This double-blind, randomized clinical trial, studied the effect of Hypericum perforatum extract (St. John’s wort extract) compared with placebo, on symptoms and quality of life of 47 symptomatic perimenopausal women aged 40 to 65 with three or more hot flashes per day. Women were randomly assigned to receive a St. John’s wort extract (900 mg three times per day) or placebo. The women used a daily diary to record hot flash severity and frequency during the week before the study group selection process and again for a week before the end of the three month follow-up. The Menopause-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire was also used.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks of treatment, a non-significant difference in favor of the St. John’s wort group was observed in the daily hot flash frequency and the hot flash score. However, after those three months of treatment, women in the St. John’s wort group reported significantly better quality of life scores, and significantly fewer sleep problems compared to placebo.
Commentary: St. Johns wort research is expanding into the realm of use for perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Other recent studies have reported improvement in psychological, well-being and quality of life in symptomatic perimenopausal and menopausal women. In the current study, while not especially helpful for hot flashes, there was an improvement in quality of life scores and sleep problems. I commonly use St. Johns wort with black cohosh for women with hot flashes and mood issues during perimenopause and menopause. The research on each and even two studies using the combination of the two reveal that these two plants in combination are a premium option for perimenopausal and menopausal women with some of the most common of symptoms.
Al-Akoum M, Maunsell E, Verreault R, Provencher L, Otis H, Dodin S. Effects of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) on hot flashes and quality of life in perimenopausal women: a randomized pilot trial. Menopause. 2009 Mar-Apr;16(2):307-14