Objectives: Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort) is an herbal plant that has antidepressant activity and contains ingredients such as flavonols derivatives, bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidins, xanthones, phloroglucinol, and naphthodianthrones. This study was aimed to test the effect of Hypericum perforatum on hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, and depression in postmenopausal women.
Design & setting: This randomized controlled study was conducted on 80 postmenopausal women aged 45-60 in Izeh, Iran.
Intervention: Two groups received 270-330 μg of H. perforatum (n = 40) or placebo (n = 40) tablets three times a day for two months.
Main outcomes: Data were collected using a socio-demographic questionnaire, the modified Kupperman index before the intervention and 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks after intervention. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was used to gather data before the intervention and in the 8th week of intervention. The data were analyzed using an independent t-test, chi-square test, and repeated measure test.
Results: Seventy women completed the study and five women from each group withdrew the study. The frequency and intensity of hot flashes and the score of Kupperman scale significantly decreased in the H. perforatum group compared to the control group (p < 0.001). In addition, the intensity of depression significantly decreased in the H. perforatum group compared to the control group. At the end of the study, 80% of women in the intervention group did not have depression compared to only 5.7% in the control group (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Treatment with Hypericum perforatum is an efficient way of reducing hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, and depression in postmenopausal women.
Keywords: Early symptoms; Hypericum perforatum; Kupperman index; Menopause.
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