Valerian is one of the most widely used herbal supplements and a phytoestrogenic herb. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Valerian on the severity and frequency of hot flashes. This triple-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted during a three-month period in Hamadan, Iran, in 60 postmenopausal women aged 45-55 years. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups- either placebo or Valerian. An oral Valerian 530 mg capsule was given twice per day for two months. An oral placebo 530 mg capsule (starch) was similarly administered. The severity and frequency of hot flashes were determined by the Kupperman index, before the intervention, one month after, and two months after initiation of the intervention. The severity of hot flashes in the Valerian group was significantly lower than that in the placebo group at one (p = .048) and two months (p = .020) after initiation of the intervention. Compared with the placebo group, the mean frequency of hot flashes was significantly reduced two months after initiating the use of Valerian (p = .033). Health-care providers should consider Valerian to be effective for menopausal women with hot flashes.
Keywords: Clinical trial; Valerian; hot flashes.