FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter March 2005
Hot Flashes! And Chinese medicine
This month lets talk about a problem that many women start to experience as they become perimenopausal….hot flashes. Many women have relied on hormonal replacement therapy ( HRT) to control the symptoms. With the advent of all the studies most have either stopped HRT or have substantially reduced the amount taken, rendering it less effective.
So let’s look at the problem from a TCM (traditional chinese medicine) approach. As most of you know the Chinese have a concept of yin and yang balance. Some qualities of Yin are:
Predominates at night
Is female in nature.
So it follows that if you have a lack of yin that there would be too much heat (lack of cold) that it would be worse at night and there would be some irritability (lack of nuturing).
One more concept in TCM before we can talk about how they would deal with hot flashes. Kidneys! In TCM kidneys :
Store of essence
Dominate human reproduction
Dominate water metabolism
Produces marrow for the brain and bone
It is not to hard to see that with these functions attributed to the kidney that they would be involved in the female hormonal/ reproductive system.
So one of the TCM diagnosis of hot flashes is Kidney Yin Deficiency.
Treatment involves nourishing the yin and tonifying the kidney. With a prescription called eight flavor tea.( It comes in pill form). As you might guess it has eight herbs in it. After 30- 45 days we should see some improvement.
Dr. Glenn and Julie Smith