3 Quick Relief Remedies for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

hot flashesAre you familiar with the feeling of dread you get when you’re body starts to feel warm and flush? Because you know what comes next- the discomfort of the unrelenting heat from another nasty hot flash. Or maybe you’re not even aware that it’s happening, in which case maybe you dread waking up to find your clothes and sheets absolutely soaked in sweat, and then endure horrible chills while everything dries off?

Here are 3 easy remedies for hot flashes and night sweats, including- a diy peppermint spray and eucalyptus cold compress.

Hot flashes and night sweats are some of the frustrating things to get relief from, since your body basically decided your fate when it mistakenly told your brain you were overheating (a very simplified way of putting it.) While hormones contribute greatly to hot flashes-hence why they are so common during menopause-other things can cause them as well. I’ve experienced them as side effects from medications, but stress and even some food and drinks can bring them on.

While identifying the cause is important to ultimately remedying your hot flashes and/or night sweats, these quick relief recipes will help cool you down right away.

Tip: Keep a fan on you if you suffer night sweats. Also direct a fan at yourself or stand in front of the A.C. for an extra cooldown when using the spray.

1. Plain Ol’ Peppermint Spray

It seems so plain. Peppermint is refreshing for obvious reasons-it helps cool you almost instantly and the coolness lasts for a while. It’s one of the best, most immediate, forms of relief from a hot flash in my opinion.

How does it work? All thanks to menthol. Our body can tell when there is something hot or cold, but peppermint isn’t cold temperature wise at all. So why does it cool us down?

A protein in menthol activates the same receptor on nerve endings that also sense cold [1]. So it triggers a message to the brain that says “you’re feeling cold.” And your nervous system responds accordingly. So, really, this isn’t such a plain spray. It’s a very clever one, one that will help you cool down fast. It doesn’t actually change your temperature, but that makes no difference in the relief it will bring.

Some people who use this recipe opt not to use the neutral carrier oil for fear of it leaving a stain, and use only witch hazel. I have not had any issues, but it is an option (albeit not the one I’d recommend.) The witch hazel speeds evaporation and many people find it adds its own touch of cool freshness so it’s added for that more than as a carrier. Alcohol can dilute essential oils, but the alcohol in witch hazel is not of a high enough proof to do the job. If you opt to leave out the carrier oil, be sure to test a spritz on a small patch of skin before using.

peppermint spray

You will need…

-6 tablespoons of witch hazel
-1-6 drops peppermint oil
-1 tablespoon of grapeseed (or another neutral oil)
-Aloe (optional)

Directions

First, always shake well before using! Also, start with only a drop or two of peppermint at a time and test your tolerance. It’s strong stuff, especially if you don’t add in a “true” carrier that dilutes it.

Put the oils and witch hazel in a mister bottle. Ideally one that is dark glass and has the spritzer top to it! Shake well and store in cool place out of direct sunlight. Apply as needed, and for maximum effect, have a fan going. Shake before every use.

If you find the spray drying to your skin, apply some high quality, natural aloe after using it.

2. Eucalyptus Cold Compress

Eucalyptus provides similar benefits to peppermint, but on a lesser scale, and with much less intensity. This doesn’t mean it’s not effective, but if you’re sensitive to the strong smell of peppermint, eucalyptus is a great option (and can be used as a substitute in recipe above.) Keep this cooling compress on hand so you don’t need to wait for relief by freezing them (but put them in a bag so your whole freezer doesn’t smell like eucalyptus!) or just whip it up on the spot.

eucalyptus cold compress remedy

You will need…

-A medium sized bowl
-Ice
-2 tablespoons of grapeseed or any other neutral oil
-1-4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
-A clean towel about dishcloth sized

Directions

Mix your oils together well and pour them into your bowl. Toss in a generous amount of ice, and top it off with cold water. Let it chill for a good 3-5 minutes, than soak the towel in the water-make sure to really swirl it around to churn up the essential oils. Wring it out and place it across your forehead, the back of your neck, on your chest-or really any place that you feel needs it most. Below is a tip for finding the best cooling spots (aka pulse points.) If the towel feels like it’s no longer cooling you down, simply dunk it again and repeat!

