Hot flushes and excessive sweating

Menopause is a normal biological process in a woman’s life, marking the natural transition between fertility and age-related non-fertility. Menopausal symptoms, in particular hot flushes and excessive sweating, can vary in their duration and severity and typically begin for women in their late 40s to early 50s, often leaving them hot and flustered.

Menopause, hot flushes and excessive sweating
Hot flushes and excessive sweating are caused by changing levels of hormones in the body, particularly declining oestrogen levels during the peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopausal phases.

  • Peri-menopause is the period of time, usually 4-10 years, before the onset of menopause that tends to affect women in their early 40s.
  • Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for at least one year and usually occurs anywhere from around 45–55 years of age. Menopause may be natural or artificially induced by surgical or pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Post-menopause follows the menopausal phase where the ovaries stop producing oestrogen although the adrenal glands and fat cells can produce small amounts.

As a woman approaches peri-menopause, declining oestrogen levels have a direct effect on the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that’s responsible for temperature control. Low levels of oestrogen trick the hypothalamus into believing the body is overheating. This triggers a cascade of biochemical processes to try and cool the body down by dilating blood vessels, resulting in hot flushes and excessive sweating.

Hot flushes and excessive sweating are the number one complaint for women experiencing menopause and are characterised by:

  • Sudden, intense feelings of heat in the face, neck and arms (these can often be followed by cold chills)
  • Spontaneous sweating

The frequency, duration and severity of hot flushes and excessive sweating varies greatly between women. Some women experience mild hot flushes and sweating every now and then, while other women experience severe hot flushes and excessive sweating all day and all night. Avoiding well-known triggers such as caffeine, alcohol, stress and excessive heat, can help to prevent hot flushes.

Our top 3 herbs for hot flushes and excessive sweating

1. Sage is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to decrease and relieve symptoms of menopause including hot flushes and excessive sweating. Sage contains tannins, which provide antihidrotic activity, helping to relieve hot flushes and excessive sweating associated with menopause Menopause Relief.

2. Zizyphus is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to decrease spontaneous sweating and relieve sleeplessness, and to calm and nourish the spirit.

3. Shatavari is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a female rejuvenating tonic that also decreases and relieve symptoms of menopause including hot flushes.

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