Background: Primary dysmenorrhea with interferes in daily activities can have adverse effects on quality of life of women.
Objectives: Regarding the use of herbal medicine, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of cinnamon on primary dysmenorrhea in a sample of Iranian female college students from Ilam University of Medical Sciences (west of Iran) during 2013-2014.
Patients and methods: In a randomized double-blind trial, 76 female student received placebo (n = 38, capsules containing starch, three times a day (TDS)) or cinnamon (n = 38, capsules containing 420 mg cinnamon, TDS) in 24 hours. Visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to determine the severity of pain and nausea. Vomiting and menstrual bleeding were assessed by counting the number of saturated pads. The parameters were recorded in the group during the first 72 hours of the cycle.
Results: The mean amount of menstrual bleeding in the cinnamon group was significantly lower than the placebo group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). The mean pain severity score in the cinnamon group was less than the placebo group at various intervals (4.1 ± 0.5 vs. 6.1 ± 0.4 at 24 hours, 3.2 ± 0.6 vs. 6.1 ± 0.4 at 48 hours, and 1.8 ± 0.4 vs. 4.0 ± 0.3 at 72 hours, respectively) (P < 0.001). The mean severity of nausea and the frequencies of vomiting significantly decreased in the cinnamon group compared with the placebo group at various intervals (P < 0.001, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Regarding the significant effect of cinnamon on reduction of pain, menstrual bleeding, nausea and vomiting with primary dysmenorrhea without side effects, it can be regarded as a safe and effective treatment for dysmenorrhea in young women.
Keywords: Complementary Therapies; Herbal Medicine; Nausea; Pain; Vomiting.