August 23, 2019

The Effects of Valerian Root on Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women


Women spend 30 years of their lives after menopause, which is more than one-third of their lives. Forty percent of premenopausal women, 70 to 80 percent of women who naturally go through menopause and 90 to 100 percent of those who have had ovarectomy, experience “hot flashes”. It occurs more than 10 times a day in 30 percent of them.

 

Hot flash and perspiration do not jeopardize one’s life but they may result in anxiety and discomfort and they can even affect one’s career, housework and leisure time. Hot flashes usually occur during the night so they affect sleeping patterns and lead to perspiration and sleeplessness. Definitely, insomnia causes anger, restlessness and reduces mental functions, hence makes the body vulnerable to all sorts of stress disorders and can be indirectly related to coronary heart diseases. The proposed treatments are not acceptable for women or practitioners due to their side effects, inappropriate efficacy, or unclear dosage.

 

Furthermore, menopause symptoms are different among populations with different diets, especially those rich in phytoestrogen, which has attracted the attention of women and practitioners to natural, inexpensive herbs that bear little or no side effect. Herbs with estrogen-like components such as ginseng and valerian are recommended for the reduction of menopause symptoms.

 

In 2013 a study was conducted to determine the effects of valerian root on hot flashes in menopausal women and the results were published in Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research.

This study was a randomized double blind clinical trial. Data were collected in three stages (before the treatment, 2 weeks and 4 weeks after the treatment) and from two groups including valerian and placebo group. The subjects include 68 women between the ages of 45 to 55.

 

There was no meaningful difference between the two groups with regard to age, age at menopause and BMI. Subjects were matched for education, occupation, socioeconomic status and there was no meaningful difference between the two groups.

 

The women in the drug group were prescribed 255 mg Valerian capsules 3 times a day for 8 weeks. The women in the placebo group were prescribed identical capsules filled with starch. Then, severity and frequency of hot flashes were measured and recorded through questionnaires and information forms in three levels (2 weeks before, four and eight weeks after the treatment).

The Severity of hot flashes revealed a meaningful statistical difference pre- and post- Valerian treatment; while this difference was not meaningful in the placebo group. Further, the comparison of the two groups regarding the severity of hot flash after the treatment showed a meaningful statistical difference.

Valerian has also led to a reduction of hot flash frequencies 4 and 8 weeks after the treatment but this difference was not meaningful in drug like group.

 

As a result, it can be strongly stated that the reduction in severity and frequency of hot flashes is merely due to the phytoestrogen in valerian, which can be prescribed to women who suffer from hot flashes in a simple and non-invasive manner.

 

 

 

 

1. Mirabi, P., & Mojab, F. (2013). The Effects of Valerian Root on Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 12(1), 217–222. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813196/

 



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