Effects of herbal preparations on symptom clusters during the menopausal transition.Climacteric. 2015 Feb; 18(1):11-28.C
To determine the effects of herbal therapies on hot flushes and at least one other symptom including, sleep, mood, cognition, and pain that women experience during the menopausal transition and early postmenopause.
An extensive search of PubMed/Medline, CINAHL Plus, PsycInfo, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, EMBASE, AMED, and Alt-Health Watch for randomized, controlled trials reported in English between January 2004 and July was conducted by an experienced reference librarian. There were 1193 abstracts identified but only 58 trials examined effectiveness of therapies for hot flushes and at least one additional co-occurring symptom.
Seventeen studies used herbal preparation including seven studies of black cohosh, two studies of black cohosh mixed with other herbals, and eight studies of other herbals. Of these, one study of black cohosh, two studies of black cohosh mixed with other herbals, and four other herbal studies had significant effects on hot flushes and at least one additional co-occurring symptom. The adverse events of herbal therapies were various, ranging from mild to moderate and women were generally tolerant of the preparations.
Black cohosh mixed with other herbals, Rheum rhaponticum, and French maritime pine bark had significant effects on hot flushes and at least one other symptom. These herbal therapies may be a promising alternative treatment to hormonal treatment. Future studies should classify women based on their menopausal stages, report each symptom separately, have adequate sample size, focus on multiple co-occurring symptoms, and target symptom management of menopausal symptoms.