Hot flushes or flashes as the Americans term it is the flushing and sweating experienced by about 80% of women, usually at the onset of the menopause, although other alterations in hormones such as hysterectomy can bring on the condition. The intensity can vary greatly from an occasional reddening sensation right through to being woken up dripping wet.
The conventional treatment is through the use of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), however there is some doubt as to the long term effects of this treatment and also that with many women it is just putting of dealing with it.
Herbal and homeopathic treatments have a good record of helping women adjust to a new natural hormone balance in their system and quickly reduce the symptoms.
Herbal & homeopathic treatments to balance hormones
Many herbs are touted as the answer from Sage to Black Cohosh, and in fact Sage tea can have a very cooling effect if used at the first sign of symptoms. However we have found that a combination of herbs in tincture form is a more potent format that can be adjusted to suit the individual. Common herbs that are used are
- Agnus Castus, a recent scientific trial showing the good effect; Effect of Vitex agnus-castus on Menopausal Early Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo – Controlled Study; Zahra Abbaspoor, Naiiere Azam Hajikhani and Pourandokht Afshari. Conclusion: Despite some unimportant adverse events, this study showed that Vitex as a natural therapeutic agent is an effective treatment for the early vasomotor symptoms of postmenopausal women especially in women who have a contraindication to use of female hormones.
- Black Cohosh, has had a mixed press due to it also acting on the liver but the short term (usually three monthly) use for menopause treatment negates this problem. A 1987 double blind placebo controlled trial; Stoll W. Therapeutikon 1987; 1: 23-31, at the end of this twelve week treatment the patients recireving black cohosh had improved compared with both the placebo and those receiving oestrogen treatment
- Sage has a cooling effect on the body generally and although not effecting the hormones themselves an American trial Smith, CJ “Non-hormonal control of vaso-motor flushing in menopausal patients”, 1964: Chicago Medicine. Showed a 56% reduction in hot flushes when taken over an 8 week period.
This shows some of the proving’s for the usefulness of the herbs and a combination can be very effective, generally taking about 6 weeks to negate symptoms and a further month to six weeks to maintain the balance.
Homeopathy can also provide relief for those that prefer this therapy. These are taken to m atch the symptoms i.e. you reduce the frequency of the dose as symptoms improve, starting at I pillule four times a day for the first five days. Over the counter meds will be in 30c strength but a homeopath could prescribe more precisely for the individual.
Common remedies are , Belladona, Graphites, Pulsatilla and Sepia.
A recent research project in France published last year, (Efficacy of a Non-Hormonal Treatment, BRN-01, on Menopausal Hot Flashes; A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial: Jean-Claude Colau, Ste´phane Vincent, Philippe Marijnen and Franc¸ois-Andre´ Allaert ) used a combo remedy (BRN-01) sold in France and had the following conclusion: BRN-01 seemed to have a significant effect on the HFS, compared with placebo. According to the results of this clinical trial, BRN-01may be considered a new therapeutic option with a safe profile for hot flashes in menopausal women who do not want or are not able to take hormone replacement therapy or other recognized treatments for this indication.
BRN-01 consists of a low potency combination of Actaea, Arnica, Glonoinum, Lachesis and Sanguinaria.
It is recommended that for the best results a herbalist or homeopath should be consulted and all the remedies mentioned can be got at www.greenwaynaturalpharmacy.co.uk
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