Background: Perimenopause is the period during which many physiological changes mark the transition into the final menstrual period of a woman and these changes are associated with climacteric symptoms.
Objectives: This study aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of an Ashwagandha root extract on the climacteric symptoms, quality of life (QoL), and hormonal parameters in perimenopausal women.
Materials and methods: In this 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 100 women with climacteric symptoms were randomly allocated to take either a placebo or 300 mg of an Ashwagandha root extract twice daily. Outcomes were measured using the menopause rating scale (MRS), menopause-specific QoL (MENQoL), hot flash score, and hormonal changes in estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone.
Results: Among 100 participants enrolled, 91 participants completed the study. In comparison with the placebo, ashwagandha supplementation was associated with a statistically significant reduction in total MRS score (p < 0.0001), reflected by significant reductions in the psychological (p = 0.0003), somato-vegetative (p = 0.0152), and urogenital (p < 0.0001) domains. Ashwagandha intake demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in total MENQoL scores (p < 0.0001) and was also associated with a statistically significant increase in serum estradiol (p < 0.0001) and a significant reduction in serum FSH (p < 0.0001) and serum LH (p < 0.05) compared with the placebo. There was no significant between the group differences in the serum testosterone level.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that ashwagandha root extract can be a safe and effective option to relieve mild to moderate climacteric symptoms during perimenopause in women.
Keywords: MENQoL; MRS; ashwagandha; hot flashes; insomnia; perimenopause.
© 2021 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.