NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A review of a number herbal remedies
commonly used to control menopause symptoms reveals little evidence that
they are effective. The researchers also found a lack of standardization or
quality assurance for these preparations, according to a report in the Drug
and Therapeutics Bulletin.
"There is no strong evidence either way for several herbal remedies commonly
taken to relieve troublesome menopausal symptoms," editors of the report
Their review includes black cohosh, red clover, Dong quai, evening primrose
oil, ginseng, wild yam extract, chaste tree, hops, sage and kava kava.
The findings "raise several issues for women," the Bulletin's chief editor
Dr. Ike Iheanacho in London, UK, told Reuters Health. Potential problems
include "quality issues, whether the product is in fact what it says it is
on the box, and whether or not it will be the same product in the next
box...There is a lack of standardization of product preparation."
"Even if these products are safe, there is a lack of evidence showing they
relieve symptoms," he added.
"The message is definitely not that women should not use these remedies, but
that the patient should inform her physician about the product she is using,
and it should be investigated to the degree possible."
SOURCE: Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, January 2009.