natural menopause

12. One of the most talked about symptoms associated with the menopause is hot flushes, aka hot flashes…

These can be light, brief ‘flashes’, or burning hot, drenching affairs…. They may happen through the day, and/or at night… they are unpredictable, which can be very inconvenient. There is a link between hot flushes/flashes and poor adrenal gland function… which could explain, certainly in part, why hot flushes are exacerbated by stress. So the more you can reduce your stress levels, the more likely you are to reduce the frequency and severity of your hot flushes.


Diet plays a part in everything, but there may be a particularly strong link between diet and hot flushes. Traditional Japanese women – not westernised Japanese women – do not have hot flushes associated with menopause, and this is thought to be due to high amounts of soy in their diet, and/or fish. Women from cultures where diets are rich in naturally grown fruits, vegetables and seeds do not suffer from menopausal symptoms in the same way that western women do. Although this may also be due to differing levels of stress experienced…..


There are the most amazing herbs that can help relieve hot flushes. They really can be so effective. One of them, which you can try yourself, is sage. Sage is an anti-hydrotic, which means it helps to temper excess sweating. In herbal medicine, we use a concentrated liquid extract. But drinking sage tea does wonders for some women. You can use either dried or fresh sage, typically about a heaped teaspoon for the former, a heaped tablespoon for the latter, per mug. It’s very important that you leave the tea to infuse, ie stand, for 10-15 minutes before straining and drinking, for full therapeutic benefit. Drink 3-4 cups a day, or make up a flask and sip through the day. If you’re having night sweats, make sure you have a cup just before bed. It won’t work for every woman, because we are all different and what works for one is not necessarily going to work for the next. I can’t stress this enough. There will be a herb, or combination of herbs, that works for you, though.


Hot flushes can also be caused, or exacerbated by, low blood sugar (aka hypoglycaemia). A simple way to overcome this is by having regular, small, carbohydrate-rich snacks through the day, such as:
Fruit & vegetables (particularly vegetables; fruit-wise, bananas and berries)
Rice cakes, oat cakes, rye bread, wholegrain bread
Peanut butter (w/o sugar)
Low-fat yoghurt (w/o sugar)
Nuts and seeds (low carb but rich in healthy fats & protein)
Energy bars (but read the label to ensure they’re low in sugar, as so many of them aren’t!)

General measures for coping with hot flushes include:
Avoiding tight clothing, especially around the neck. No polo necks…
Wearing layers of clothing to peel off when you feel your temperature rising
Trying to avoid stressful situations that might induce a hot flush
Taking regular exercise
Regular meditation – lots of evidence to support this.