How do integrative experts manage hot flashes?
Both medical groups and integrative experts provide recommendations for managing hot flashes. Learn more about the approaches and meanings of recommendations. Learn more about integrative oncology programs and expert guidelines
Clinical practice guidelines
For both men and women:
Psychosocial counseling (cognitive behavioral therapy)
Slow breathing techniques
Weak recommendations for women with a history of breast cancer:
Not recommended or recommend against use for managing hot flashes:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Hypnosis for women
Maintain a normal body weight
Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment › This set of guidelines has been endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).1Lyman GH, Greenlee H et al. Integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment: ASCO endorsement of the SIO clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2018 Sep 1;36(25):2647-2655.
Can be considered for improving hot flashes:
Not recommended for hot flashes in breast cancer patients due to lack of effect:
Acupuncture for patients experiencing severe symptoms not amenable to pharmacologic treatment
Published programs and protocols
These protocolsa package of therapies combining and preferably integrating various therapies and practices into a cohesive design for care, programs, and approaches by leaders in integrative cancer care provide guidance for managing hot flashes.
We do not recommend specific integrative protocols or programs but provide information for you to evaluate with your healthcare team.
Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella
Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts. 2010
Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Thriving after Cancer: A Five-Step Integrative Plan to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. 2013.
Approaches are described for certain cancer types, or along with certain conventional therapy treatments, or for particular conditions including hot flashes.
Barbara MacDonald, ND, LAc
MacDonald B. The Breast Cancer Companion—A Complementary Care Manual: Third Edition. Self-published. 2016.
Naturopathic physician Barbara MacDonald provides information about breast cancer, its conventional treatment, and natural approaches to enhancing treatment, managing side effects, reducing risk of recurrence, and healthy living after cancer treatment is completed.
This book mentions using these practices and therapies for managing hot flashes:
- Chaste tree berry
- Honey and bee pollen
- Chinese formulas like Guanyin Pearls, Liu Wei, Dihuang Wan or You Gui Wan with yin tonics and heat clearing herbs
- Combining western formulas and homeopathy
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and sugar
- Western herbal formulations such as Women’s Phase II and Fem Rebalance
Black cohosh might enhance the cytotoxicityhaving destructive action on certain cells; in cancer, cytotoxicity of tumor cells is one goal of treatment of Adriamycin and Taxol—both antitumor effects and side effects—and may reduce the cytotoxicity of platinum-based chemotherapy. Dr. MacDonald recommends avoiding black cohosh within 48 hours of chemotherapy treatments.
Neil McKinney, BSc, ND
McKinney N. Naturopathic Oncology, Fourth Edition. Victoria, BC, Canada: Liaison Press. 2020.
This book includes descriptions and uses of many natural and complementary protocols for cancer in general and for specific cancers. It also includes information on integrative support during conventional cancer treatment.
Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO, and Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
Parmar G, Kaczor T. Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology: A Desktop Guide of Integrative Cancer Care. 1st edition. Medicatrix Holdings Ltd. 2020.
This book provides information on the treatment of 24 cancers, plus the most effective treatments of the most common symptoms affecting cancer patients while they undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery.
These authors suggest using these practices and therapies for managing hot flashes:
- Stress reduction
- Bioflavonoids including hesperidin and quercetin
- Black cohosh
- Ground flax seeds
- Red clover
- Honey and bee pollen
- Vitamin E
Traditional systems such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine have protocols and therapies for managing hot flashes. Consult a traditional medicine professional for guidance. See Finding Integrative Oncologists and Other Professionals ›