more concentrated, so the dose should be reduced: so if you use fresh leaves you will use for each cup of 8 to 10 well-washed and private stems, in case of dry leaves it will suffice a tablespoon, corresponding to the contents of a tea bag.
In both cases, for preparing sage decoction, proceed as follows: pour water in a pan and bring it to boil. As soon as the water reaches the boiling temperature, pour it over your leaflets which you placed in a ceramic cup. At this point, wait 3 to 5 minutes for leaves to macerate perfectly. If you prefer a more intense flavor, increase the infusion time up to 7/8 minutes, using honey or lemon juice to sweeten your herbal tea. This drink, just like any other tea, can be consumed warm, lukewarm, and even cool without too much damage to its taste.
Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile essential oil is relaxing and anti-inflammatory, it can be used to counter nervousness or anxiety, red or chapped skin, but also to help the sleep of young and old. But remember to use chamomile oil sparingly, this is a very potent essence.
How to use it:
Chamomile essential oil can be aromatherapy massage useful for various purposes. For cracked, reddened or couperose skin, but also for muscular and rheumatic pains or to fight premenstrual syndrome: one or two drops of chamomile diluted in the middle or a spoonful of vegetable oil (depending on the size of the area to be treated).. Massage the oil elaborately and deeply into the the skin, paying special attention to the areas that suffer the most during the onset of hot flashes. Make sure that the oil gets absorbed well.
Clover is a natural phytoestrogen, useful for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, preventing osteoporosis and countering free radicals. Clover is the most powerful natural phytoestrogen. In fact, clover is the best source of plant hormones (phytohormones), in particular estrogens, which are effective in slowing down the aging of the skin and mucous membranes. Clover has the following properties: due to the rich presence of isoflavones is an excellent remedy for menopausal disorders. Isoflavones are water soluble and act like estrogens, so they are used in menopausal treatments and associated disorders such as hot flashes, nervousness and even post-menopausal depression.
How to use it:
Clover can be taken with both prescription and without prescription. To give relief from menopausal hot flashes, medicinal clover is recommended. A cup of clover tea infused according to the basic recipe corresponds to 40-80 mg of isoflavones.
There is not enough information to recommend a safe and effective dose of clover for any other condition (if not for the treatment of menopausal symptoms). Recommended dosage in the form of powder is usually 1000-3000 mg per day.
Various pharmacological and clinical studies indicate clover as a safe plant: no toxicity and significant side effects are reported, even for long-term treatments. However, clover is not recommended for pregnant women and conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast, ovarian or uterine cancers. They should not take clover because of possible estrogenic effects. Clover intake is not recommended for men in the case of prostate cancer, unless the doctor advises to use it. There is little information available about how clover could affect a newborn or a small child, so its use is not recommended during breastfeeding or early childhood.
The extract obtained from raspberries acts on the female hormonal apparatus. It is, in fact, a regulator of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-gonadal axis and ovarian secretion, and is used in all women’s sexual spurs, in anorexia, i.e. lack of menstruation, and irregularities in the menstrual cycle of pre –menopause. And for all the disorders that accompany the menopause period, such as flushing, mood swings and depression. Its intake is also indicated in anxiety, nervousness, because it re-equilibrates the neurovegetative system.
Cranberry extract obtained from young red cranberries is an anti-inflammatory, astringent action useful in case of osteoporosis arthritis. It also finds use in the healing of tissues, such as benign tumors, fibroids, and ovarian hyperalgesia. It helps ovarian function and is therefore indicated in the dysfunction of these organs in premenopausal.
Fig extract obtained from fig berries is particularly suitable for psychosomatic disorders involving the gastrointestinal system in neurovegetative distonies, because it re-equilibrates the function of pituitary, epiphyses and hypothalamus. It is successfully used against hot flashes, in the event of tachycardia and palpitations due to nervous tension and stress.
In lieu of a prologue
For best results, keep in mind that you really need to eat well and increase the intake of calcium, potassium, and vitamins D and E. Also try to wear cotton or linen clothes when you sleep.