3. Chill Your Feet (and check your pulse)

This is something that I generally avoid-my hands and feet tend to be chilly enough as it is. But in the midst of a hot flash, a quick cool down is what matters most to me. There are pulse points on the tops of your feet (this is the dorsalis pedis artery), and on the sides of your ankles, just below the ankle bone (your posterior tibial artery). Because the blood is so close to the surface of the skin, it cools down quicker. This cooler blood then gets pumped throughout the body, eventually lowering you overall core temperature.
When you start to feel the flush coming on, plunging your feet into a bowl of icy cold up the ankles can help you fend off the heat.

chill your feet for hot flash relief

You will need…

-A bowl or shallow tub for your feet
-Cold water, preferably with ice
-A clean soft towel

Directions

Fill your tub with cold water and ice, and soak your feet. You can use the cool compress (above) simultaneously on any of your other pulse points as well. This makes for a super effective combo!

What’s up with the pulse?

The places where you can feel your pulse most strongly, pulse points, are areas where your blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin. Because the blood is so close, it can also be cooled quickly. This cooler blood then gets pumped back through your body, lowering your overall body temperature. These points can be palpitated anywhere there is an artery that can be compressed near the surface of the body [2]. Get familiar with your pulse, and you’ll know the quickest ways to cooling off. Some common ones to keep in mind are-

Brachial artery-on the inside of your elbow

Femoral artery-at the groin

Radial artery-at the wrist

Carotid artery-at the neck

Play around and see what works best for you. What works for one person may not work for you, and vice versa. Get to know your body, get familiar with what may trigger your hot flashes (e.g. spicy foods or stress), and add in prevention as much as possible. And I’ll re-iterate once again that a fan when combined with the peppermint spray truly is wonderful.

Why No Clary Sage?

It’s the essential oil most often touted as helping to “balance hormones.” It is said to be estrogenic, that is, it acts like estrogen or possibly induces the body to make more, thus balancing out your estrogen levels and lessening the hot flashes. Clary sage has a component called sclareol, which is structured in a similar way to estrogen. The thinking goes that because it has a similar structure, sclareol has estrogenic action. But action simply means that it has the ability to bind to an estrogen receptor. What it does there is a whole other story. It could possibly even block and decrease estrogen, which wouldn’t be helpful at all. There just aren’t enough specific studies that document how it actually acts for me to say it’s truly balancing your hormones.

sage for night sweats

However! That being said, that doesn’t mean clary sage isn’t helpful for dealing with PMS/cramps/hot flashes. Many people find it extremely helpful and get great relief from it-so if you want to use it, go for it! Just know that whatever mechanism brings about the relief probably isn’t from “balancing hormones” that you’ll see blaring everywhere. There have been studies that show it reduces cortisol levels when inhaled, which would lower stress, which can contribute to things like hot flashes. It’s a lovely oil and effective for many people, so again, don’t hold back!

(Read this next: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea for Women’s Health)

P.S. Click here to download my free Coconut Oil eBook. It has over 107 everyday coconut oil uses, including uses for- weight loss, pet health, hair, skin, house cleaning, pests, DIY beauty products and so much more.

By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire



We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:

59 Comments

  1. Jacquelyn M Johnson says:

    Thank you for the information. I will try it

    • Claire Goodall says:

      You’re welcome, I hope they work out for you!

      • Melanie Freeze says:

        I’ve spent many nights with my head in my freezer! Thought I’d go NATURAL when i hit menopause. ..WRONG ANSWER! 15YRS NOW, AND STILL HAVING HOT FLASHES! I’ll happily give your suggestions a try. Thank you

  2. Sally says:

    I love these suggestions, especially the spritzer idea and cooling the feet. Thank you for sharing your insights!

  3. Aline says:

    How would you use the Clary Sage?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      You can add it in to any of the recipes that call for essential oils and replace them with clary sage, following the same guidelines as to how many drops to use. You can also blend it in with the other oils in the remedies, in which case i’ll usually play around with how many drops of each until I find a balance I like! Let me know if you have anymore questions!

  4. Candice says:

    Is there any tips of relieving tension headaches? I’ve been dealing with one for 3+ days and I’ve tried Tylenol and hot and cold compresses and nothing is working. Please help I’m desperate.

  5. Audrey says:

    Hi, the best natural remedy that helped me was wild yam, recommend to me by a guynocologist as I wouldn’t take prescription drugs.
    Wild yam gives the body the feeling of having natural estrogen from the ovaries which stops the sweats , it’s a wonderful herb that all women should try as they start the change of life.

  6. Adrienne says:

    I’m very sad that I did’t know this years abot when I went through menopause. What a help this would’ve been!

  7. Jasmine says:

    I’ve been getting hot flushes for ever what’s the best remedy please Claire thank you

    • Claire Goodall says:

      I’ve had great success with all of the above remedies! It depends on what you’re looking for-if its relief on the go, I keep the peppermint spray on hand, if you have a little more time the compress or cooling your pulse points is just as wonderful. Play around with them and feel free to tweak them to whatever works best for you!

  8. Pressy says:

    Thanks heaps

  9. Lisa says:

    I am a bit confused about the ingredients for the hot flash, under the peppermint choice. Do you also use witch hazel along with the carrier oil? Carrier oil being grape seed oil, correct?! Plus if you don’t need the w h how much carrier oil do you use? Very confused.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I use the witch hazel along with the grapeseed oil, but I also know people who have used this recipe without the carrier oil (in this case the grapeseed oil) as well. I just recommend using a carrier with essential oils in general, especially peppermint, in case of skin irritation. Witch hazel is used either way. Hope this clears things up for you!

  10. Shireen says:

    Thank you, Claire! I’ve just turned 45 and are halfway through menopause (one ovary is now officially ‘old’ as said by a hospital doctor) haha.

    I am always on the hunt for any natural remedy to help through this stage of my life.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      You’re welcome, I hope they bring you relief! Your ovary is officially taking a well deserved retirement 😛

  11. Debra McClain says:

    Someone once told me to take Saint-John’s -Wort for night sweats or hot flashes. Do you agree?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Hi Debra,

      If you have no adverse reactions to St. Johns Wort, than by all means play around with it and see if it helps! I’ve known of a few studies that seemed to show that it can help lessen the severity/duration of hot flashes, but can’t speak to the effectiveness as I’ve never used it for hot flashes myself. If you try it let me know what you think!

  12. Jeannette Shields says:

    I have had my share of hot flashes and, thankfully, they are GONE. Enduring them is the only way I could deal with them. I will share this article with a friend of mine who is yet to have one! I’ll tell you a funny story : Being near the youngest of 9, I had no idea what hot flashes were for the longest time. A couple years before I got them, another friend had them, so I asked her what they were and she told me ‘you’re really hot one minute and freezing cold the next. ‘, so being sarcastic, I said ‘Oh, I’d love to be hot! I’m cold all the time. Do you think if I rubbed shoulders with you, I’d get hot too?’ because back then, I was cold all. the. time. Now that I’ve had them, I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.
    My ‘remedy’ for headaches is lots of rest and tons of water.

    Thank you for your blog, it’s very helpful!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Haha! That’s a great story. Ah to go back to that time. I remember being mystified by them too (and I also tend to run cold like you did) but oh my goodness it would be nice to not know what they feel like again :p

  13. Rachel Conley says:

    Thank you for the advice. Of all 3 remedies I like the peppermint oil.
    I will try making a batch for my hot flashes. You are to kind.

  14. Susan says:

    Hi Claire,
    I’m so happy to see your suggestions. Can’t wait to get the ingredients & give it a try. On another note,
    I was stung by a bee or something today & can’t believe how it may be affecting me. The sting area (near my right armpit) is a little swollen & red & sore. Mainly I just want to sleep! First I iced it. Then dabbed fresh aloe vera gel on it. It’s unlikely related to the sting, but I’m headachey & not feeling well. Maybe I’m getting a cold. Any other advice about the sting? Thanks.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      I wouldn’t think the two were related unless you were having an allergic reaction, but I am not a doctor so can’t really speak to that! Being a beekeeper I’ve had my fair share of stings-here’s the link to my favorite remedies for them: http://everydayroots.com/bee-sting-treatment

      The quickest and one of my favorites is the lavender essential oil. Hope you feel better fast!

