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Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:42-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.022. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

The effect of frankincense (Boswellia serrata, oleoresin) and ginger (Zingiber officinale, rhizoma) on heavy menstrual bleeding: A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial.

Author information

1
Department of Persian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Electronic address: eshaghyan2012@gmail.com.
2
Department of Persian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Electronic address: mazaherimohammad@yahoo.com.
3
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Electronic address: ghannadian@gmail.com.
4
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Electronic address: s_rouholamin@med.mui.ac.ir.
5
Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center, and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Electronic address: awat_feizi@hotmail.com.
6
Department of Persian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. Electronic address: drbabaeian@yahoo.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effect of frankincense (Boswellia serrata, oleoresin) and ginger (Zingiber officinale, rhizoma) as complementary treatments for heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) among women of reproductive age.

DESIGN:

Randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial.

SETTING:

Gynecology outpatient clinics.

INTERVENTIONS:

Patients with HMB (n = 102) were randomly assigned to three groups. All patients received ibuprofen (200 mg) and either frankincense (300 mg), ginger (300 mg), or a placebo, which contains 200 mg anhydrous lactose as the filling agent and was similar in appearance to the two other drugs. Patients received the medications three times a day for seven days of the menstrual cycle, starting from the first bleeding day and this was repeated for two consecutive menstrual cycles.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Amount and duration of menstrual bleeding and quality of life (QOL).

RESULTS:

Duration of menstrual bleeding was decreased in the frankincense (-1.77 ± 2.47 days, P = 0.003) and ginger (-1.8 ± 1.79 days, P = 0.001) groups, but not in the placebo group (-0.52 ± 1.86 days, P = 0.42). Amount of menstrual bleeding was decreased in all (P < 0.05), with no difference among the study groups (P > 0.05). More improvement in QOL was observed in the frankincense (-25.7 ± 3.1; P < 0.001) and ginger (-29.2 ± 3.7: P < 0.001) groups compared to the placebo group (-15.07 ± 3.52; P < 0.001) and between the groups, differences were statistically significant (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Ginger and frankincense seem to be effective complementary treatments for HMB. Further studies with a larger sample size and longer follow-up are warranted in this regard.

KEYWORDS:

Boswellia serrata; Frankincense; Ginger; Heavy menstrual bleeding; Menorrhagia; Zingiber officinale

PMID:
30670277
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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