Chinese Herbs May Ease Menopausal Hot Flashes
A natural condition, menopause causes many discomforts. Some of these discomforts include insomnia, night sweats, mood swings, and the dreaded hot flashes. Approximately 75% of American women suffer from noticeable menopause discomfort and hot flashes are experienced by ¾ of all menopausal women.
The most common treatment in the United States for menopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Interestingly enough, only 10% of Asian women experience the same discomforts. Unlike the United States, Chinese people use traditional Chinese medicines and consume a very different diet.
In traditional Chinese medicine, a Kidney Yin Deficiency is thought to cause hot flashes. A traditional Chinese doctor would assess a patient and then be able to create a formula such as Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan, which has been used for hundreds of years to reduce hot flashes.
What Is Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan?
Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan is the most popularly used Chinese medicinal formula to treat menopausal women experiencing hot flashes. It contains eight different herbs.
1. Shan Zhu Yu — Also known as Cornelian Cherry Fruit, Shan Zhu Yu stabilizes the kidneys and liver by enhancing their functions. This herb is sour, slightly warm, and non-toxic. It is commonly used to treat impotence, instant sweating, incontinence, and chronic lower back pain.
2. Shan Yao — This herb is also known as Chinese wild yam. It is a sweet and neutral herb used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent, antibiotic, to promote urination and improve the digestive system. Shan Yao enhances the kidneys, lung and sleep channels.
3. Mu Dan Pi — Also referred to as peony root, this is an acrid, bitter and mild cool herb. This herb is used to clear heat and cool the blood by enhancing the functions of the heart, liver, and kidney.
4. Zhi Mu — This herb is used in traditional Chinese medicine to lower blood pressure and enhance the functions of the lung, kidney, and stomach. Zhi Mu is also known as Common Anemarrhena Rhizome.
5. Shu Dihuang — This is the cooked Rhemannia Root. Shu Dihuang is dense, sweet, sticky, and cold. It is commonly used to eliminate cold and heat accumulations in the body.
6. Fu Ling — Commonly known as Poria, this herb is bland sweet and neutral. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a diuretic. It eliminates water, and calms the mind by enhancing the functions of the heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys.
7. Ze Xie — This is a sweet, bland and cold herb, used in traditional Chinese medicine to eliminate water and clear heat. Also known as Alisma, it enhances the functions of the bladder and kidneys.
8. Huang Bai — Used to treat night sweats, this herb is also commonly known as amur cork-tree bark. It is a bitter and cold herb that is known to clear heat and expel toxins by enhancing the kidney and bladder functions.
Another herb known to help with menopause is Ginseng. Ginseng substitutes the human hormones with phytoestrogenic hormones. Replenishing the hormones decreases the amount of hot flashes you will experience.
Looking at what each of the above herbs is known to do, it is easy to see why they would be used to treat menopausal symptoms, specifically hot flashes. These Chinese herbs and medicines can be found to purchase online and in some natural food stores.
Often, you can find a store in larger cities with a large Chinese population that sells traditional Chinese medicines. It is always a good idea to discuss any herbs you are taking with your doctor to ensure they don’t interact with any other medications you are taking or that your doctor may prescribe.