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J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Mar;12(1):61-9. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2014-0004.

Effect of rhubarb (Rheum emodi) in primary dysmenorrhoea: a single-blind randomized controlled trial.



The aim of this study was to investigate and evaluate the efficacy of Rheum emodi in the management of primary dysmenorrhoea.


A randomized, single-blind, standard controlled trial compared efficacy of R. emodi against mefenamic acid on diagnosed subjects of primary dysmenorrhoea for three consecutive cycles. Experimental group (n=30) received capsules of R. emodi powder two times a day, two days before the expected date of menstruation, and continued first three days of menstruation, while control group (n=15) participants received mefenamic acid capsules three times a day on the same protocol. The primary outcome measures were reduced in severity and duration of pain, assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS) and verbal multidimensional scoring system (VMSS), and secondary outcome measures were overall improvement of dysmenorrhoea and improved in quality of life (QOL). Statistical analysis was done by repeated measures analysis of variance and Chi-square/Fisher Exact test.


The menstrual pain was significantly decreased in both groups after three-cycle intervention. Significant changes were observed in VAS (p<0.001) and VMSS (p<0.001) in the experimental group. There is a significant (p<0.001) reduction in duration of pain in both the groups. Associated symptoms and QOL were markedly improved after treatment (p<0.001).


It has been clear from the above result that R. emodi is an effective herb in alleviating symptoms of primary dysmenorrhoea. It can serve as an alternative treatment without any apparent side effects. These results deserve further investigations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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