Background: Acute menopausal syndrome especially hot flashes, is one of the most common gynecological problems during menopause. Due to the side effects of hormone therapy, herbal and complementary medicines are always of immense interest to people in the treatment and management of the symptoms and complications of menopause.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms and effects of medicinal plants employed in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Methods: This review article was carried out by examining clinical trial studies between the period of 1994 and 2016. The keywords, which include menopause, climacteric, hot flushes, flashes, herb and phytoestrogens were used to search for herbal medicines used in clinical trials for the treatment of menopausal symptoms using databases such as PubMed, Medline, Scopus, Google scholar, SID and Magiran.
Results: The results of the study showed that the medicinal plants, which include Sage herb (Salvia officinalis), Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Valerina officinalis, Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Black cumin (Nigella sativa), Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), Ginkgo biloba, Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Hypericum perforatum, Panax ginseng, Pimpinella anisum, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Passiflora incarnata, Red clover (Trifolium pratense), and Glycine soja were effective in the treatment of acute menopausal syndrome with different mechanisms.
Conclusion: Medicinal plants can play an imperative role in the treatment of acute menopausal syndrome; however, further studies are required to buttress their efficacy in the treatment of acute menopausal syndrome.
Keywords: Hot flashes; Insomnia; Medicinal plants; Menopause; Phytoestrogens; Vaginal atrophy.