Flushing. Flashing. Power surge. Night sweats. Personal summer. The lexicon for hot flashes is as varied as the women they affect. And while hot flashes are, without a doubt, the most troublesome symptom of menopause—and the most common menopause symptom to send women to their doctor’s office—they are by no means unavoidable.
What determines whether you experience this milestone of menopause lies partly in your weight (overweight women are more likely to experience hot flashes), your ancestry (African American and Latino women tend to have the most flashes, Asian women the least), and your diet and lifestyle (if you’re a yoga aficionada, you may be spared the worst; if you smoke, get ready to sweat).
We wish we could tell you exactly what causes hot flashes and exactly how to banish them. Unfortunately, even the experts in the field still haven’t figured out the underlying cause, although they do know that estrogen loss alone doesn’t fully explain them. But really, does it matter exactly why you’re flashing? All you really want to know is how to cool yourself. Turns out there are several natural options that go beyond hormones. Some are lifestyle changes, and some involve complementary and alternative medicine such as herbs, vitamins, and mind/body techniques. These 14 natural remedies will need weeks, not hours, to begin working, but over time they should help relieve your hot flashes.