Complementary/alternative therapies for premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Jul;185(1):227-35. doi: 10.1067/mob.2001.113643.


Complementary/alternative therapies are popular with women who have premenstrual syndrome. This systematic review was designed to determine whether use of such therapies is supported by evidence of effectiveness from rigorous clinical trials. Trials were located through searching 7 databases and checking the reference lists of articles. Randomized controlled trials investigating a complementary/alternative therapy in women with premenstrual syndrome published in the peer-reviewed literature were included in the review. Twenty-seven trials were included investigating herbal medicine (7 trials), homeopathy (1), dietary supplements (13), relaxation (1), massage (1), reflexology (1) chiropractic (1), and biofeedback (2). Despite some positive findings, the evidence was not compelling for any of these therapies, with most trials suffering from various methodological limitations. On the basis of current evidence, no complementary/alternative therapy can be recommended as a treatment for premenstrual syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Homeopathy
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome