Reference Number: 448
Background: To compare the efficacy and safety of herbal decoction (pods of Cassia fistula Linn. and Arils of Myristica fragrans Houtt) with mefenamic acid in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea.
Methods: In this single-blind, prospective, parallel, standard controlled study, dysmenorrheic patients (n=64) were randomly allocated to receive herbal decoction (n=31) or mefenamic acid (n=33) for two consecutive menstrual cycles. Treatment group received 180 mL herbal decoction of post amaltas (Cassia fistula L pod’s pericarp) (21 g), bisbasah (Myristica fragrans Houtt arils) (3 g) and qand siyah (jaggery) (30 g) which were orally administered at morning for 3 days before the expected start of menstruation. The control group received mefenamic acid 500 mg orally twice daily between day 1 and day 3 of menstruation.
The primary outcomes were visual analog scale (VAS) for pain intensity, pain relief scale and the safety assessment by clinical examination and biochemical parameters.
The secondary outcomes included health-related quality of life (HRQoL) determined by SF-12 health survey questionnaire, duration of pain and pictorial blood assessment chart score for menstrual blood loss. The data were statistically interpreted with 5% level of significance.
Results At the baseline, on day 1, pain severity for VAS score between the groups [7.09 ± 1.07 vs. 6.75 ± 1.09] had no significant difference (p>0.05). However, during the second menstrual cycle, a significant reduction [0.03 + 0.17 vs. 0.42 + 1.44] in pain severity on day 1 was noted in both groups (p<0.001). During the second menstrual cycle, improvement in HRQoL health survey [SF-12 total score: 85.88 ± 5.99 vs 74.83 ± 15.9] and reduction in pain duration were significantly higher in the treatment group compared to the control group. No side effects were reported. Conclusion Herbal decoction was effective to relieve pain and to improve HRQoL in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea.
Significance of this study to the Baker:
This study uses a herbal decoction including Nutmeg (the spice sourced from the plant, Mysritica fragans Houtt) and finds it helped to alleviate women’s menstrual pains. We do recognise however, that this human trial is with a very small number of subjects and therefore this does not imply that everyone benefits from the use of this Nutmeg.
Nutmeg is included in our botanical blends not only because the spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste, but it is found to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Nutmeg is also used in some of our recipes, such as the Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pie.