Urtica dioica in comparison with placebo and acupuncture: A new possibility for menopausal hot flashes: A randomized clinical trial.
Complement Ther Med. 2019 Jun ;44:166-173. Epub 2019 Apr 4. PMID: 31126551
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of Urtica dioica in comparison with placebo, acupuncture and combined therapy on hot flashes and quality of life in postmenopausal women.
METHODS: In a double-blinded randomized controlled trial, patients were treated for 7 weeks then followed up 4 weeks. Seventy-two postmenopausal women who reported at least 20 hot flashes attacks per week were randomly allocated into one of the 4 groups of Urtica dioica 450 mg/day and acupuncture 11 sessions (A), acupuncture and placebo (B), sham acupuncture and Urtica dioica (C), and sham acupuncture and placebo (D). The primary outcomes were the change in hot flashes score from baseline to the end of treatment and follow up; and the change in the quality of life (MENQOL) from baseline to the end of treatment. Secondary outcomes included changes in FSH, LH, and ESTRADIOL levels from baseline to the end of treatment. The trial was conducted from October 2017 to July 2018 in Acupuncture clinic of a teaching hospital in Iran.
RESULTS: A total of 72 women 45-60 years old were enrolled, and 68 were included in the analyses. The median (IQR) hot flashes score decreased in the A group by 20.2 (31.7) and 21.1 (25.1), B group by 19 (18) and 17.3 (27), C group by 14.6 (25.4) and 20.8 (13), and D group by 1.6 (11.6) and 1 (13.3) at the end of treatment and follow up (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001); no significant difference between A, B and C groups. The mean (SD) of MENQOL score decreased in the A group by 42.6 (21.1), B group by 40.7 (29.8), C group by 37.8 (26.8) and D group by 9.8 (14.3) at the end of treatment (P = 0.001); no significant difference between A, B and C groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Urtica dioica can decrease menopausal hot flashes and increase the quality of life of postmenopausal women better than placebo-sham control but same as acupuncture. The combination of Urtica dioica and acupuncture did not add to the effects of those therapies.