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Herbal supplements fail to relieve menopausal symptoms

Journal alert

Journal alert

Black cohosh alone or combined with other herbs is no better at relieving vasomotor menopausal symptoms than placebo, a double-blind, randomised, controlled study has shown.

A total of 351 women, aged 45 to 55 years, who had experienced two or more vasomotor symptoms a day were studied. Just over half (52 per cent) of the women were in menopausal transition and the remainder were postmenopausal. They were randomised to receive black cohosh, a supplement containing black cohosh and nine other herbs with or without counselling on dietary intake of soy; oestrogen with or without progesterone, or placebo.

Compared with placebo only hormone treatment was shown to relieve vasomotor symptoms.

Newton KM, Reed SD, LaCroix AZ et al. Treatment of vasomotor symptoms of menopause with black cohosh, multibotanicals, soy, hormone therapy, or placebo: A randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2006;145:869-79

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