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J Ginseng Res. 2013 Mar;37(1):30-6. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2013.37.30.

Ginseng for managing menopause symptoms: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.

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1
Korea Food Research Institute, Seongnam 463-746, Korea.

Abstract

The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of ginseng as a treatment option for managing menopause symptoms. We searched the literature using 11 databases from their inception to 26 September 2012 and included all randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared any type of ginseng to a placebo controls in postmenopausal women. The methodological quality of all studies was assessed using a Cochrane risk of bias tool. Four RCTs met our inclusion criteria. Most RCTs had high risk of bias. One RCT showed that Korean red ginseng (KRG) significantly improved sexual arousal and global health compared with placebo. Another RCT reported the superiority of KRG over placebo for treating menopause symptoms on Kupperman's index and menopausal rating score. The third RCT failed to show a significant effect of KRG on hot flash frequency compared to placebo. The fourth RCT found beneficial effects of ginseng compared to placebo on depression and well-being. In conclusion, the evidence on ginseng as an effective treatment for managing menopause symptoms is limited. Most of the RCTs are burdened with a high risk of bias. Thus firm conclusions cannot be drawn. Rigorous studies seem warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Complementary medicine; Menopause symptoms; Panax ginseng; randomized clinical trial; systematic review

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