Here’s some important information for Zoomer women. A new study finds little evidence that herbal remedies purported to relieve symptoms of menopause actually work.
More and more women are taking alternatives to prescription treatments because of the link between hormone replacement therapy and heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. Here’s what the study, in a bulletin published by the British Medical Journal, found about the most popular remedies:
Black cohosh: The report revealed contradictory evidence. Several studies found that women who took this had no major difference in symptoms compared with women given a placebo. Other studies found it did provide some relief to some women. Black Cohosh has also been associated with increased risk of liver toxicity and was subject to a Health Canada warning in 2006.
Red clover: A review of 30 trials found no major difference in menopausal symptoms among women who took red clover extracts compared with placebo. There was the same finding, for evening primrose oil, ginseng, and the Chinese herb Dong quai taken on its own. There was, however, some evidence that this herb taken with chamomile reduced hot flashes.
The study authors are not saying herbal remedies have no benefit. But as more of us turn to them, it’s important to have better evidence on how well they work, what the potential risks are and who they are best suited for.