Objective: To evaluate the impact of valerian-a herb with sedative effects and antispasmodic effects on smooth muscles-on the severity of dysmenorrhea.
Methods: In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 100 students were randomly assigned to receive valerian (n=49) or placebo (n=51). Valerian (dose 255 mg) was given 3 times daily for 3 days beginning at the onset of menstruation, for 2 consecutive menstrual cycles. At baseline and during the intervention cycles, the pain severity was evaluated with a visual analog scale and the systemic manifestations were assessed using a multidimensional verbal scale.
Results: The pain severity at baseline did not differ significantly between the groups. After the intervention, the pain severity was significantly reduced in both groups (P<0.001), but the extent of the reduction was larger in the valerian group, with the difference between the 2 groups being statistically significant (P<0.05). The total scores of the systemic manifestations associated with dysmenorrhea decreased after the intervention, but there was no significant difference between the groups, with the exception for syncope (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Valerian seems to be an effective treatment for dysmenorrhea, probably because of its antispasmodic effects.
Copyright © 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.