  15. Beth says:

    Great Suggestions, I have used Maca Root Capsules for the last 10 years works gret

  16. shirley says:

    Hi Claire
    Enjoying all your natural remedies, thank you.
    I am 74 and have never had a hot flash, I suppose it will still happen.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the remedies-though I hope you never have a hot flash and have to visit this page! 😛

  17. Lynn Michele says:

    Thank You Claire for these Hot Flash Remedies.I am 53 and so very tired of Hot flashes,Cold sweats,and sweaty on a warm day.I will try some and hope they will work out. Menopause is harder on some women more than others. It’s part of the Cycle of Life for Women. Blessings!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Indeed it is, and you’re totally right-it’s different for all individual women! A great thing to keep in mind when trying out different remedies. Hope these help!

  18. Cheri says:

    I had a hysterectomy at 30. And if i don’t have my daily estradiol, which I quit bc of fear of blood clots, I get really bad hot flashes, soaked in sweat in seconds. I now have used Sage tea and it works!! I had a couple cups and had no flashes for about 5 days then they slowly started again. I have hundreds of Sage bushes in front . So thanks to that I’m not worried anymore. Look it up under medicinal benefits of Sage. Surprise!! Hope this helps!!

  19. Katja says:

    Hi, when you mention witch hazel do you mean a witch hazel infusion? I am new to this site and only know witch hazel the plant. I would really like to try the peppermint witch hazel combo though. And I will have a look a those tips for stress headache relief as well. Thank you for the good work!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Hi Katja,

      I am not sure about the infusion…I wouldn’t call something a witch hazel infusion unless I was infusing it with something, like a certain herb. Is it possible you mean extract? Witch hazel and witch hazel extract are terms used interchangeably, and are usually considered the same thing. The witch hazel sold in stores is extracted from the twigs and bark of the plant (hence the “extract.”) Technically just saying “witch hazel” could imply the plant, but again, they are used interchangeably. Hope this helps!

  20. Jayanthi says:

    The moment I start feeling hot, I run to the fridge and take a couple of sips of cold water. It’s amazing how normal I feel after that. I also put my feet under the tap for a while. If I’m out of the house, I just buy a cold bottle of water.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Great-and beautifully simple!-suggestion. And in desperate times, sticking your head in the fridge for a moment can help too when you grab that water :p

  21. Josephine O'Byrne says:

    I found green tea helpful…. especially sage would make large cup on morning and keep adding water during day and. Took large sips throughout the day …. one teaspoon of sage a day….. also. Evening primrose oil capsules one morning and one evening…. never had those horrid sweats people talked about like my friend had bug she also sleepy on a foam matresses ( I had a natural fiver and wool) futon which probably helped. Other mattresses when away would heat me up conviderably more…. but then did get z few hot flushes jn my mid 60 s. When well past it.. but that might have been my blood sugars which started yo rise with ore diabeties. I would have very hot feet that I had to put out side the covers most nights …. so keep in mind

  22. Diana says:

    Excellent blog post!
    I suffer hot flashes- I have started using cooling towels. They sell them on amazon.
    Very easy to use- wet, ring and snap the towel. Put it around your neck and your instantly transported to a place where the temperatures are bearable- like a cool island.

    On the other hand on the sage- my husband always wondered why his mother put safe in everything and I believe you have answered that for us. I told him and he said it makes sense- 6 kids- husband died in car accident and brought her mother to live with them.

    Excellent post. Grateful for your information. I specifically like the pulse point angle.

    There are also internal herbs you can take which I am testing now. They help. Consider using them- I get mine on amazon.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Diana, I love to hear peoples experience with different remedies. I hope these are helpful to you, as I am sure we all agree here, hot flashes are the worst!

