Review of Efficacy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2017 May;62(3):286-297. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12628. Epub 2017 May 31.


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments have been used for thousands of years around the world. There has been increased interest in utilizing CAM for menopausal symptoms since the release of results of the Women's Health Initiative elucidated long-term adverse effects associated with hormone therapy. Women looking for more natural or safer means to treat hot flushes, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms often turn to CAM such as yoga, phytoestrogens, or black cohosh. Yet there have been few well-conducted studies looking at the efficacy of these treatments. This review examines randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses evaluating the effectiveness of commonly used CAM for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); isoflavones; menopause; phytoestrogens; postmenopausal; soy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cimicifuga
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Exercise Movement Techniques*
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Menopause*
  • Phytoestrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Yoga


  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Extracts