How to Get Out of Hot Flash Hell

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Breast Cancer and Nutrition, Hot Flashes, Phytoestrogen | 1 comment


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How to Get Out of Hot Flash Hell

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Breast Cancer and Nutrition, Hot Flashes, Phytoestrogen | 1 comment

As a breast cancer coach, one of the things I am most often asked about is what will help with hot flashes! They can be so debilitating, so sleep-disruptive and for those who get sopping wet when having one, downright embarrassing. So today I’m going to share some things with you that will hopefully help you get out of hot flash hell.

I have a couple of articles about this subject already on my website, which I’d encourage you to read:

Tips, Tricks and Support for Hot Flashes
Hot Flashes and our Ever Suffering Husbands

In those two articles you’ll discover what some “think” causes them, which I don’t think has been proven yet, as well as quite a few different tips you can try for yourself to see if they help you.

Today’s article is a bit more in depth on the specific supplements, herbs and foods I’ve found that can help with hot flashes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before starting anything new, please let your doctor know about any herbs or supplements that you are considering taking – especially if you are on prescription drugs for blocking estrogen like tamoxifen or one of the aromatase inhibitors. There may well be interactions between the herb or supplement you wish to take and these drugs.

Supplements Known to Assist with Hot Flashes

Important note: You should not expect to feel the benefits of anything immediately. It usually takes at least two weeks of taking something regularly before you may feel a difference.

Remifemin – made by Schaper & Brümmer GmbH & Co
A German-made supplement, the main ingredient is the herb black cohosh. Many have had their symptoms improve when taking this.

Estroven – made by Amerifit Nutrition
An American-made supplement containing black cohosh, soy isoflavones, and a proprietary herbal extract of Cissus quadrangularis. There are several different formulations of Estroven for various goals such as weight management, mental and emotional symptoms, stress, sleep, etc. so make sure to check them all out to see which one most closely matches your symptoms.

Cruciferous Vegetable Extract – made by Life Extension
An American-made product, contains glucosinolates and other extracts from broccoli and cabbage, indole-3-carbinol, watercress, rosemary, cat’s claw, apigenin, and 14 mg of DIM (discussed below).

DIM (di-indolyl-methane) – made by various companies
There are many different formulations of this and made by many different companies. DIM has a lot of really beneficial properties for breast cancer survivors, including promotion of anti-cancer pathways, it is anti-inflammatory, promotes tumor suppressor genes, balances the body’s response to estrogen by adjusting the activity of particular enzymes and estrogen receptors, is a natural aromatase inhibitor and stimulates detox pathways. One of my favorite products is DIM Active by Zhou Nutrition.

Evening Primrose Oil – made by various companies
An oil extracted from the seed of the evening primrose plant, it contains linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid, which are omega-6 fatty acids that the body does not produce itself.

Flaxseed – Freshly Ground Organic – offered by various companies
You won’t want to eat the flaxseed whole as it passes through the gut pretty much intact. In order to release the good stuff (and don’t buy it already ground as it loses too much of its healing potential sitting on the store shelf), you need to grind up the flaxseed (a small coffee grinder works fine). The most important component that you get from the freshly ground seeds are called lignans, 95% of which are made from a phytochemical known as secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). In the body SDG is converted into enterolactone and enterodiol, which are chemically similar to the body’s own estrogen and they can bind to cell receptors, so flaxseed is known as a phytoestrogen (plant-based estrogen). For those with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, this is a good thing. Flaxseed exerts a protective effect (despite anything you may have heard to the contrary – bad information abounds on the Internet about this). Flaxseed lignans compete for binding sites with the body’s own stronger estrogen and environmental estrogens (aka xenoestrogens) and, as a result, exert much less of a growth-promoting influence on target organs like the breast while at the same time providing a little relief from estrogen depletion. Flaxseed is also a great plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Herbs Known to Be Beneficial for Hot Flashes

These are all backed by research (which I have if you’d like to see it but you can easily find it by going to and putting in the name of the herb and “hot flashes” in the search field).

black cohosh
chaste tree
evening primrose
red clover
St John’s wort

Foods Known to Help with Hot Flashes

Please make sure to only buy organic with all of these:

pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
sunflower seeds

My friend and fellow cancer coach, Elyn Jacobs, has an excellent article about hot flashes on her website which gives further insight as to why hot flashes might be a problem for you – and it has to do with a toxic liver. Which kind of explains why when you do regular detoxes and employ coffee enemas you can be less affected by hot flashes. Here’s her article: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats May NOT be What You Think 


The Bottom Line:

What I find with hot flashes is that it is not any one thing that helps, but rather a blend of things. I would encourage you to try different things (taking note always of the precaution above about combining pharmaceutical drugs with anything mentioned herein). Pay close attention to what you are taking, the severity of symptoms, and see what makes a difference for you.


1 Comment

  1. Pam Usery

    I like what I have read already.


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marnie clark breast cancer coach

Hi I’m Marnie Clark, breast cancer survivor turned coach. I have 20 years of experience in natural medicine.  In 2004/05 I battled breast cancer myself. You can see more about my journey on my page Breast Cancer Diary.

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