Other popular herbs are promoted for alleviating the hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. A new study shows, however, that black cohosh and red clover are no better than placebo in reducing night sweats and hot flashes.
In the study, almost 90 women were randomly assigned to hormone replacement therapy, red clover, black cohosh or placebo for an entire year. Although all the women had fewer hot flashes at the end of the year than at the beginning, only those taking HRT did significantly better than those on placebo. Their hot flashes had been reduced by 94 percent. The scientists point out that the herbal products appeared to be safe; hormone replacement does carry some known risks, so women who use it should stick to the smallest dose that is effective for the shortest period of time.
[Menopause, Nov/Dec. 2009]