The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Support this site

    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Little evidence that herbals relieve menopause symptoms

    Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin, which is published by the British Medical Journal, has published their review of the evidence.

    Black cohosh

    • 3 studies suggest beneficial effect.
    • 4 others do not.
    • The herb has been linked to liver toxicity.
      • However, 2 other recently published reviews disagree.

    Red clover

    • A meta-analysis found no benefit.
      • Dr. Matthew Anderson from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York agrees and says that 15 years of studies reveal “little evidence of benefit for these products [isoflavones] on menopausal symptoms.

    Dong quai

    • No better than placebo in 1 study.
    • Better than placebo in another, where it was combined with chamomile.
    • Contraindicated in patients taking warfarin (Coumadin), as it may increase the risk for bleeding.
      • A review on The University of Maryland website agrees.

    Evening primrose

    • Not superior to placebo in one study.
      • Reviewers at the Royal Worcestershire Hospital in the UK agree.
    • Evidence suggests it may increase the risk for seizures when used with other drugs that can cause seizures.

    The bottom line?

    I added the links because the abstract of this article lists no authors and no information on the strategy used to select the research reviewed.

    Since posting this summary, A 2010 review tells us nothing has changed. “Herbal formulations such as dong quai, ginseng, kava, and dietary soy, among others, do not appear to benefit patients more than placebo.”

    1/15/09 19:41 JR; updated 10/4/10 20:38 JR

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