The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is reporting on a recent review in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG) supporting the use of herbal medicine for treating postmenopausal symptoms. The report is a positive step towards general mainstream acceptance of natural medicine.
A commonly used herb in treating menopausal symptoms is black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and there have been several trials investigating efficacy. A recent 2012 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 180 symptomatic menopausal women over 12 weeks showed black cohosh to be an effective, dose-dependent treatment for menopausal symptoms (Schellenberg et al., 2012). The finding of dose-dependence in this study supports anecdotal evidence of lack of efficacy from use of over-the-counter products, which are typically low dose. As well as using higher doses, a medical herbalist will use black cohosh as part of a treatment protocol involving several other herbs in a balanced formula, addressing the individual’s needs.
Schellenberg R, Saller R, Hess L, Melzer J, Zimmermann C,
Drewe J, Zahner C. 2012Dose-Dependent Effects of the Cimicifuga racemosa
Extract Ze 450 in the Treatment of Climacteric Complaints: A Randomized,
Placebo-Controlled Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:260301.
doi: 10.1155/2012/260301. Epub Dec 23.