Siberian rhubarb root extract to be more precise, otherwise known as Rheum rhaponticum. This extract from the rhubarb plant has been used in Germany since 1993 for menopausal symptoms. The root of Siberian rhubarb is rich in hydroxystilbene compounds including rhaponticin and desoxyrhaponticin which contribute to the hormone-balancing effects. Siberian rhubarb is considered a natural approach for women seeking menopausal relief with a non-hormonal option. Human studies have shown the plant extract to alleviate 11 menopause symptoms by as much as 83%.
How does Siberian rhubarb work?
Siberian rhubarb does not contain oestrogen but does bind to oestrogen receptors. There are two types of oestrogen receptors in the body ER-alpha and ER-beta. ER alpha can potentially trigger dangerous reactions inside the body. The phytochemicals in Siberian rhubarb selectively bind to the ER-beta receptors, most of which are located in the skin, bones, brain and heart. This binding to the ER-beta receptor seems to result in a reduction in menopausal symptoms in particular hot flushes. This is thought to be due to ER-beta receptors regulation of ER-alpha receptors when in the same tissues.
A number of studies have evaluated Siberian rhubarb extract and a reduction in menopausal symptoms. It has shown to have an impact on symptoms of hot flushes as mentioned earlier, heart discomfort, sleep problems, depressive mood, irritability, anxiety, physical and mental exhaustion, sexual problems, bladder issues, joint and muscle discomfort.
Throughout the studies safety parameters were checked for abnormalities in breast tissue, endometrium, hormones, liver enzymes, body weight, blood pressure and gynaecology and nothing was found. No health issue have been related to the daily dose of 4mg of this supplement since it was first marketed in 1993. Always check with your nutritional therapist before starting a new supplement. For more info on the menopause and diet see my article here.