|Title||Treatment of menopausal symptoms by qualified herbal practitioners: a prospective, randomized controlled trial|
|Authors||Green, J., Denham, A., Ingram, J., Hawkey, S. and Greenwood, R.|
Objectives. To assess the effectiveness of professional herbal practice in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. To generate pilot data for future sample size calculations.
Methods. A pilot prospective, randomized, waiting list controlled trial was conducted in primary care at one urban UK GP practice. Participants were 45 women aged 46–59, experiencing self-defined menopausal symptoms and no menstrual bleeding for 3 months. Exclusion criteria included use of hormone replacement therapy. Participants were block randomized into a treatment group (n = 15) who received a course of individualized treatment from one of three herbal practitioners, and control group (n = 30) offered treatment after waiting 4 months. Treatment was six consultations over 5 months including discussion of nutrition, lifestyle and individualized herbal prescription. Change in menopausal symptoms was measured in both groups using the validated Greene Climacteric Scale. Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile recorded changes in self-defined most troublesome symptoms.
Results. Forty-four participants completed the study. The treatment group demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in menopausal symptoms compared to the control group. Total scores for menopausal symptoms reduced for both groups. Reduction for the treated group was 9.05 points greater than that for the control group, CI 5.08–13.03, as were changes in vasomotor scores (mean 1.81, CI 1.00–2.62). Libido increased (mean 0.69, CI 0.38–0.99) in the group receiving herbal treatment.
Conclusion. The treatment package from herbal practitioners improved menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes and low libido. This offers evidence to support herbal medicine as a treatment choice during the menopause.
|Journal citation||24 (5), pp. 468-474|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1093/fampra/cmm048|