Sample Special Report

Feb 2009 - Special Edition SPECIAL REPORT
Header Journal
Herbal Medicine for Menopausal Symptoms

 By The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin by the BMJ Group 

The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin by the BMJ Group published an article called Herbal Medicine for Menopausal Symptoms[1]. That article was picked up by London Reuters and published on January 13th 2009 as Little Evidence Herbal Remedies Ease menopause-Review and Medical News Today [medicalnewstoday.com] published its response as  Little Or No Evidence That Herbal Remedies Relieve Menopausal Symptoms.
 
This story will continue to capture interest and appear in many more news sources. Your current patients and possible future patients will read the headline and maybe the article. This Special Report summarizes the original article so you are informed and can answer the questions your patients are going to ask.
In This Issue
Key Article Points
Botanicals Covered in Article
Review of the Key Article Points
 
 
Article Outline: 
  • Written as a review of herbs in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
  • Written for healthcare professionals
  • Covers the following herbs: black cohosh, red clover, dong quai/dang gui, evening primrose, ginseng and to a smaller extent wild yam [cream], chaste tree, hops, sage and kava.
 
Key points cited in the introduction:
  • The general problem with the studies looked at are design faults, small sample size and short duration.
  • Many of the trials use different preparations of the same herb and that they are not chemically consistent making comparison difficult.
  • Combination herbal formulas such as those used in TCM [and I point out in Western herbalism as well] use mixtures rather than single herbs and there is little published research. 

Botanicals Covered in Article
 
Black cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa
There are 10 trials included in the black cohosh section. Five trials show little to no effect and five show a positive effect on menopausal symptoms. Two of the studies that had positive results were black cohosh and SJW combinations. So the evidence was balanced. Black cohosh studies used were chosen for being double-blind randomized controlled trials A PubMed search for human, clinical and/or randomized controlled trials with black cohosh and menopause returned a few more studies that are of interest.

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