Chinese Herbal Remedy Offers Hot Flush Relief in Menopause
Women facing the menopause have to deal with a whole range of symptoms, many of them unpleasant and uncomfortable, such as hot flushes. Finding a treatment that alleviates the worst of those symptoms is often high on a menopausal woman’s list of priorities.
Now there’s a promise of some respite in the news of a Hong Kong study, which reveals that women who started taking a Chinese herbal remedy saw their instances of hot flushes reduced by half.
The herbal mix is called Er-xian decoction (EXD), made up of compounds from the roots, stems or leaves of six Chinese herbs. Those compounds are processed into granules and packaged in sachets that can be made into a tea.
Previous studies have already linked EXD with a reduction in hot flushes but the Hong Kong team wanted to put the remedy through more stringent testing and used 101 women in their 40s and 50s, all of whom were at or near menopause and going through the typical symptoms.
Half of the women were given a 15g dose of EXD to drink twice daily for 12 weeks with the other half given a placebo herbal remedy containing tea, caramel and the herbal compound gardenin. Each woman noted the number of hot flushes she was experiencing for two weeks before the trial began – the EXD had an average of 5.8 hot flushes daily; those in the placebo group reported an average of 5 daily.
The results of the trial, published in the journal Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, showed that women in the EXD group only experienced an average of 2.2 hot flushes daily during the 12 weeks they took the daily remedy. Women in the placebo group had an average of 2.5 hot flushes daily.
Importantly, 12 weeks after the trial had ended, the women who had been drinking EXD were still only experiencing 2.2 hot flushes per day while the other group’s instances of hot flushes had risen to 2.9 daily. And significantly, the severity of the hot flushes decreased for women taking EXD.
At the moment women are generally prescribed hormone replacement therapy to alleviate the worst symptoms of the menopause but the treatment brings with it significant health risks. A possible, natural alternative such as EXD would be of great interest to the medical profession and potentially great benefit to women. However, more research is required into the remedy and also into the exact preparation that would be most effective as the chemical composition of EXD differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.