A Chinese herbal formula, Er-xian decoction (EXD), has been recently studied in Hong Kong. Observed on a group of women, this study has shown to reduce the number of menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. The frequency of hot flashes for these women decreased by 62 percent with the intake of this herbal mix, while a group of women taking a placebo experienced only a 52 percent drop. Although the decrease in number of hot flashes is not down to zero, it is a decline.
Katherine Newton, a researcher at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, has studied herbal menopause therapies and has suggested that EXD does look like a promising alternative menopause treatment.
The most effective therapy for menopause related symptoms is hormone replacement therapy. Unfortunately, this therapy does involve potential health risks from hormones. Women have been searching for a safe alternative and this Chinese herbal formula may be the answer.
Er-xian decoction (EXD) is composed of compounds from the roots, stems, and leaves of six Chinese herbs that are processed into granules and packaged into tea sachets.
Since the first study was not entirely reliable a second study was composed with the help of 101 women in there 40s and 50s who were experiencing or near experiencing menopause. For 12 weeks these women drank an herbal formula twice a day. Half of the women drank a 15 gram dose of EXD, while the other half drank a false mixture that consisted of tea, caramel and gardenin, an herbal compound.
The women logged their hot flashes for two week prior to the study and those numbers were compared with the results from the study. The women in the EXD group reported an average of 5.8 hot flashes each day, while the other women faced five daily.
Three months after the study, the women who drank EXD remained at experiencing 2.2 hot flashes a day, but the group who drank the placebo experienced a slight increase to 2.9 hot flashes per day. Although the difference is slight, it is still a difference. These numbers show that EXD does have a positive effect on women’s menopause symptoms.
Newton has stated to Reuters Health that the results from this reliable study have placed EXD to be considered among other studies of non-hormonal therapies that show some positive outcomes.
Yao Tong, a professor at the University of Hong Kong and one of the authors of this new reliable study, proposes that traditional Chinese medicine views menopause symptoms as related to deficiencies in kidney yin and yang, which both regulate the function of the body. Both of these kidneys are improved with EXD and the herbs that compose it. Tong has also stated that EXD also increases hormonal and anti-oxidant functions in the body.
Tong notes that a company is interested in developing the formula she and her partners used in the study, although the product is not yet consistent. In order for this product to make a significant difference in the marketplace, it must be a dependable formula. Once this Chinese herbal formula is set and stone, it will have great potential to have a positive effect on women experiencing menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes.
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