19/10/2011 11:25 BST | Updated 19/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Study: Liquorice Pill Helps Beat Menopausal Hot Flushes

It’s the black, sticky sweet treat many of us ate during our childhood, but if the latest research is anything to go by, liquorice could also be the latest remedy for soothing menopause symptoms.

Researchers from the University of California have found that a pill, which contains extracts from the plant root, helps reduce menopausal ‘hot flushes’ by up to 80%.

The research involved 51 menopausal women who were 50 years old and experiencing up to 10 hot flushes a day. They were given 50mg to 100mg of liquorice extract in a daily pill form called licogen and were followed for a year.

After eight months, researchers found that hot flushes had dropped from four hot sweats a night, to just one.

The experts believe that the chemicals in liquorice mimic the effect of the female hormone oestrogen, which usually dip during menopause causing hot flushes and various other symptoms such as vaginal dryness and mood swings.

Scientists are also hoping that these findings could pave the way for cheaper, natural and safer treatments for menopausal symptoms in the future, especially for those who aren’t on, or don’t want to take, Hormone Replacement Therapy.

“There was a pretty significant reduction in hot flushes on the study,” says Dr Marsha Baker, who led the study.

Other benefits discovered was the liquorice pill could also reduce the number of osteoporosis sufferers, which can be caused by the menopause.

However, although the findings are a step closer to finding natural alternatives to HRT, scientists warn that further investigation needs to be done, as it was only a small study.

If you're experiencing hot flushes, check out these tips on how to deal with them.

How To Tackle The Menopausal Hot Flushes