Bak Foong Pills And Menoease Pills For The Treatment Of Dysmenorrhoeal And Menopausal Symptoms

Author

Rowlands DK, Gou YL, Ho LS, Tsang LL, Chung YW & Chan HC, Epithelial Cell Biology Research Centre, Department of Physiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Proceeding

1st International Conference & Exhibition on Women's Health & Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine

Date

23/8/2005

Keyword

Bak Foong Pills, Menoease Pills, dysmenorrhoeal symptoms, menopausal symptoms, estrogen levels,

Abstract

Bak Foong Pills (BFP) have traditionally been used in China and South East Asia for the treatment of gynaecological disorders, with some clinical data indicating that BFP is effective in the treatment of early, delayed and prolonged menstrual flows, and also general reduction in menstrual discomfort. However, although long suspected to be estrogenic in nature, no evidence of the mechanisms of BFP had ever been reported. We thus aimed at investigating the mechanism of BFP with the primary focus on its use for the alleviation of dysmenorrhoeal symptoms. Our studies demonstrated that BFP’s anti-dysmenorrhoeal properties were due to a combination of hormonal, myometrial relaxant and analgesic effects. Treatment of rats with BFP caused elevation of both serum estrogen and progesterone levels, whereas BFP was also able to significantly reduce myometrial contractions in vitro, indicating that BFP’s anti-dysmenorrhoeal effect may be aided by reduced contractility of the myometrium. Investigation of the analgesic effect of BFP, assessed using a visceral pain model in mice, also showed that following sub-chronic (72 hour) treatment with BFP, there was a significant reduction in pain response, demonstrating that BFP had direct analgesic action. The hormonal effects of BFP also lead us to the investigation of possible new formulation for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Menoease pills were designed and developed specifically for the use of menopausal women. An aged rat (18-months) model of menopause was used, that demonstrated characteristics such as decreased circulating estradiol levels and also a decline in immune performance, similar to those seen in post-menopausal women. Treatment with Menoease significantly increased serum estrogen levels, but not progesterone levels. Menoease was also demonstrated to restore white blood cell profiles similar to those found in young rats. Menoease however failed to have any beneficial effect on ovariectomised animals indicating that Menoease modulates estrogen release from the ovaries and not from an exogenous source. Together these result suggest that Menoease may be beneficial in restoring endogenous estrogen levels and improving attenuated immunity in post-menopausal women.