Some herb remedies seem useful, according to researchers at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in Italy.

First, the details.

  • Of 102 articles identified, 10 studies were worth including in the review.
  • Differences in study design made it impossible to conduct a meta-analysis.

And, the results.

  • Vitex agnus castus (aka Vitex, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Monk’s Pepper)
    • It was the most studied remedy (4 studies in about 500 women).
    • It consistently ameliorated premenstrual syndrome (PMS) better than placebo.
  • Ginkgo biloba and Crocus sativus
    • Single studies support the use of either.
  • Evening primrose oil and St. John Worth
    • Neither better than placebo.
  • Safety
    • None of the herbs was associated with major health risks.
    • However, so few patients studied that this does not allow definitive conclusions on safety.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Some herb remedies seem useful for the treatment of PMS.”

But there are too few studies to know for sure.

12/27/10 22:32 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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