Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Improve Hot Flashes with Rhodiola and Black Cohosh

By Sarah Axtell, ND November 20, 2020

Hot flashes and night sweats are the most common menopausal symptoms I see. And not to mention the depression and anxiety that can accompany menopause. This all can of course significantly affect your quality of life. Good news ladies, we have some great natural tools in our toolbox.

Black cohosh is an herb that has long been used to relieve hot flashes. New research published in Pharmaceuticals shows that it is most effective when combined with rhodiola, one of my favorite adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs improve resiliency to stress, allowing the body to adapt to stress more effectively. Rhodiola improves mood, energy, and focus AND when combined with black cohosh is an effective way to address menopausal symptoms.

The theory behind hot flashes is a combination of estrogen withdrawal coupled with elevated norepinephrine (noradrenaline), a stress hormone. So it makes sense that addressing the stress response with rhodiola (and exercise!!) helps.

In the study mentioned above, researchers divided women into three groups: one group received black cohosh alone; another group received black cohosh and rhodiola; and another group received a placebo. After 12 weeks, those given the combination of black cohosh and rhodiola reported 71% fewer menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, and 67% fewer psychological and physical symptoms. The combination group (black cohosh and rhodiola) significantly outperformed the other two groups.

As evidenced, herbs can significantly help ease the symptoms that often accompany this transitional time. When herbs simply don’t cut it, however, I often then do hormone testing (to assess cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA) to give us more insight regarding the individual hormone imbalance.

And remember, food is medicine! Cruciferous vegetables, flaxseeds, deeply pigmented, antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and green tea are hormone-balancing foods. Eliminating spicy food, sugar, and wine can also help!

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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