Fennel for hot flashes?

by
Anna Mooney.

The humble herb promises effective symptom reduction without serious side effects, a new study shows.

Fennel, the anise-flavored herb we use for cooking, has long been known for its health benefits for many conditions, including digestion and premenstrual symptoms. Now, a new study confirms that it is also effective in the management of postmenopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, and anxiety,  - and the best bit? NO serious side effects.

The alternative to HRT?

Women in search of alternative to Hormone therapy have long sought complementary and alternative medicine options to manage their menopause symptoms – maybe they are not candidates for HRT, or are concerned about the negative publicity surrounding potential side effects.

Enter Fennel, a herb containing essential oils which has phytoestrogenic properties, meaning estrogen-like chemicals in plants that have been used to effectively treat a wide array of menopause symptoms.

In the most recent trial, 79 Iranian women from 45 to 60 took twice-daily, soft capsules containing 100 mg of fennel for eight weeks. Improvements were compared at four, eight, and 10 weeks, with significant differences noted between those taking fennel and the placebo group.  In the end, fennel was concluded to be a safe and effective treatment to reduce menopause symptoms without serious side effects.

Menopause adverse effects

The study was completed in Tehran, Iran, where the average age of women at menopause is younger than in Ireland/the United States: 48.2 years versus 51 years, respectively. Some of the most common adverse effects of menopause are hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, joint and muscular discomfort, exhaustion, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

You can read more about the study and its outcomes, published online in Menopause, the online journal of the North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org

With thanks to  Anurag Arora @ Unsplash for use of the photograph.

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