While women have always sought natural remedies for hot flashes, alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have become far more popular in the wake of the 2003 study linking HRT and breast cancer in older menopausal women. The most common and effective natural ingredients in the fight against debilitating hot flashes are plant estrogens, also known as phytoestrogens.
100 to 1000 times less active than human estrogen, phytoestrogens have the benefit not only of coming from natural plants, fruits, and vegetables but also stimulate only certain parts of the body and not others. As a result, they have been shown to alleviate the heat and sweat of hot flashes by targeting estrogen receptors in the nervous system and blood vessels without interfering with other receptors in the breasts or uterus.
It’s no coincidence, then, that our menopausal supplement contains multiple sources of phytoestrogens and herbs with phytoestrogenic effects. Let’s take a closer look at three of the most important — soy isoflavones, black cohosh, and red clover — to better understand what they are, what they do, and how they work.
Soy Isoflavones and Red Clover
Isoflavones are the most successful type of phytoestrogens when it comes to treating hot flashes. Soybeans are the primary way we get isoflavones, both through food like edamame and tofu but also through isoflavone extracts. Isoflavones are also found in the flowering tops of the red clover plant (Trifolium pratense), a legume like soybeans native to Europe, western Asia, and northwest Africa.
In 2011, the North American Menopause Society released a lengthy report about the role of isoflavones in relieving the intensity and duration of hot flashes. After evaluating 14 peer-reviewed trials, they found that participants in 11 of them experienced anywhere from 25-60% fewer episodes of hot flashes when taking isoflavones. A recent trial published only last June, moreover, found that women who took red clover extract along with probiotics experienced fewer and less intense hot flashes than women taking a placebo. Taken together, therefore, soy and red clover isoflavones pack a powerful punch designed to alleviate the worst hot flashes can do to disrupt your quality of life.
Our supplement also contains black cohosh, another plant shown to have the ability to lower the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a perennial that belongs to the buttercup family. Native to the Eastern U.S. and Canada, it has a variety of other names: baneberry, black snakeroot, bug root, and even fairy candle among them. Native Americans have traditionally ground the roots and rhizomes of black cohosh to treat rheumatism and kidney disorders, as well as gynecological issues.
Black cohosh has long been thought to be a phytoestrogen, but recent studies suggest that it’s not, since it doesn’t interact with estrogen receptors as most phytoestrogens do. Nevertheless, there are a lot of studies that show its efficacy against hot flashes. A 2010 meta-analysis, for instance, found that women experienced 26% fewer hot flashes and night sweats when taking black cohosh, while studies done in Germany, Iran, and China have also produced statistically significant results in favor of the herb as a treatment for hot flashes.
We take your health seriously, which is why we’ve relied on cutting-edge research to select the best ingredients for our menopausal supplement. Thanks to the combined power of soy isoflavones, red clover, and black cohosh, you’ll find relief from the worst of your menopausal symptoms and reclaim your quality of life.
- National Women’s Health Network, “Herbs and Phytoestrogens,” 2015, https://www.nwhn.org/herbs-and-phytoestrogens/
- Adriana Carbonel, et al., “Advances in the Use of Phytoestrogens for Menopause Therapy,” December 2017.
- Wikipedia, s.v. “Trifolium pratense.”
- NAMS 2011 Isoflavones Report, “The Role of Soy Isoflavones in Menopausal Health,” https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-document-library/psisoflavones11.pdf?sfvrsn=2
- MNT Lambert, et al., “Combined Red Clover Isoflavones and Probiotics Potently Reduce Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms,” PLoS, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176590
- Randy W. Wobser and Mark V. Pellegrini, “Black Cohosh (Actaea Racemosa, Black Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Fairy Candle),” StatPearls, last updated 31 January 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470187/
- Jennifer Huizen, “Uses and Side Effects of Black Cohosh for Menopause,” Medical News Today, May 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317530.php
Sara A. Murphy is a freelance writer and editor with a PhD from Columbia University. She has written on a variety of topics, including health and fitness, travel, and social justice; she also edits both fiction and non-fiction. You can reach her at [email protected].