Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience 2010; 8(1): 30-37  
The Effects of St. John's Wort on Premenstrual Syndrome in Single Women: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study
Jung-Gum Ryoo1, Sae-Il Chun1, Young-Jin Lee2, Ho-Suk Suh3
1Graduate School of Complementary Alternative Medicine, 2Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, 3Department of Psychiatry,
School of Medicine, CHA University, Seoul, Korea
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Objective: St. John's wort (SJW) is known to be effective in treating depression and mood disorders. This study was designed to verify the effect of SJW for mood symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in single women. Methods: A total of 30 single women who suffered from premenstrual symptoms were recruited for this study and followed up for three menstrual cycles. The study used double-blind randomized controlled clinical trials. Subjects were recruited from among healthy single women with no history of medication. We included women who scored above 10 on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) or above 217 on the Premenstrual Assessment Form (PAF). We excluded women with endocrine disease, genitourinary, obstetric or gynecologic disease, any previous psychiatric disease, or who were taking medication. The 30 subjects were divided randomly into two groups. The experimental group (n = 16) were treated with 600 mg/day of hypericin, an extract of SJW. The control group (n = 14) were given a placebo that looked similar to the SJW extract. From the first to the third menstrual cycle, all subjects wrote a daily diary to record any PMS symptoms. From the second to the third menstrual cycle, all subjects took two pills daily and continued to take the pills for about two months. We investigated BDI, PAF, and self-assessment of unpleasant feelings using a visual analogue scale (VAS) at baseline and again at the end of the third menstrual cycle. Each variant was further analyzed via nonparametric testing, and changes in values from before to after the study were assessed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Results: Compared to the placebo group, the SJW group exhibited no significant differences in VAS, total PAF, or BDI. However, the groups differed significantly (p<0.05) on three PAF subtype scores: emotional lability, hostility/anger, and impulsivity. Conclusion: The results suggest that SJW affects emotional lability, hostility or anger, and impulsivity related to premenstrual syndrome in single women.
Keywords: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS); Saint John's wort; Premenstrual assessment form (PAF); Beck depression inventory scale (BDI); Visual analogue scale (VAS); Daily diary for PMS.


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