Nowadays, menopausal women are more and more interested in herbal alternatives to treating their symptoms. The fact that science continues putting various traditional remedial uses to the test gives women more varied options from which to choose.
Such is the case with this 2020 clinical trial from Iran. Researchers took a closer look at the effects of milk thistle on hot flashes, one of the hallmark menopause symptoms.
This randomized clinical trial was done on 80 women with hot flashes, who were taking either capsules with 400 mg of milk thistle extract per day or similar placebo capsules.
Using the Greene Climacteric Scale (GCS) and the Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale (HFRDIS), researchers evaluated the frequency and severity of hot flashes before the study as well as at 4th, 8th, and 12th week check-ups.
The results of this trial on milk thistle for hot flashes were published in the 2020 edition of the renowned Phytotherapy Research journal.
In terms of hot flash frequency, the scores decreased from 4.32 to 1.31 in the milk thistle group. Their severity scores also went down from 5.35 to 1.62. The placebo group did not register significant improvements.
Improvements in the treatment group were already seen as soon as the 4th week check-up and continued showing throughout the study.
What Does It Mean?
Researchers of this trial demonstrated that milk thistle can be used to treat hot flashes during menopause. The herb safely and efficiently decreases both the frequency and the severity of vasomotor symptoms.
This study adds to an already existing body of evidence of milk thistle's therapeutic benefits, including treatment of liver diseases.1 It is milk thistle's active component, silymarin, that is credited for hormone-balancing effects that can be useful for women going through the menopausal transition.
- Phytotherapy Research. (2020). Evaluation of the effect of Silubym marianum extract on menopausal symptoms: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Retrieved January 14, 2021 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.6789
- World Journal of Hepatology. (2014). Hepatoprotective effects of silymarin. Retrieved January 14, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959115/