Traditional drinks to manage hot flashes
Health experts reveal home remedies or traditional drinks that have a cooling effect, keep the body hydrated and by reducing body heat, they may provide relief to women from the distressing symptoms of menopause i.e. hot flashes
Hot flashes are a characteristic symptom of menopause and are experienced as sudden random episodes of intense heat, flushing followed by sweating and feeling a bit chilly. They vary in frequency and severity between women but they usually last for only a few minutes however, if they are severe and occur very frequently, they can be very distressing and may disrupt activities of daily life.
Hot flashes are generally associated with women approaching menopause and studies have shown that approximately 75-80% of older women suffer from the condition, which is characterized by a sudden rush of heat to the upper body, especially the face and chest, disrupting daily routine and compromising one's quality of life. Women during the menopause stage experience various hormonal changes which result in numerous clinical conditions such as weight gain, osteoporosis, emotional distress, anxiety, mood swings, depression, stress, fatigue, etc. where anxiety and stress are the two major contributory factors to hot flashes while hot weather, spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol aggravate this condition.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sonali Kulkarni, Lead Nutritionist at Elda Health, suggested, “It is crucial for women over 40 to be vigilant about their diet and eating patterns. Certain natural drinks are recommended which help to alleviate the condition and offer relief from these symptoms. Some of these drinks include kokum juice, palm fruit, sol kadhi, soy, buttermilk, or lassi, also some easy and low-cost preparations one could prepare are Jaljeera, Jeera (cumin)water, Sabja (Basil seed), Fennel and Coriander seed water along with Tender coconut and Neera (palm nectar) which is easily available all year round.”
She explained, “These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals. Moreover, they are especially rich in electrolyte content which balances your energy levels well and induces a cooling effect on the body. They also fulfill dietary fiber and calorie requirements and are the best-suited options for treating hot flashes. Menopause is inevitable but a unique experience for every woman and has to be managed individually. Healthy lifestyle choices, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help women to cope with this transition.”
Revealing that women with severe symptoms require treatment in the form of hormone replacement therapy but mild symptoms can usually be managed with lifestyle modifications, Dr Veena Aggarwal, MD at Medtalks, Trustee at Dr KKs Heart Care Foundation of India, shared, “Spicy foods, caffeine, smoking, drinking alcohol, stress, anxiety, hot weather etc. are some common triggers for hot flashes.”
She advised, “Try to identify your trigger/s and avoid them to prevent hot flashes or at least reduce their occurrence. Lose weight if you are overweight. Eat a healthy diet. Some home remedies such as buttermilk, coconut milk, soya, kokum juice, Ice apple (called Tadgola in Hindi) may also help. All these have a cooling effect and keep the body hydrated. By reducing body heat, they may provide relief from this distressing symptom.”