Fennel-Lemon Balm Syrup for Alleviating Hot Flash in Post-Menopausal Women, a Pilot Study

Document Type : Original paper

Authors

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

2 Midwifery Department, Medical School, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, 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 Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Background and objectives: Hot flash is one of the most common problems in post-menopausal women. The usual treatment is hormone therapy with estrogen and progesterone, which presents side effects such as heart attack, cancer, and depression. In Iranian traditional medicine, some prescriptions have been recommended for treatment of hot flash; in the present study, a syrup was formulated based on traditional medicine and the efficacy in hot flash was evaluated in a pilot study in post-menopausal women. Methods: Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) and Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) were used for preparing the syrup. Physicochemical and microbial quality control tests were performed and the syrup was standardized based on rosmarinic acid and total phenolics content. The effect in post-menopausal women was evaluated in a pilot study with Carpenter Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale questionnaire. Results: The results of the quality control and accelerated stability tests after six months were in agreement with the acceptance criteria. The pH, density, viscosity, dry residue, total phenolics and rosmarinic acid contents were 5.29, 1.12 g/cm3, 42.15 cP, 43.43, 4 mg/mL (as pyrogallol) and 1.28 mg/mL, respectively. In the pilot study, the number and intensity of hot flash decreased (p<0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the number and intensity of night sweating before and after the intervention (p>0.05). Conclusion: Considering the promising effect of the formulated syrup on hot flash and the acceptable quality and stability of the product, it can be suggested in larger clinical trials for confirming the efficacy.

Keywords


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