Hot flushes are one of the great mysteries of the menopause. We can't be sure if it's high oestrogen, (because in the early part of the perimenopause period oestrogen rises) Low oestrogen (because, lets be honest oestrogen production does go down eventually.) Raised levels of follicle stimulating hormone, often regarded as THE marker of menopause, or the general imbalance that happens before your body stabilises. Whatever the cause what can be done about it?. 
Whatever the cause suddenly getting hot red and flustered or finding that you are pouring with sweat can all be very unpleasant indeed. And it's very important to know that there are things you can do to improve this. 
 
1. Keep the gut happy. Constipation makes hormone imbalance worse. If you have a slow gut try taking linseeds in your breakfast porridge and upping your soluble fibre. Lots of roughage won't help it's the wrong kind of fibre but thinks like psillium husk and plenty of green leafy vegetables will help. A word of warning though, too many raw cabbage family veggies can upset your thyroid. 
 
2. Reduce alcohol intake. Sad to say drinking alcohol makes hot flushes worse partly by challenging the liver but also by affecting circulation. Giving it up temporarily can make a big difference. 
 
3. Caffeine. Some people find that reducing caffeine makes a big difference. Give it a try. If it doesn't work after a month then caffeine isn't your problem. 
 
4. Sage reduces heat and is an oestrogenic herb. Make a tea with boiling water. Make sure its a closed vessel like a tea pot or a cup with a plate over the top. Let it cool and drink throughout the day and before bed. Many women find this is sufficient. 
 
5. Red clover. Another phyto oestrogen containing herb. This pea family herb contains plant oestrogens which bind to oestrogen receptors helping the body feel more "topped up" with oestrogen. It can be very effective and its relatively easy to find red clover tea in health food shops. 
 
When it comes to herbs they are only going to work if you use the right one. Often something doesn't work because it didn't address their own problem even though it worked for a freind-then of course they think that herbal medicine doesn't work. Go and see a herbalist who can do a medical history and find out what is at the root of your problems and then it will be much easier to solve them. 
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