  23. Marilyn Van Winsen says:

    Hi Claire,I am going through the sweats, or should I say glow ( ladies dont sweat) having recently come off HRT much to my dismay, so I will be taking all your tips and tips from all the other ladies on board,and try them,thanks for the advice,keep them coming.Marilyn .

  24. Beverley Benjamin says:

    Thank you so much for the information.

    I have tried the Sage Tea remedy and all it did was bring back the dreaded periods! At the age of 58 I had had enough of that so I decided that the hot flushes were the lessor of the 2 evils.

    That being said, it is still uncomfortable, worse at night and at odd times about 2 times a day so I am still looking for some relief. A fan blowing on my face at night helps me to have a better night’s sleep.

    Anything that will work as a tea would be something that I could go for.

  25. Agueda says:

    Very nice suggestions. Thank you very much

  26. Laurie Rogers says:

    I have just turned 48 and am having perimenopausal symptoms, mainly hot flashes. I have found that, since giving up highly caffeinated drinks and by limiting my sugar intake, my hot flashes have greatly diminished!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      That’s awesome!! Lifestyle changes make a HUGE difference in how you can cope-especially when you can figure out what your “triggers” are and avoid them. Thanks Laurie!

  27. Andi says:

    Hi Claire,
    Thank you for all of the suggestions. I’ve only had one bout of night sweats so far, but it was enough to let me know I need to be prepared for next time!! One question: I used to grow Clary Sage, but had to pull it out as it smelled so horrible that my neighbors complained (smelled like unwashed, teen-aged boy armpit!). Please tell me the essential oil doesn’t smell that bad?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Oh no! I personally do not find the oil unpleasant, mostly earthy, herbaceous, spicy and warm. It is distinct, but I don’t think it smells like stinky pits! If the smell is overwhelming, you could always try experimenting with blends to find one that works for you. I’d also suggest going to a local natural health store or co-op that carries essential oils and try the tester bottle first 😉
      The funny thing about clary sage is that there tends to be two reactions-people either love it, and smell something very different than people who aren’t into it, and describe it just like you did the plant!

  28. Yasmine says:

    Hi Claire

    Very good suggestions thank you very much give us more please!!!

  29. Lauren says:

    I have a question about the peppermint remedy- Would this affect your milk supply? I’m breast feeding and I was told to stay away from peppermint all together bc it decreases breast milk. Do you think it would? I have severe anemia and my night sweats are triggered bc of that…but I need to not sweat!!!!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Ugh I am so sorry! It really depends on the individual. Some women are not as affected by some peppermint essential oil, while others noticed a decrease in their milk supply. I would suspect that the amount in this recipe is low enough that it wouldn’t have a huge impact, but I would suggest steering clear just in case, and especially if your doc told you too. I’d try the cool compresses (you can just eliminate the eucalyptus) or cooling your pulse points. I am sorry, night sweats are just horrendous 🙁 I hope the other remedies help!

  30. Brandy says:

    Hi Claire. Do you have herbal suggestions for a quick soothing warm up after waking up freezing from night sweats? I’ve had night sweats since I was in my early twenties, most likely from medication I am taking. Thanks!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Ohh how I loathe those chills after night sweats! It kind of depends on the time-if I am waking up in the morning or in the middle of the night. For the middle of the night I keep a spare set of PJ’s on hand to change into quick, which helps me warm up even if the sheets are damp. And while it doesn’t let the sheets air out the best, i’ll put a blanket or towel over the dampness because I am exhausted and groggy and can’t be bothered to do anything else in the middle of the night :p
      Tossing a reusable heat pack (like the ones made with rice grains) in the microwave and cuddling up with it also helps loads.
      If it’s in the morning, or I am too awake to go back to sleep, nothing helps me warm up faster than a cup of piping hot ginger tea (after changing into dry clothes ideally.) And if you don’t feel like making tea, piping hot water with some lemon juice and honey works as well. Hope that helps!

  31. J Linn says:

    It seems like the eucalyptus mixture for the compress could be kept in a jar in the fridge and used when needed by shaking and pouring into a bowl. I’m going to make some up and use it when I have yard/garden work to do. Thanks!

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