May 2007: Menopausal Symptoms: The Benefits of St. John’s Wort Combined With Black Cohosh
In 2002, evidence from the Women’s Health Initiative study showed that hormone replacement therapy does not protect against heart disease (as previously thought) and, furthermore, can have serious adverse consequences. Use of hormone replacement therapy has drastically declined since that time, and women have been eager to find alternative therapies for their menopausal symptoms.
Another herb is a logical candidate: St. John’s wort. Psychological disturbances are common in menopause, and standard antidepressant drugs have been found helpful. Because a very large body of evidence shows that
In 2006, German researchers published the results of a double-blind study that enrolled 301 women experiencing depression as part of their overall menopausal symptoms. The results showed that use of a proprietary black cohosh / St. John’s wort combination treatment was significantly more effective than placebo for both problems.
A subsequent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in April of 2007, tested a similar formulation of black cohosh and St. John’s wort in 89 women with general menopausal symptoms. The results, as reported by these Korean researchers, indicated improvements in hot flashes as well as overall menopause symptom scores. In addition, the combination therapy appeared to raise levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, an unexpected benefit.
Chung DJ, Kim HY, Park KH, et al. Black cohosh and St. John's Wort (GYNO-Plus(R)) for climacteric symptoms. Yonsei Med J . 2007;48:289-94.
Uebelhack R, Blohmer JU, Graubaum HJ, et al. Black cohosh and St. John's Wort for climacteric complaints: a randomized trial. Obstet Gynecol . 2006;107:247-55.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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