Could Chinese Tea Reduce Your Hot Flash Frequency?

Complementary remedies have been proven to guard your wellbeing against the negative symptoms of menopause. This is according to a new study from Hong Kong which found that women who take a Chinese herbal formula experience less than half the number of menopausal hot flashes that they have before the treatment.

The study results, which were published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, revealed that women who took a herbal mix called Er-xian decoction (EXD), experienced a drop in daily hot flashes of 62%, whilst women taking a placebo exhibited a 52% drop in hot flash frequency. According to Katherine Newton, a researcher who has studied herbal menopause therapies at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, who was not involved in the study, ‘It’s a modest effect, but not a zero effect.’

Yao Tong, a professor at the University of Hong Kong and one of the authors of the new study, said that though hormone replacement therapy is considered the most effective therapy for menopause-related symptoms, the potential health risks from hormones mean that women are looking for complementary wellness alternatives. The compounds contained in er-xian decoction (EXD) have been extracted from the roots, stems or leaves of six Chinese herbs. These are then processed into granules which can be made into a tea.

For the study, the team of researchers gave a herbal formula to 101 women in their 40s and 50s. These participants were at or near menopause and experiencing symptoms, and were asked to drink the formula twice a day for 12 weeks. One group of women drank a 15 gram dose of EXD, while the other half were given a placebo made up of tea, caramel and an herbal compound called gardenin. The women logged their hot flashes for two weeks prior to the treatment.

In the EXD group, the average number of daily hot flashes dropped from 5.8 to 2.2, while those in the other group went from an average of 5 hot flashes to 2.5. These results had stayed put three months after the treatment ended for the EXD women, but the placebo group’s hot flash average rose to 2.9 three months down the line. Dr. Alan Bensoussan, the director of the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, commented, ‘Menopausal flushing is notoriously responsive to fluctuations and placebo responses in clinical trials, yet [the researchers] have rigorously demonstrated an improvement in favour of active treatment.’

Comments are closed.