Menopause Symptoms Managed With Chinese Herbs

In vitro estrogenic activities of Chinese medicinal plants traditionally used for the management of menopausal symptoms.
Zhang CZ, Wang SX, Zhang Y, Chen JP, Liang XM.

Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road No. 161, Dalian 116011, PR China.

The estrogenic activity of 70% EtOH extracts of 32 traditional Chinese medicinal plants, selected according to their reported efficacy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, was assessed using a recombinant yeast system with both a human estrogen receptor expression plasmid and a reporter plasmid. Among them, 11 (34%) species proved to be active. Polygonum cuspidatum had the highest estrogenic relative potency (RP) (3.28 x 10(-3)), followed by Rheumpalmatum (3.85 x 10(-4)), Cassia obtusifolia (3.49 x 10(-4)), Polygonum multiflorum (2.87 x 10(-4)), Epimedium brevicornum (2.30 x 10(-4)), Psoralea corylifolia (1.90 x 10(-4)), Cynomorium songaricum (1.78 x 10(-4)), Belamcanda chinensis (1.26 x 10(-4)), Scutellaria baicalensis (8.77 x 10(-5)), Astragalus membranaceus (8.47 x 10(-5)) and Pueraria lobata (6.17 x 10(-5)). The EC(50) value of 17beta-estradiol used as the positive control was 0.205+/-0.025 ng/ml (RP=100). This study gave support to the reported efficacy of Chinese medicines used for hormone replacement therapy.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):295-300.