Effects of valerian on the severity and systemic manifestations of dysmenorrhea
Objective: To evaluate the impact of valerian a herb with sedative effects and antispasmodic effects on smooth muscles-on the severity of dysmenorrhea. Methods: In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 100 students were randomly assigned to receive valerian (n = 49) or placebo (n = 51). Valerian (dose 255 mg) was given 3 times daily for 3 days beginning at the onset of menstruation, for 2 consecutive menstrual cycles. At baseline and during the intervention cycles, the pain severity was evaluated with a visual analog scale and the systemic manifestations were assessed using a multidimensional verbal scale. Results: The pain severity at baseline did not differ significantly between the groups. After the intervention, the pain severity was significantly reduced in both groups (P<0.001), but the extent of the reduction was larger in the valerian group, with the difference between the 2 groups being statistically significant (P<0.05). The total scores of the systemic manifestations associated with dysmenorrhea decreased after the intervention, but there was no significant difference between the groups, with the exception for syncope (P<0.05). Conclusion: Valerian seems to be an effective treatment for dysmenorrhea, probably because of its antispasmodic effects. (C) 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.