Friday 01 February 2008, 12:00AM
PEARLS 44, February 2008, written by Brian R
How effective is Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for
primary dysmenorrhoea (PD)?
Compared to placebo, no treatment, conventional medicine such as
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the oral
contraceptive (OC), acupuncture and heat compression, CHM reduced
menstrual pain in the treatment of PD. It also improved overall
symptoms and reduced the use of additional medication.
These findings should be interpreted with caution due to the
generally low methodological quality of the studies.There was no
accurate description of the herbal preparations.The practice of
Chinese medicine uses clusters of related symptoms to determine
appropriate treatment and there are 5 or 6 different patterns of
Chinese diagnostics which may correspond to the Western concept of
Dysmenorrhoea is a common complaint. NSAIDS and the OC have been
used successfully but more women are looking for non-drug
therapies. CHM has been used for centuries in China, and is
commonly used in public hospitals in China for the treatment of
Cochrane Systematic Review
Zhu X et al. Chinese herbal medicine for primary dysmenorrhoea.
Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2007, Issue 4. Article No. CD005288.
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD0005288.pub 2. Note: The review contains 39
trials involving 3475 participants, 36 of the trials were conducted
in mainland China, 1 in Taiwan, 1 in Japan and 1 in The