Hypericum perforatum with Vitex agnus-castus in menopausal symptoms: a randomized, controlled trial

Hypericum perforatum with Vitex agnus-castus in menopausal symptoms: a randomized, controlled trial

van Die, M.D., Burger, H.G., Bone, K.M., Cohen, M.M., Teede, H.J., (2009) Hypericum perforatum with Vitex agnus-castus in menopausal symptoms: a randomized, controlled trial, Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 1-8

Abstract

 

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effectiveness of a phytotherapeutic intervention comprising a combination of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) and Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste tree/berry) in the management of menopausal symptoms.
DESIGN:
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel trial was performed over 16 weeks in 100 eligible late-perimenopausal or postmenopausal women experiencing hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms. Herbal combination therapy or placebo tablets were administered twice daily. The primary endpoint was hot flush episodes. Secondary endpoints included Greene Climacteric Scale scores, Hamilton Depression Inventory scores, and Utian Quality of Life Scale scores.
RESULTS:
Ninety-three women completed the study. Data analysis on an intent-to-treat basis found no significant differences between the two groups for any of the endpoints. Analyses performed at interim data time points revealed no significant differences at week 4, 8, or 12 for daily weighted flushes or scores on the Greene Climacteric Scale or Hamilton Depression Inventory. However, significant improvements across the treatment phase were observed in both the placebo and active treatment groups for these endpoints. No significant change was found for either group on quality of life.
CONCLUSION:
The herbal combination of H. perforatum and V. agnus-castus was not found to be superior to placebo for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. The herbal combination was well tolerated with no significant adverse events noted in the short term. Robust findings from quality studies such as this are important for informing the community, healthcare providers, and regulatory authorities.

Wellness and the thermodynamics of a healthy lifestyle

Wellness and the thermodynamics of a healthy lifestyle

Cohen, M. (2010) Wellness and the Thermodynamics of a Healthy Lifestyle, Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education 1(2) 5-12

Abstract

 

Wellness has recently emerged as an industry sector and a multidimensional academic discipline that includes psychological, physiological, social, demographic and ecological dimensions. Wellness enhances resilience and is therefore a survival imperative that is fundamental to life, yet current Western definitions of wellness do not refer to fundamental a priori principles.
Eastern medicine on the other hand does refer to universal principles and suggests that bliss is a natural homeostatic set-point
and that wellness can be achieved by living according to the Tao. Congruence between Eastern concepts and thermodynamics
further suggests that Qi is related to information and flow, and that wellness arises from maximal flow and minimum entropy production. These principles, which can be represented by an Illness-Wellness Vortex, suggest that the healthiest lifestyle provides maximal enjoyment with minimal waste. Thus, conscious consumption and cultivation of psychological flow can provide the means for achieving wellness through aligning internal and external states.

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): A herb for all reasons

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): A herb for all reasons

Cohen, M., (2014)Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): A Herb For All Reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 5(4): 251-59

Abstract

 

The predominant cause of global morbidity and mortality is lifestyle-related chronic diseases, many of which can be addressed through Ayurveda with its focus on healthy lifestyle practices and regular consumption of adaptogenic herbs. Of all the herbs used within Ayurveda, tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn) is preeminent, and scientific research is now confirming its beneficial effects. There is mounting evidence that tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. Tulsi has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties. Tulsi’s broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which includes activity against a range of human and animal pathogens, suggests it can be used as a hand sanitizer, mouthwash and water purifier as well as in animal rearing, wound healing, the preservation of food stuffs and herbal raw materials and traveler’s health. Cultivation of tulsi plants has both spiritual and practical significance that connects the grower to the creative powers of nature, and organic cultivation offers solutions for food security, rural poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and climate change. The use of tulsi in daily rituals is a testament to Ayurvedic wisdom and provides an example of ancient knowledge offering solutions to modern problems.