Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Hot Flashes During Menopause
Hot flashes are a very common condition for those women who are menopausal. In fact, about 90% of menopausal women seek relief from their health care practitioners regarding how to manage the symptoms associated with menopause. Though some may recommend hormone therapy or other ways to keep cool, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a centuries’ long history of using acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies for hot flushes to help bring comfort to women who regularly experience these uncomfortable symptoms. Read on to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese herbs for hot flashes during menopause.
Chinese Medicine Perspective on Menopausal Hot Flashes
According to TCM, hot flashes and night sweats are caused due to a yin deficiency. Since the kidneys are responsible for aging and growth, kidney yin deficiency can lead to a decline in jing, or kidney essence. When yin declines, an excess of yang, which is associated with warmth, may result.
The liver can react in a similar manner. Liver yin deficiency is associated with an excess of liver yang. Though fertile women may have adequate liver yin, as women age and stop menstruating, the liver yin may become deficient as it is instead routed to the spleen. Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to bring balance to both yin and yang, nourish yin, and clear heat to help reduce the frequency of hot flashes.
Acupuncture for Hot Flashes
The centuries-old practice of acupuncture is regularly used in TCM to help a variety of ailments. It has been shown to both nourish yin and clear heat. A study out of the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark reviewed the results of performing acupuncture for hot flashes on 36 women suffering from hot flushes and night sweats. These women received four to five acupuncture treatments. Not only did these women experience a substantial reduction in their menopausal symptoms compared to those who did not receive any treatment with acupuncture, but they report no adverse side effects from the process.
Herbal Remedies for Hot Flushes
Like acupuncture, Chinese herbs are also effective in reducing hot flashes thanks to their ability to clear heat, nourish yin, and increase some hormone levels. For example:
- Black Cohosh: Black Cohosh, known by the scientific name actaea racemose, has been used by practitioners of TCM night sweats for ages to manage hot flashes in menopausal women. A 2010 study demonstrated that women struggling with hot flushes achieved a 26% reduction in their symptoms after taking Black Cohosh. This was more than double the relief that was reported by those women who were in the placebo group. This relief is due to the herb’s estrogenic When a woman reaches menopause, her body’s estrogen levels will begin to drop. Adding Black Cohosh may act as a natural form of hormone replacement therapy.
Some women have acheived relief from menopause symptoms when taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). However, SSRIs can have many unwanted side effects. Since Black Cohosh has a serotonergic effect on the central nervous system, that is yet another way it helps to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes. It can even act as a natural anti-inflammatory. A reduction in inflammation may mean a reduction of both hot flashes and night sweats. Read more about black cohosh for menopause here.
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- Dong Quai: Also called Dang Gui or angelica sinensis, Dong Quai has been proven effective in reducing hot flashes. Like Black Cohosh, Dong Quai can also act as a natural SSRI without adverse side effects which makes it one of the more helpful herbal remedies for hot flushes. Women who use SSRIs report fewer hot flushes compared to those who do not take them. It has also been proven to increase hormone levels. A study out of the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia showed that an herbal blend containing Dong Quai helped to increase progesterone levels from 10.9 nmol/L to 44.9 in a 43-year-old patient. However, Dong Quai may not be right for everyone. Women with hormone-sensitive cancers can experience side effects due to Dong Quai’s estrogenic Be sure to speak with a healthcare practitioner before using Dong Quai.
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Black Cohosh tablets by GinSen are formulated for perimenopause and menopause. This powerful herb reduces any imbalances in the hormone estrogen and provides relief from symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, cramps, vaginal dryness, and excessive sweating. By getting to the root cause, Black Cohosh tablets support transition through menopause, calms the mind and eases stress.
What to Avoid to Reduce Hot Flashes
Women who may be looking to achieve further relief from hot flashes should consider trying to avoid certain medications and heat-inducing foods while incorporating cooling foods. For example:
- Avoid aspirin: Taking aspirin may result in flushing as a side effect.
- Avoid opiates: Similar to aspirin, opiates have also been shown to lead to hot flashes.
- Avoid hot foods: Certain foods may bring heat to the body. To reduce menopausal symptoms, avoid food items such as hot chilies, coffee, and fried foods. Instead, incorporate cooling foods such as green tea, mung beans, and leafy green vegetables.
As women come to the end of their reproductive years, they may find themselves struggling with all of the side effects that come along with menopause. Hot flashes and night sweats are very common, but there is no need to suffer through them without help. Acupuncture for hot flashes is an effective treatment that will help to bring balance to kidney and liver yin. Incorporating herbs for hot flashes, such as Black Cohosh and Dong Quai, will also help to reduce flushing in menopausal women. Adding cooling foods such as green tea and leafy greens while eliminating fried foods is also good advice during menopause. Acupuncture and herbal remedies for hot flushes are both safe and effective treatments. If you are looking for drug-free, hormone-free relief from hot flashes, speak with a TCM practitioner to discuss your options.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with hot flashes, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.