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Health News Archive 207 - Menopause
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Black Cohosh, St. John's Wort Combo May Benefit Menopausal Women

German researchers found a fixed combination of St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) and black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) was able to help alleviate psychological and physical complaints associated with menopause. In the double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, 301 women with menopausal complaints and psychological symptoms were treated with an ethanolic St. John's wort extract and isopropanolic black cohosh extract, or a matched placebo, for 16 weeks. Physical complaints were assessed with the Menopause Rating Scale mean score, while psychological complaints were evaluated on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale sum score.

After the treatment period, the mean Menopause Rating Scale score decreased 50 percent in the treatment group and 19.6 percent in the placebo group. Similarly, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale total score decreased 41.8 percent in the treatment group and 12.7 percent in the placebo group. There were no major differences between groups regarding adverse events, laboratory values or tolerability.

The researchers concluded the particular combination of St. John's wort and black cohosh was superior to placebo in alleviating both the emotional and physical complaints associated with menopause. Their results were published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Source: Ralf Uebelhack, MD, Jens-Uwe Blohmer, MD, Hans-Joachim Graubaum, PhD, Regina Busch, MD, Joerg Gruenwald, PhD and Klaus-Dieter Wernecke, PhD. Black Cohosh and St. John’s Wort for Climacteric Complaints: A Randomized Trial. Obstetrics & Gynecology (107:247-55, 2006).

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