While looking for treatment methods, you may have found that low doses of antidepressants such as Effexor XR, Paxil, Prozac, and medications such as Neurontin (an anti-seizure medication) and Kapvay (a medication that lowers high blood pressure) can help alleviate hot flashes.
However, if you would prefer to go the natural route, using apple cider vinegar for hot flashes is an option (1).
Most women experience hot flashes to some degree as estrogen production decreases significantly after menopause.
In fact, about three-fourths of women in perimenopause or menopause in the United States report having hot flashes. This makes hot flashes the most common symptom of the transition to menopause (1).
For some women, these temporary but recurring episodes of redness, warmth, and heat are no big thing. For others, hot flashes are very intense, and more than a minor nuisance.
While there are some instant relief alternative practices that can help these sudden waves of warmth can be annoying and embarrassing or even downright debilitating.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually possible for you to have a full-blown hot flash that’s not related to menopause. Healthy women or men can experience a hot flash at any age.
Hot flashes can strike at any time and for a lot of different reasons. The heatwave can be accompanied by symptoms like heart palpitations, reddening of the skin, or the chills.
And if the case is that you’re having them often, chances are you don’t want to have to take hormones like estrogen to ease their effects because those can lead to some other serious conditions (breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and more). Natural remedies like apple cider vinegar for hot flashes is a great start.
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits and is really great at tackling hot flases. For one, it’s a natural antioxidant packed with enzymes and ‘friendly’ bacteria, so it flushes out your body’s toxins and helps maintain your body’s natural functions such as your digestive system.
Apple cider vinegar enemas have been long used as an instant alternative treatment to help people feel cleaner, leaner, and less bloated.
In the case of menopause apple cider vinegar may help decrease the frequency and severity of hot flashes because its antioxidants may draw toxins out of the body.
In addition, apple cider vinegar has alkaline properties that may help balance your hormones. Some theories suggest that apple cider vinegar may help your body produce hormones, including estrogen, which may, in turn, offer menopause symptom relief.
Overall Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Can help kill harmful bacteria
- Helps lower blood sugar levels and help with the management of diabetes
- Helps with weight loss
- May lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and help heart health
- Can help skin health
Types of Hot Flashes
A standard hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.
Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat.
When they happen while you sleep, they’re called night sweats. They can wake you up and may make it hard to get enough rest.
While a hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in your face and neck.
Sometimes, flashes are mild, causing just a slight feeling of warmth. Others may leave you looking like you just stepped out of a Bikram yoga class.
Night sweats come in the same range. You may sleep through some night sweats without noticing them. Others may be strong enough to jolt you from sleep in a sweat-soaked state that forces you to change your pj’s.
Along with hot flashes and night sweats, women frequently experience other signs and symptoms. They may include:
- Irritability or anxiousness
- Difficulty concentrating or “brain fog”
- Fatigue, lack of energy or difficulty sleeping
- Feeling depressed or moody
- Impaired short-term memory
For working women, hot flashes can take a professional toll. New research shows that hot flashes account for a significant economic burden on working women and their employers.
One study showed that women with untreated hot flash symptoms had a significantly higher frequency of doctor visits, absences from work, and decreased productivity on the job when compared with women with no hot flash symptoms.
Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Hot Flashes
Many women swear by using apple cider vinegar for hot flashes. The detoxifying action of apple cider vinegar is believed to help by removing toxins that may normally be removed by sweating.
Drinking water during the day with a splash of apple cider vinegar can help to get rid of these toxins so you don’t have to sweat them out.
Since apple cider vinegar alkalinizes the body, it can help with hot flashes, night sweats, and hot flushes. It contains magnesium, a mineral that’s incredibly important not only for supporting and maintaining bone mass (necessary to prevent osteoporosis), but also for promoting nerve function, and lowering mood swings and depression.
Hot Flash Prevention
There’s nothing you can do to avoid hot flashes around menopause. But you can stay away from triggers that may make them more frequent or more severe. Common ones include:
Apple cider vinegar appears to be safe as long as it is not consumed in excess amounts. And there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that suggests apple cider vinegar may have many health benefits, including curbing hot flashes.
So if you are struggling with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, why not try apple cider vinegar? Just remember, although apple cider vinegar has claimed the spotlight for now as a powerful natural health remedy, there is little evidence and research in human studies to back its use as an alternative therapy.
Apple cider vinegar may help with other menopause symptoms including:
- Relieving constipation and stomach bloating with good gut bacteria
- Curbing your sweet tooth
- Aiding in weight loss
- Stabilizing your mood and warding off depression
- Preventing osteoporosis (The magnesium in apple cider vinegar is important for bone health)
- Reducing heart disease risk
Other Natural Methods to Reduce Hot Flashes
phytoestrogens and isoflavones
If you’ve been searching for relief from your hot flashes, you’ve probably heard of phytoestrogens and isoflavones. Phytoestrogens are a variety of plant-based compounds that have weak estrogen-like properties.
Isoflavones are one type of phytoestrogen and have been the most studied for use in treating menopausal symptoms. They’re found in legumes such as soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and beans
Recent studies have helped researchers better understand the specific types of isoflavones that may be most beneficial for hot flashes and other health conditions.
Hot flash improvement related to soy intake seems to be related to two specific isoflavones — genistein and daidzein.
A member of the buttercup family, the black cohosh plant has been used in Europe for many years to menopausal symptoms. It may help manage hot flashes and when combined with St. John’s wort, improve mood (2).
Evening primrose oil
Native to North America, the seeds of the evening primrose plant contain gamma-linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. Supplements are promoted for hot flash relief, but there’s little scientific evidence to support their effectiveness for this or other uses.
The common garden herb you may be familiar with for culinary uses is also a traditional folk remedy. Some women use it to treat hot flashes. Small studies have shown some effectiveness, but the evidence is limited. Sage is generally safe, but avoid oil-based preparations.
apple cider vinegar for hot flashes: Conclusion
If you are suffering from hot flashes, certainly consider alternative therapies like apple cider vinegar, but this may also be a good time to meet with your doctor to see what therapies may offer the best relief for you.
While there’s no exact right amount of time to take apple cider vinegar for hot flashes, it’s generally recommended to take 2 tablespoons a day, whenever you’d like.
You can mix it in with water, follow it with honey or fruit, or even use it as a salad dressing.
Don’t be embarrassed by a hot flash. The moment you feel one coming on, stop what you’re doing. Take several slow, deep breaths and try to relax. This helps to reduce the severity of the attack.
- If possible, drink a glass of cold water and sit still until the hot flash passes.
- Wear layers of thin clothes that you can easily strip off when you feel yourself getting hot. Clothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton, help your skin to breathe.
- Keep your bedroom cool at night and keep a fan, wet wipes, and a cold drink by your bed.
- Use cotton sheets and pillowcases, and wear cotton nightclothes
- Eat small, regular meals. The heat generated by the process of digesting a large meal can sometimes bring on a flush.
- Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, hot drinks, and spicy foods, as these can all bring on flushes.
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking. Research shows that it increases the risk of hot flashes.