A Chinese herbal remedy is no better than a placebo at relieving the symptoms of menopause, a new study suggests. The drug is called dong quai, and is used by some women for treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness.
Fertility and Sterility (1997;68:981-986)
COMMENT: Just because a method is natural does not mean it should be used. Clearly if it is ineffective it should not be recommended. I have used don quai for a number of women and have not found it to be useful for the most annoying side effect of menopause, hot flashes. That is the bad news. The good news is that black cohosh works wonderfully for most all women with this problem. Natural progesterone (see issue #18) will also help with this problem for most women, but it may take many months for it to work. Regardless of its benefit for hot flashes, nearly every woman should consider using natural progesterone for its protective effets on osteoporosis.