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Month: July 2018

Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

Do Mother’s Natures Treatments Help Hot Flashes?

Black Cohosh

(Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) This herb has received quite a bit of scientific attention for its possible effects on hot flashes. Studies of its effectiveness in reducing hot flashes have produced mixed results. However, some women report that it has helped them. Recent research suggests that black cohosh does not act like estrogen, as once thought. This reduces concerns about its effect on the hormone-sensitive tissue (eg, uterus, breast). Black cohosh has had a good safety record over a number of years. There have been reports linking black cohosh to liver problems, and this connection continues to be studied.

Red Clover

(Trifolium pratense) In five controlled studies, no consistent or conclusive evidence was found that red clover leaf extract reduces hot flashes. As with black cohosh, however, some women claim that red clover has helped them. Studies report a few side effects and no serious health problems with use. But studies in animals have raised concerns that red clover might have harmful effects on hormone-sensitive tissue.

Dong Quai

(Angelica Sinensis) Dong Quai has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat gynecologic conditions for more than 1,200 years. Yet only one randomized clinical study of dong quai has been conducted to determine its effects on hot flashes, and this botanical therapy was not found to be useful in reducing them. Some experts on Chinese medicine point out that the preparation studied was not the same as they use in practice. Dong Quai should never be used by women with fibroids or blood-clotting problems such as hemophilia, or by women taking drugs that affect clotting such as warfarin (Coumadin) as bleeding complications can result.


(Panax ginseng or Panax quinquefolius) Research has shown that ginseng may help with some menopausal symptoms, such as mood symptoms and sleep disturbances, and with one’s overall sense of well-being. However, it has not been found to be helpful for hot flashes.


(Piper methysticum) Kava may decrease anxiety, but there is no evidence that it decreases hot flashes. It is important to note that kava has been associated with liver disease. The FDA has issued a warning to patients and providers about kava because of its potential to damage the liver. Because of this concern, Health Canada does not allow kava to be sold in Canada.

Evening Primrose Oil

(Oenothera biennis) This botanical is also promoted to relieve hot flashes. However, the only randomized, placebo-controlled study (in only 56 women) found no benefit over placebo (mock medication). Reported side effects include inflammation, problems with blood clotting and the immune system, nausea, and diarrhea. It has been shown to induce seizures in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotic medication. Evening primrose oil should not be used with anticoagulants or phenothiazines (a type of psychotherapeutic agent).

Use with Caution

Of course, as with all therapies, there are some risks involved. The public usually takes herbal therapies in the form of supplement pills, not as a preparation made directly from the herb by a trained herbalist. Keep in mind that herbal supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription drugs. The amount of herbal product, quality, safety, and purity may vary between brands or even between batches of the same brand. Herbal therapies may also interact with prescription drugs, resulting in dramatic changes in the effect of the botanical, the drug, or both. To be safe, tell your healthcare provider about all botanical therapies you are considering and always stop all herbal treatments at least 2 weeks before any planned surgery.


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11 of the Best Essential Oils For Detox

Everything from the polluted air we breathe to the additives in the foods we eat can introduce a plethora of toxins into our bodies. And, sometimes our immune systems can become overwhelmed. That is when toxins cling to the opportunity to settle into our bodies. Thankfully, there are things we can do to enhance our natural detoxification system, and there are even strategies (such as essential oils for detox) that we can implement to keep our immune system working efficiently!

The Importance of Detoxification

Research shows that the human body can easily process and eliminate a normal level of toxic exposure. But the real question is, what’s normal? We put so much junk into our bodies these days, intentionally and unintentionally, that even the healthiest people can be overwhelmed.

Toxins in all shapes and sizes are attacking our bodies on a daily basis. Defined as a foreign substance that leads to disease, they are nearly impossible to avoid. Fortunately, our immune systems are war machines when it comes to battling the toxins that plague our bodies.

11 of the Best Essential Oils for Detox

Citral-Containing Oils

The antioxidant capacity of essential oil compounds helps induce detoxification enzymes and is even known to prevent cancer in cell line models, research has shown. The compound citral is the perfect example because it can increase the activity of a key phase II detoxification enzyme known as glutathione-S-transferase, and researchers suggest it has a possible role in skin cancer prevention.

These four essential oils with the most citral have the potential to be the most detoxifying agents:6

1. Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citrata (90-98% citral)
2. Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus (75-85%)
3. Lemon Teatree – Leptospermum citratum from Australia (80%)
4. May Chang – Litsea cubeba (65-74%)

5. Lemon
Lemon is a natural go-to when the topic of detoxing with essential oils comes up. Not because of the extensive research done on the subject, but because of the popular lemon detox drinks consumers rave about in the health community. It may seem logical to assume that lemon essential oil is detoxifying because the juice is so powerful, but that is not necessarily the case. We need to remember that the chemical constituency of the lemon rind (which the oil is made from) and the oil itself are quite different from the juice.

6. Rosemary
As a known iron chelator, rosemary essential oil has been proven to protect DNA. In fact, rosemary outperformed other superstar health and detox essential oils oregano, sage, clove, and thyme, in one study.

7. Clove
Clove essential oil, another iron chelator, is arguably the most potent antioxidant available on earth. While researchers are still discovering just how powerful antioxidants are and how important they are to our health, they have known detoxifying agents.

8. Valerian Root
Yet another ferrous iron chelator is valerian root essential oil. Interestingly, research suggests that methanolic extract of Valeriana jatamansi possesses the best chelation activity (76%), whereas aqueous extracts (43%) and essential oil (31%) do not perform as well in clinical studies.12 However, this in no way means that valerian root essential oil is useless because 31% chelation is still powerful. It simply means that other non-oil forms can be just as effective.

9. Mint Family
While ginger mint extract stands out, several mint family oils have proven effects when it comes to detoxing iron. Most likely because of ginger mint’s antioxidant capacity. Assumptions can be made that the antioxidant capacity is linked to the principal chemical compound present in each essential oil.

10. Nees & Mart
Nees & Mart is a weed from the family Lamiaceae. It grows in places such as vacant lots and has been used in folklore medicine for treating cough, fatigue, pain, infections, and inflammation. Derived from the species Rhaphiodon echinus (Nees & Mart) Schauer, it is an essential oil with which you are probably not familiar. Nees & Mart contains significant antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, research studies on echinus have shown.

11. Myrrh
There is little doubt that stress wreaks havoc in our lives. Researchers continue to identify stress as an underlying cause of many illnesses and discomforts. That is why it comes as no shock that a powerful antioxidant could have so many benefits. One of the most powerful of all is Myrrh.


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11 of the Best Essential Oils For Detox