St John’s Wort, Quality of Life & Hot Flashes

Posted by on Mar 27, 2009 in herbal medicine, hot flash | 0 comments


Can St. John’s Wort improve quality of life during perimenopause?

While the benefit  of St. John’s wort for treatment depression and other mood disorders remains inconclusive, there is new evidence that it might be useful for symptoms of perimenopause that affect quality of life, namely hot flashes.

In a small study published in the February 3 Advanced Edition of Menopause, researchers randomly assigned 47 perimenopausal women experiencing 3 to 5 hot flashes daily to 900 mg St. John’s Wort extract three times daily or placebo. All study participants were asked to keep daily diaries noting the frequency and intensity of their hot flashes. Quality of life and hot flashes scores were also calculated.

At three months, women who had been taking St. John’s Wort reported significant improvements in menopause-specific quality of life and significantly fewer sleep problems. They also experienced improvements in daily hot flash frequency and hot flash scores.

Although the researchers caution that this is small study and that larger trials are needed,they say that St. John’s Wort may improve quality of life in ways that are important to perimenopausal women.

About St. John’s Wort

In addition to controversy over its effectiveness in treating depression, experts recommend against taking St. John’s Wort at the same time as alcohol, narcotics, amphetamines, tyrosine supplements, flu medicines and foods containing tyramine (e.g. yeast, aged cheese, eggplant, soy sauce). St. John’s Wort can also interact with prescription antidepressants, oral contraceptives and certain medications that thin the blood. More information about St. John’s Wort, its side effects and risks can be found here.

As with any herbal preparation, it’s critical to speak to a healthcare practitioner before embarking on therapy. Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Specialist Elaine Stern has a few tips with regards to what you should look for.

In the interim, keep an eye out for more news about St. John’s Wort. These results are encouraging news for hot flashers!

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  1. So hot. So cool… « Flashfree - [...] you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may recall that I wrote previously about St. John’s Wort and…

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