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Maturitas. 2014 Feb;77(2):191-4. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.11.001. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Herbal preparations for the menopause: beyond isoflavones and black cohosh.

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Menopause Clinic, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Ghent, De Pintelaan, 185, 9000 Gent, Belgium. Electronic address:
Emeritus, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, University Hospital of Ghent, De Pintelaan, 185, 9000 Gent, Belgium.


Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) such as isoflavones and black cohosh are commonly used to deal with menopausal symptoms, but benefit a limited proportion of women. The aim of this minireview is to summarize the evidence of the efficacy and safety of other herbal preparations. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) find that the extracts of Mediterranean pine bark (Pycnogenol(®)), linseed, and Lepididium meyenii (Maca) reduce vasomotor symptoms. The results of RCTs of the hop flavonoid 8-prenylnaringenin are conflicting. Animal and human studies suggest that Dioscorea villosa (Wild yam),and Broccoli may protect against osteoporosis and breast and gynecological cancers but further evidence is required. Linseed may protect against breast cancer but the results are conflicting.


Herbal medicine; Menopause; Nutraceutical; Treatment

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