Hot flashes are by far the most common ailment of the menopausal transition. Women stricken by frequent daily episodes are usually desperate to try anything to make them go away. Luckily, this Iranian study comes to the rescue by taking a closer look at whether valerian can reduce hot flashes in menopausal women.
This double-blind clinical trial recruited 68 postmenopausal women, between 45 and 55, reporting hot flashes as their primary discomfort.
For the duration of eight weeks, half of them were taking three capsules per day with 255 mg of valerian, while the other half was taking the placebo capsules containing starch.
Before, during, and after the trial, researchers evaluated women's hot flash severity and frequency.
When comparing the scores before and after the trial, women in the valerian group showed a significant reduction in both the severity and frequency of hot flashes (a severity score decrease from 9.82 to 5.23 and a frequency score drop from 7.91 to 4.83).
In fact, a reduction of hot flash frequency was already seen at the 4th week check-up. The placebo group, on the other hand, did not show meaningful improvements.
What Does It Mean?
Researchers of this trial encourage menopausal women to consider valerian as an alternative treatment for hot flashes. Their findings clearly show that valerian can reduce hot flash severity and frequency in a matter of weeks.
Valerian's benefits for menopause symptoms are believed to be due to its richness in phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that act as weak estrogens in the body, helping ease the effects of hormonal deficits.1
It is also worth noting that, contrary to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), valerian supplementation has not caused serious side effects in menopausal women.
- Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. (2013). The Effect of Valerian Root on Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women. Retrieved January 26, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813196/
- Climacteric. (2015). Efficacy of phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Retrieved January 26, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4389700/