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Herbal Medicine.

Rahnama P, Montazeri A, Huseini HF, Kianbakht S, Naseri M. Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012; 12:92.

Background: Zingiber officinale R. rhizome (ginger) is a popular spice that has traditionally been used to combat the effects of various inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of ginger on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea.

Method: This was a randomized, controlled trial. The study was based on a sample of one hundred and twenty students with moderate or severe primary dysmenorrhea. The students were all residents of the dormitories of Shahed University. They were randomly assigned into two equal groups, one for ginger and the other for placebo in two different treatment protocols with monthly intervals. The ginger and placebo groups in both protocols received 500 mg capsules of ginger root powder or placebo three times a day. In the first protocol ginger and placebo were given two days before the onset of the menstrual period and continued through the first three days of the menstrual period. In the second protocol ginger and placebo were given only for the first three days of the menstrual period. Severity of pain was determined by a verbal multidimensional scoring system and a visual analogue scale.

Results: There was no difference in the baseline characteristics of the two groups (placebo n = 46, ginger n = 56). The results of this study showed that there were significant differences in the severity of pain between ginger and placebo groups for protocol one (P = 0.015) and protocol two (P = 0.029). There was also significant difference in duration of pain between the two groups for protocol one (P = 0.017) but not for protocol two (P = 0.210).

Conclusion: Treatment of primary dysmenorrhea in students with ginger for 5 days had a statistically significant effect on relieving intensity and duration of pain.

Kim SY, Seo SK, Choi YM, Jeon YE, Lim K J, Cho S, Choi YS, Lee BS. Effects of red ginseng supplementation on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2012;19(4):461-6.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of red ginseng (RG) on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women.

Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial was conducted with postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 60 years. A total of 72 women were randomly assigned to either an RG group (supplemented with 3 g of RG, including 60 mg of ginsenosides, per day) or a placebo group for 12 weeks. We analyzed changes in menopausal symptoms (the Kupperman index and the menopause rating scale), cardiovascular risk factors (lipid profiles, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and carotid intima-media thickness), and serum estradiol levels from baseline to 12 weeks.

Results: Significant improvements in the Kupperman index (P = 0.032) and in the menopause rating scale (P = 0.035) scores were observed in the RG group compared with the placebo group. Total cholesterol (P = 0.009) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.015) significantly decreased in the group receiving RG. The RG group also showed a significant decrease in carotid intima-media thickness (P= 0.049). Serum estradiol levels were not influenced by RG supplementation.

Conclusions: RG could be an attractive herbal dietary supplement for relieving menopausal symptoms and conferring favorable effects on markers of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women.

Pengelly A, Snow J, Mills ST, Scholey A, Wesnes K, Butler LR. Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2012;15(1):10-7.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) has traditional reputations that justify investigation for a potential role in reducing widespread cognitive decline in the elderly. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, repeated-measures crossover study was conducted to investigate possible acute effects of dried rosemary leaf powder on cognitive performance. Twenty-eight older adults (mean age, 75 years) were tested using the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment system 1, 2.5, 4, and 6 hours following a placebo and four different doses of rosemary. Doses were counterbalanced, and there was a 7-day washout between visits. There was a biphasic dose-dependent effect in measures of speed of memory: the lowest dose (750 mg) of rosemary had a statistically significant beneficial effect compared with placebo (P=.01), whereas the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant impairing effect (P<.01). There were significant deleterious effects on other measures of cognitive performance, although these were less consistent. Speed of memory is a potentially useful predictor of cognitive function during aging. The positive effect of the dose nearest normal culinary consumption points to the value of further work on effects of low doses over the longer term.
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Title Annotation:Recent Research
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:801
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