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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Chamomile Extract and 497526963Mefenamic acid (MA) on the severity of symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This study was conducted on 90 women in Iran, with 45 women in each group. Women were included if they were single, ages 18-35, normal body mass index, a regular menstrual cycle and with a diagnosis of PMS and without chronic mental or physical diseases. The participants were divided into the two groups, and one group received chamomile capsule 100 mg three times a day from day 21 until the onset of the menstrual period, and for two cycles. Group two receive the MA capsules of 250 mg three times a day and again, from day 21 until the first day of the menstrual period, for two cycles.

The mean values of severity of general physical and psychological symptoms in the premenstrual period were similar between the two groups prior to the onset of the treatment. The mean reduction in overall intensity of symptoms after the two courses of treatment was significantly different between the two groups, and the chamomile was modestly more effective, after the treatment of two cycles. Specifically, the reduction of psychological symptoms was more effective with chamomile and there were similar results in the relief of the physical symptoms between the two groups. The results also indicated that the chamomile was more significantly effective for anger and irritability and mefenamic acid was more effective for arthralgia, muscular aches, and abdominal and pelvic pains.

Commentary: PMS is one of the most common problems in reproductive aged women with a prevalence of 62.4% to 83.1%. The most frequent physical symptoms of PMS include abdominal bloating, fatigue, breast tenderness and headache. The common behavioral and psychological symptoms include irritability, anger, depression, increased appetite and loss of concentration. PMS symptoms start any time after ovulation and then end with the onset of menses or towards the end of menses. In other studies, chamomile has been found to be effective against anxiety and anger.

It is interesting that the treatment cycle was only 7 days. For those women with more severe intensity and longer duration of PMS symptoms…. from ovulation through the end of the cycle, I would likely give the chamomile all month long, or at least the 2 plus weeks.

Reference: Sharifi F, Simbar M, Mojab F, Majd H. Comparison of the effects of Matricaria chamomile (Chamomile) extract and mefenamic acid on the intensity of premenstrual syndrome. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2014;20:81-88

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