This condition affects women mostly, particularly in the late middle age during the time of menopause. However, hot flashes can affect men too. Hot flashes is a condition like fever, the person sweats profusely and the body is all heated up. It is an elevation of body temperature. It can be relieved to some extent by using home remedies. This is the major cause of night sweats. Hot flashes mainly occurs during sleep and causes profuse sweating.
The main condition is hot flashes. Night sweats is just a symptoms of this condition.
- The person suffers from profuse sweating.
- The body feels hot, sometimes too much to bear. Hot flashes usually occur in episodes.
- Ember flashes – After the main hot flash has passed, there can be longer ember flashes. In this, the body temperature is elevated slightly.
- Inability to sleep and discomfort.
- Flushing on the face.
- Irritability and difficulty in maintaining a healthy mood.
- This can go on for a few years.
It is believed that low estrogen levels is the main cause behind hot flashes. But, the true cause is not yet identified. Still, home remedies can provide great relief from this condition, and possibly keep a hot flash at bay.
Home remedies for hot flashes and night sweats. Most of these are ingredients that can found in the kitchen, so you may use them whenever the hot flash seems to come.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Drink a solution of ACV in water. Mix 1 part ACV in 4 parts water. Then drink this liquid. It helps to reduce the body temperature. ACV is also very healthy for the body. It helps to normalize gastric acid secretion, and thus calm heartburn. Avoid using white vinegar as a substitute as it can cause a spicy environment, which further raises body temperature.
2. Drink Green Tea
When suffering from a hot flash, drink a cup of soothing green tea. It may feel counter intuitive to drink warm tea when the body is warm as well. But it really helps with this condition and with overall health.
The best substitute for acupuncture is acupressure. And the best part is that acupressure can be done in the comfort of your home, virtually free. Performing acupressure can stimulate certain meridian points ( according to TCM ) and thus aid the body in lowering temperature. To perform acupressure, one needs to use the hands and have knowledge of the pressure points for a specific condition.
Perform acupressure at home for hot flashes relief.
- Acupressure Point 1 – This point is located in the sole of the feet. Move along the ball of your foot and press where the ball ends in the center of the foot.
- Acupressure point 2 – Move your thumbs and place on the ends of collar bone towards the neck side. Move down about an inch and you can find a depression. Press this point with the thumb.
- Acupressure point 3 – Align your thumb with the fingers like a Kung fu move. There is a crease between the index finger and the thumb. Press this crease at its end with the other thumb for about 1 minute.
These three acupressure points can be stimulated to provide some relief from hot flashes.
Take 1 tablespoon honey. It can reduce the discomfort, particularly at night. This can provide relief in night sweat. It alleviates dryness in the mouth and throat caused by excessive sweating and prevents a sore throat next morning.
Of the few things that aid our body in alleviating hot flashes, yoga seems to perform a reasonably good job. If you haven’t done Yoga before, it may take some time and effort to learn it, about 4 weeks. One can do a beginner level Yoga daily to keep the body healthy. For hot flashes, do these yoga poses daily.
- Standing Forward Bend ( Uttanasana ) – Stretches the muscles of the back.
- Warrior 2 ( Virabhadrasana ) – good for core strength and inner power.
- Side Angle Pose ( Parsvakonasana ) – excellent for flexibility and exercises the legs and flanks.
- Child Pose ( Balasana ) – stress relieving pose.
Doing these 3 poses can be quite helpful in alleviating the high temperature during a hot flash. It doesn’t work if you do the Yoga pose during a hot flash. It has to be done with regularity.
6. Eat cooling foods
Foods like cucumber, watermelon, bitter melon and even ice cream can help one to stay cool. They help the body to lower temperature naturally. Avoid eating things that heat up the body, like warm milk. This concept of heating and cooling foods comes from Traditional Chinese medicine. Here is a list of some foods that exert cooling effect on the body.
- Green tea (According to TCM, green tea is cooling )
- White radish
- Lavender ( use lavender flowers by the bedside to reduce sweating )
7. Evening Primrose oil
This oil is derived from the flowering plant, Evening Primrose. It is high in omega 6 fatty acids which helps women in this condition . It also helps to reduce stress. This study noted that menopausal women given 500 mg of evening primrose oil showed significant reduction in hot flashes and the way they interfere with their quality of life.
- Why does evening primrose oil work ?
It has been known to help with numerous women specific condition like PMS. It is also helpful in skin conditions like eczema. Evening primrose has some effect on the hormones, especially estrogen. That is why it alleviates some hormonal conditions. It is also strongly anti-inflammatory and reduces inflammation all over the body .
8. Avoid coffee
Caffeine in coffee can aggravate the symptoms of hot flashes. Does that mean one should completely avoid coffee ? Well, the number of cups of coffee that are good for health and do not lead to negative side effects varies from person to person. However, if you are going through hot flashes, try to drink much less coffee, or go for decaffeinated coffee.
9. Ice cubes
If the heat is excessive, use ice cubes to cool the skin. Rub ice cubes on some places or use ice compress to lower the temperature. If ice is too numbing, one can use cotton clothes dipped in cold water to lower the temperature. This is a commonplace remedy but it works well.
The practice of meditation helps one overcome stress and improve concentration . It is a way to clear up mental confusion and think more clearly. Hot flashes can be taxing on the body. One is unable to sleep at night and all that sweat is very discomforting. This leads to sleep deprivation, irritability and even mood swings. One can use meditation techniques to lower the after effects of hot flashes.
- Pranayama – This is the practice of rhythmic breathing which lowers stress and provides many health benefits.
- Tai Chi – Although a martial arts practice, it also involves meditation.
11. Eat Soy beans
Hot flashes are significantly less prevalent in Asian women. This is believed to be the effect of soy. This may be because soy contains Isoflavones which act as estrogen for the body. This way, it helps the body keep up the estrogen levels. However, soy has received extensive negative criticism for its side effects. So, one should only take soybean if it does not lead to harmful side effects. However, the negative effects of soy may be much lower if one goes for fermented soy foods, like Tempeh.
- Flaxseed Oil – Flaxseeds are extremely rich in lignans, which is a class of phyto-estrogens. These nutrients mimic the role of estrogen in body and as such is helpful for hot flashes. 
- Ginseng – This herb alleviates fatigue and can help in staying active. It is also believed to alleviate hot flashes. The popular Chinese herb Dong Quai is also used in this condition.
- Red Clove – This herb works even at low concentrations and reduces hot flashes. This effect is because of isoflavones in it.
- Black Cohosh – This herb is often connected with female health problems. It may help in reducing the occurrences of hot flashes, but it may have negative effects on the liver.
- Vitex Agnus-Castus, also known as Chasteberry. This is a herb which was used in Ancient Egyptian medicine and may be helpful in hot flashes.
2. Evening primrose oil. Medline Plus
3. Meditation: An Introduction. NCCAM
4. Hot flashes: Phenomenology, quality of life, and search for treatment options. Fredi Kronenberg
5. Phytoestrogen Supplements for the Treatment of Hot Flashes: The Isoflavone Clover Extract (ICE) StudyA Randomized Controlled Trial. Jeffrey A. Tice et. al.