A clinical comparative study of oral and topical ginger on severity and duration of primary dysmenorrhea

Document Type: Original paper

Authors

1 Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Research Institute for Islamic and Complementary Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center and Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Background and objectives: Primary dysmenorrhea has remained a health problem. This study has compared the effect of oral and topical ginger on severity and duration of primary dysmenorrhea.  Methods: A single-blind randomized trial was conducted on 70 female students with moderate and severe primary dysmenorrhea. The participants were stratified randomized between two groups of oral and topical ginger. The oral group received 250 mg capsules of ginger powder and the topical group applied five drops of ginger oil topically every 6 hours from two days before through the first three days of menstruation for three cycles. The severity and duration of pain, and the number of mefenamic acid consumption were assessed in each cycle. Before-after changes were evaluated in each group and were compared between two groups. Results: The reduction of pain severity was 3(±3.2) in the topical compared to 2.6(±3.4) in the oral group (p<0.001). The reduction of pain duration was 14.5(±20.1) h in the topical compared to 14.5(±19.8) h in the oral group (p<0.001). The reduction of mefenamic consumption was 0.4(±1.6) in the topical (p=0.9) compared to 0.5(±1.3) in the oral group (p=0.006). The reduction in pain severity, duration and mefenamic consumption were similar between two groups (p>0.05). Complications were observed in 54.2% of participants in oral group. Conclusions: This study showed that ginger in both oral and topical forms showed similar positive effects on decreasing the severity and duration of pain in primary dysmenorrhea; however, the topical ginger oil was a better choice because it showed no complications.

Keywords


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