The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Black cohosh and St. John’s wort in women during the climacteric

    Here are the results of a study in 301 women experiencing climacteric complaints with psychological symptoms.

    The women were treated with black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) extracts, or a placebo for 16 weeks.

    The results
    Menopause Rating Scale (health-related quality of life or severity of complaints in aging women)

    • Decreased 50% with treatment, but only 20% with placebo

    The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (evaluates depressed mood, symptoms of depression, and anxiety symptoms)

    • Decreased 42% with treatment, but just 19% with placebo

    Both differences were statistically significant in favor of the fixed combination.

    So, what should we think about these findings?

    Adriane Fugh-Berman, associate professor in the complementary medicine program at Georgetown University has chronicled the lack of good treatment alternatives for hot flashes. She’s not impressed with black cohosh. Click the black cohosh button on the right to read all about it.

    St. John’s wort, on the other hand, has documented positive effects on depression.

    Makes one wonder what black cohosh is actually contributing to these patients’ response?

    12/14/06 19:11 JR

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