Objective: To determine the efficacy and safety of the herbal formula Phyto-Female Complex (SupHerb, Netanya, Israel; ingredients: standardized extracts of black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, American ginseng, chaste-tree berry) for the relief of menopausal symptoms.
Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 50 healthy pre and postmenopausal women, aged 44-65 years, to whom oral Phyto-Female Complex or matched placebo was prescribed twice daily for 3 months. A structured questionnaire on the frequency and intensity of menopausal symptoms was administered weekly from one week before throughout the 3-month treatment period, followed by biochemical tests, breast check, and transvaginal ultrasonography.
Results: The women receiving Phyto-Female Complex reported a significantly superior mean reduction in menopausal symptoms than the placebo group. The effect of treatment improvements in menopausal symptoms increased over time; by 3 months there was a 73% decrease in hot flushes and a 69% reduction of night sweats, accompanied by a decrease in their intensity and a significant benefit in terms of sleep quality. Hot flushes ceased completely in 47% of women in the study group compared with only 19% in the placebo group. There were no changes in findings on vaginal ultrasonography or levels of relevant hormones (estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone), liver enzymes or thyroid-stimulating hormone in either group.
Conclusion: Phyto-Female Complex is safe and effective for the relief of hot flushes and sleep disturbances in pre- and postmenopausal women, at least for 3 months' use.