A pilot study of Hypericum perforatum for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome

BJOG. 2000 Jul;107(7):870-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2000.tb11085.x.


Objective: To investigate whether Hypericum perforatum could relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in a small group of women in order to establish a hypothesis and to test methods for conducting a future randomised controlled trial.

Design: Prospective, open, uncontrolled, observational study.

Setting: Department of Complementary Medicine, University of Exeter.

Population: Nineteen women with premenstrual syndrome who were in otherwise good physical and mental health and not taking other treatments for premenstrual syndrome.

Method: Volunteers underwent a preliminary screening interview, completed Daily Symptom Ratings for one cycle, and attended a medical screening visit before being diagnosed with premenstrual syndrome. Participants took hypericum tablets for two complete menstrual cycles (1 x 300 mg hypericum extract per day standardised to 900 microg hypericin).

Main outcome measures: Symptoms were rated daily throughout the trial using a validated measure. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale and modified Social Adjustment Scale were administered at baseline and after one and two cycles of treatment.

Results: There were significant reductions in all outcome measures. The degree of improvement in overall premenstrual syndrome scores between baseline and the end of the trial was 51%, with over two-thirds of the sample demonstrating at least a 50% decrease in symptom severity. Tolerance and compliance with the treatment were encouraging.

Conclusion: The results of this pilot study suggest that there is scope for conducting a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to investigate the value of hypericum as a treatment for premenstrual syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypericum / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome