Have you ever tried to make your own tea for hot flashes? I had never brewed my own until I tried and failed to find a boxed blend that didn’t contain an added ingredient I was trying to avoid… Typical, right?
So I thought you might like to see what’s out there. I was surprised by how easy these recipes are easy to follow, and according to their creators, they might just make a difference if you’re overheating.
Remember, you should always consult your medical professional about any changes you’re going through and any treatments or alternative remedies you want to try.
Swap Out Caffeine to Ditch Hot Flashes
Dr Rutherford and Dr Gates tell us how hot flashes cause you to heat up:
“It’s not being shown that the hot flash mechanism is coming from the brain… the brain initiates a stress response, and part of the stress response would heat the body up”
Why are women drinking tea to treat hot flashes? There are many reasons, and according to some doctors, women may find herbal treatments helpful alongside other medication.
The US National Institute on Aging recommend avoiding alcohol, spicy foods and caffeine, so you may have considered cutting down on regular caffeinated tea and coffee. It’s not hard to find decaf alternatives these days…
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You could go one step further though, and drink something that might even give you another health benefit (at least, that’s what some sources say – more on that later).
Some people are wary of decaf because of the chemical-based process – are you one of them? UC Berkeley Wellness tell us that the chemicals used to strip out the caffeine haven’t been linked to ill effects in studies.
But what if you want to keep things as natural as possible? Or you don’t take to the taste, or maybe you want to give herbal tea a try for its own sake?
Sage is Not the Only Tea, But…
Barbara Hoffman is one of the most widely recommended for treating hot flashes and their irritating buddies, night sweats. According to New Zealand’s Healthy Online, sage can help to suppress perspiration – sounds promising! So does it work?
One 2011 study using a sage tonic found that half the participants saw their hot flashes decrease after four weeks. By the 8-week mark, two thirds saw the same results. And a 1998 trial came up with a similar outcome.
Remember that’s not a guarantee that it’ll be effective or suitable for you, but it’s interesting to know that this research is going on – and that there have been some interesting findings that seem to back up sage’s traditional use.
All you need to make naturopath Barbara Hoffman’s simple sage tea for menopause is a cup of hot water and a teaspoon of sage. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes, refrigerate and drink – she says that just one cup of this tea could be enough to ease symptoms for a couple of days.
Sage and Raspberry Leaf Keep You Cool
Healthy and Natural World have got a sage tea for menopause symptoms like hot flashes and another source of discomfort, night sweats.
As well as the popular herb they add raspberry leaf, which has a following of its own. In ‘Menopause and Estrogen: Natural Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy’ (1996), Ellen Hodgson Brown and Lynne Paige Walker say that red raspberry leaf acts as a balancing influence.
So how do you prepare this herbal tea? You’ll need ½ tablespoon of fresh sage leaves, or a ¼ tbsp if you choose dried sage leaves, and the same amount of raspberry leaves (½ tbsp of fresh leaves or ¼ dried).
It’s brewed in 200 ml freshly boiled water, with a little sweet edge to improve the flavour – stevia, honey or maple syrup will give it a little sweetness.
Just wash the leaves, place them in your pot and pour the boiled water over them, then leave the brew to steep for 8-10 minutes. Don’t drink it all down in one big gulp. They recommend that you sip one small glass of the tea every 3 hours.
Take note of this advice from LiveStrong, though:
“Tannins in raspberry leaf may reduce the absorption of iron in the intestines, so it is best to take raspberry leaf away from meals.” (Source)
Settle Hot Flashes with Sarsaparilla
And if you want an alternative to sage, take a look at this herbal tea for menopause symptoms.
Search Home Remedy bring us a sarsaparilla recipe that couldn’t be simpler. Depending on where you live and how well stocked your local health food store is, I think the hardest part of this one could be finding the sarsaparilla.
The creators of this brew recipe tell us that sarsaparilla root “contains compounds that help in enhancing the female estrogen hormone balance”.
According to Dr Axe, the Native American and Amazonian traditional remedy sarsaparilla works by rebalancing hormones and detox the body (as well as treating colds and skin problems – good to know!).
All you need is one gram of dried sarsaparilla root and a cup of hot water – that’s it! Steep for 5 minutes, strain and serve.
A Prickly Tea in a Jar
Integrative wellness coach Kathy Hammonds has put together a menopause tea recipe that’s designed to help with problems including hot flashes. It combines three herbs, and it’s straightforward to make but you’ll need a little patience while this one steeps.
Remember raspberry leaf? It’s back! And we’ve encountered nettle tea before, as an unexpected remedy for menopause itching.
In addition, this recipe’s got red clover, which the University of Michigan say there’s a chance it could be associated with alleviating the overheating that’s troubling you. They say this herb’s isoflavones could make the difference.
“In one study, isoflavones from red clover reduced the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women” (Source)
Take ¼ cup of stinging nettle leaf, red cover and raspberry leaf. Combine them in a jar – Hammonds uses a glass jar but she emphasises that you must check your container is suitable for heat. Fill up with hot water, put the lid on and allow to cool. Leave it for 4 hours then sieve and serve.
A Sweet Remedy for a Sticky Issue
Bev of Honey Fanatic’s recipe for sage tea for hot flashes includes a sweet addition, which as you may have guessed from the name is… honey. Like the other recipes, this one is easy to prepare and doesn’t require any specialist equipment.
What You Need:
Teapot or heatproof jug
8 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
#1 Leaves on the Line
Select and rinse 8 fresh sage leaves, or if you’re using dried sage you’ll just need 1 teaspoon. Put the sage into the container of your choice – so far, so simple!
Honey Fanatic doesn’t specify any particular type, but make sure your container is suitable for hot liquids (and that it’s easy to pour the liquid out – you’ll regret a Pyrex bowl!).
#2 Start the Steeping Process
According to Leaf, if you’re using a glass teapot it’s safest if you warm it a little before pouring in the boiling water. (Then just boil some water and pour one cup of it over the herbs.
Leave it to steep for five minutes, then strain into a teacup and you’re almost done!
#3 Sweet and Sour
Finally, add the lemon juice and honey to complete your homemade herbal tea.
And the recipe’s creator says the honey is not just in there for taste. As you may have found out for yourself, the discomfort of hot flashes can keep you up at night – this delicious addition can counteract that sleeplessness.
“Honey, before bedtime, has a tranquilizing effect, and it contributes to overall health and well-being.” – Bev, Honey Fanatic
#4 Keep on Brewing
Honey Fanatic’s Bev recommends that you keep making this tea to drink before bed for three nights in a row, to get you off to a good start. After that, she says you should just take it once every few days to keep up the effects.
As always though, check with a specialist to make sure this suggestion is right for you.
What’s in Your Teacup?
The author of ‘Healing Teas: A Practical Guide to the Medicinal Teas of the World’ (1996), Marie Nadine Antol, suggests that sage tea shouldn’t be taken continuously for more than 3 weeks, and sarsaparilla shouldn’t be taken for an extended timespan either.
Everything in moderation – and most importantly, talk to a professional to get advice that’s tailored to your own health.
Did you enjoy this tea how-to? I hope so, and I don’t know about you but I think these recipes all have the potential to taste great! Tell us about your experiences of drinking tea to help hot flashes – have you tried one of these recipes, or did something else work for you?