Trial finds ashwagandha provides relief for symptoms of menopause

Food in a bowl and outside of the bowl

Intake of the herb ashwagandha helped relieve the symptoms of menopause in a trial reported in the December 2021 issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Research.1

Ashwagandha is a plant that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian regimens. Today, it's commonly used for stress support, sexual dysfunction, sleep enhancement, cognitive support and more.

"The present study is the first double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of an ashwagandha root extract on climacteric symptoms in perimenopausal women," authors Sriram Gopal of D Y Patil University School of Medicine and colleagues announced.

Ninety-one women completed the eight-week trial, in which 46 participants were given 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice per day, while the remainder received a twice-daily placebo. Participants rated the severity of their hot flashes in a daily symptom diary and scored other menopause symptoms using menopause symptom rating questionnaires.

The ashwagandha group reported significant improvements in many of their symptoms, including hot flashes, by four weeks. At the end of the trial, women who received ashwagandha had a reduction in overall menopause rating scale scores that was more than double that of the placebo group—with significant reductions in psychological, somatic-vegetative (hot flashes, heart discomfort, sleeping problems and/or joint or muscular discomfort) and genitourinary symptoms (such as vaginal dryness, sexual discomfort and/or bladder issues) as well.

"These findings suggest that ashwagandha root extract can be a safe and effective option to relieve mild to moderate climacteric symptoms during perimenopause in women," the authors concluded.


Apply What You've Learned: Menopause

  • Although some women breeze through the menopausal transition, others suffer symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, fatigue, headache, irritability, "brain fog," insomnia, anxiety, depression, low libido and joint discomfort. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which uses forms of estrogen and progesterone that are identical to those produced in the body, can relieve many of these symptoms.
  • In addition to BHRT, women may benefit from plant-based alternatives that provide similar physiological effects. This includes isoflavones from soy, hops and other plants and lignans from flaxseeds and sesame seeds.2
  • An extract of Siberian rhubarb root also is clinically studied to relieve many common menopause symptoms and improve quality of life in perimenopausal women.3-5 It significantly reduced the number and severity of hot flashes by four weeks, and, after being taken for 96 weeks, on average the women had less than two mild hot flashes per day.3,6  
  • Menopause is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. As usual, a healthy diet and a physician-approved exercise regimen can help protect against these and other aging-associated conditions.
  • Women going through menopause are up to 4x more likely to have a diagnosis of depression than when they were premenopausal.7,8 Anxiety is also more common. Both ashwagandha and Siberian rhubarb extracts have been found to help relieve menopause-related mood changes.1,4


  1. Gopal S et al. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021 Dec;47(12):4414-4425.
  2. Chen MN et al. Climacteric. 2015 Apr;18(2):260-9.
  3. Heger M et al. Menopause. Sep-Oct 2006;13(5):744-59.
  4. Kaszkin-Bettag M, et al. Menopause. 2007 Mar-Apr;14(2):270-83.
  5. Kaszkin-Bettag M, et al. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Jan-Feb;15(1):24-34.
  6. Hasper I, et al. Menopause. 2009 Jan-Feb;16(1):117-31.
  7. Freeman EW, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006 Apr;63(4):375-82.
  8. Birkhäuser M. Ther Umsch. 2021;78(8):427-434.

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