The assessment of efficacy of Diascorea alata for menopausal symptom treatment in Taiwanese women

Climacteric. 2011 Feb;14(1):132-9. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2010.498594. Epub 2010 Jul 23.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of Diascorea alata for treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Materials and methods: Two-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical investigation on 50 menopausal women randomly assigned to two groups, treated for 12 months with either placebo or two sachets daily of Diascorea extracts containing 12 mg/sachet. Primary outcome measures were changes in the Greene Climacteric Scale caused by Diascorea compared with placebo; secondary outcomes were changes in plasma hormone profiles. One-way ANCOVA test was performed to investigate the significance.

Results: At 6 months and at the end of treatment, those women who received Diascorea showed general improvement in almost all the clinical symptoms investigated. A significant reduction was noted in the total Greene scores in the Diascorea group assessed at the end of 12 months' treatment (p < 0.01). This phenomenon was more significant for the psychological parameters of anxiety than for other parameters. Apparent improvements were noted in the parameters 'feeling tense or nervous' (p = 0.007), 'insomnia' (p = 0.004), 'excitable' (p = 0.047) and 'musculoskeletal pain' (p = 0.019) among those receiving Diascorea. Diascorea consumption also resulted in positive effects on blood hormone profiles.

Conclusions: Compared with placebo, Diascorea alata improves symptoms, particularly the psychological parameters in menopausal women. Safety monitoring indicated that standardized extracts of Diascorea alata were safe during daily administration over a period of 12 months.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Body Mass Index
  • Climacteric / drug effects*
  • Climacteric / psychology*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Dioscorea*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy
  • Taiwan


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Estradiol
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone