Is there a role for Western herbal medicine in treating cyclic perimenstrual pain and discomfort?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2019, 59 (1), pp. 154 - 156
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Conventional treatments for cyclic perimenstrual pain and discomfort, while numerous and diverse, have drawbacks including side effects, interference with women's reproductive function and, importantly, failure to address symptoms. Many women turn to herbal medicine to treat a myriad of menstrual symptoms. Clinical evidence supports the efficacy of Vitex agnus-castus but other medicinal herbs typically used by Western herbalists for treating menstrual symptoms are unsupported by clinical trials. This raises concerns around the efficacy and safety of these herbs. Women's treatment options need to be extended and individualised, where current conventional strategies fail, requiring appropriate clinical trials of potentially useful herbal medicines.
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