Nicola Parker, of Health and Herbs, writes about using sage to regulate temperature
If you suffer with hot flushes, this time of year can be a nightmare.
Hot flushes are a common symptom of the menopause, but for some women, they can continue for some years afterwards.
Men don’t go through a natural hormone change that causes hot flushes, but treatment for prostate cancer can also cause flushes and night sweats.
When people describe their hot flushes, they often talk about a rising wave of heat that starts in the chest and travels up the neck and into the face.
Some people just experience heat, but others break out in sudden perspiration that can leave their clothes damp and sweaty.
Day time hot flushes can be a source of embarrassment for some people, especially if they are accompanied by sweating.
Night sweats can be even more problematic, interrupting sleep patterns and leaving the sufferer exhausted throughout the day. Interestingly, one of the common triggers for hot sweats is coffee, a drink that we are much more likely to rely on if we’ve been awake all night turning hot and cold.
If hot sweats are a problem, whether you are a man or a woman, there is one key herb that can make a difference.
Simple, culinary sage.
Sage is a herb known for helping with temperature regulation and I use it in any condition that causes excessive heat and sweating.
It also helps with memory, so it’s especially helpful if your hot flushes are accompanied by brain fog that can set with middle age.
If you enjoy the taste of sage you can infuse the dried herb in warm water to make a strong brew and then chill this in the refrigerator to drink throughout the day.
If this sounds like too much hassle, sage tablets provide a cheap and easy alternative.
I offered my mum sage after her hysterectomy some years ago but she complained heavily about how badly it would repeat on her.
Not liking the taste of sage, this put her off using the remedy entirely, until I could find her some tablets that were much easier to take.
The most common mistake people make when trying herbal remedies is not giving the herbs enough time to work.
Hormones change slowly and any adjustment you want to make could take a few weeks or months to take effect.
So, if you’re thinking about giving sage ago but don’t think you can stomach drinking it for this long, pick up some sage tablets instead.
I stock two brands of sage tablets but I recommend Nature’s Aid most often.
Despite being inexpensive, I’ve had amazing results with them over the years and I rarely deviate from my tried and tested remedies.
My most recent success with sage involved a lady suffering with excessive sweating along with her hot flushes.
She would wake in the day in soaked bed sheets and take a spare blouse to work because by noon her shirt would be damp and sticky at the back.
The sleepless nights were making her irritable and the uncomfortable days were making everything worse.
Concentrating was becoming more difficult and she was forgetting simple words, tasks and dates.
Originally, she had decided not to try HRT because of negative reports she’d heard from her friends and the press.
Yet with the hot weather we’ve been having, she came to me feeling desperate, in a last bid to try something natural before going to see her GP for hormone medication.
Luckily, hot flushes are easy to manage with herbal medicine, it just requires a little patience for the first few weeks to let the medicines kick in. I sent the lady away with sage tablets and she recently returned looking much brighter. Her sweating is now manageable and she is no longer waking in the night.
This has improved her energy, her mood and stopped those embarrassing, sweat drenched moments in the office.
Her mind is clearer and she can focus again, probably a result of both sleeping properly and the memory boosting power of sage.
Hot sweats are one of the most manageable symptoms of hormone problems, so don’t suffer in silence if they are ruining your day (or night).
Contact Nicola on 01524 413733 at her clinic in Morecambe for more information on sage and herbal medicine.