An overview of amenorrhea and respective remedies in Traditional Persian Medicine

Document Type: Review Article


1 Students Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Department of Phytopharmaceuticals (Traditional Pharmacy), School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Students Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Department of Phytopharmaceuticals (Traditional Pharmacy), School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Phytopharmaceuticals (Traditional Pharmacy), School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Medicinal Plants Processing Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Amenorrhea is described as complete absence or cessation of menstruation. Besides conventional treatment approaches, traditional and complementary medical systems have suggested numerous natural medications for management of amenorrhea. Current study aimed to compile the pharmacological reports on amenorrhea from the standpoints of early Persian scholars. Medical and pharmaceutical manuscripts of Persian medicine from 9th to 18th centuries A.D. have been reviewed to extract the critical points and natural remedies. Based on Traditional Persian Medicine (TPM), impairment in uterus, brain and circulation are main causes of amenorrhea. Any obstruction, either anatomical or functional, in uterus and allied organs or tissues may lead the body to this disorder. Concerning herbal therapy of amenorrhea in TPM, 71 medicinal plants related to 35 families were found. The most prevalent families were Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Lamiaceae and Fabaceae, respectively. Usual routes of administration were oral, vaginal and topical. However, there was one report on a medicament, spoken to be effective nasally. Traditionally, emmenagogue medicines should possess diuretic activity to be effective for amenorrhea. All reported remedies were known as diuretic agents. However, this description is not corresponded with what is now accepted as diuretic. On the other hand, only Foeniculum vulgare showed therapeutic effects on amenorrhea in a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Despite lack of novel information on emmenagogue activity of these remedies, design and conducting evidence-based animal or human studies may be beneficial for new drug discovery from traditional knowledge. 


  1. A.N. Shelling. Premature ovarian failure. Reproduction. 140:633-641 (2010).
  2. A. La Marca, M. Pati, R. Orvieto, G. Stabile, A.C. Artenisio, and A. Volpe. Serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels in women with secondary amenorrhea. Fertility and sterility. 85:1547-1549 (2006).
  3. J. Bieniasz, T. Zak, A. Laskowska-Zietek, and A. Noczyńska. Causes of menstrual disorders in adolescent girls--a retrospective study. Endokrynologia, diabetologia i choroby przemiany materii wieku rozwojowego: organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Endokrynologow Dziecięcych. 12:205 (2006).
  4. E. Deligeoroglou, N. Athanasopoulos, P. Tsimaris, K.D. Dimopoulos, N. Vrachnis, and G. Creatsas. Evaluation and management of adolescent amenorrhea. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1205:23-32 (2010).
  5. J. Weed. Amenorrhea: an approach to diagnosis and management. Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association. 9:463-468 (1968).
  6. D. Maruthiniand A. Balen. Modern management of amenorrhoea. Trends in Urology, Gynaecology & Sexual Health. 13:24-28 (2008).
  7. S.A. Yassin. Herbal remedy used by rural adolescent girls with menstrual disorders. J Am Sci. 8:467-473 (2012).
  8. C.E. Dennehy. The use of herbs and dietary supplements in gynecology: an evidence‐based review. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. 51:402-409 (2006).
  9. M.M. Zarshenas, P. Petramfar, A. Firoozabadi, M.R. Moein, and A. Mohagheghzadeh. Types of headache and those remedies in traditional persian medicine. Pharmacognosy reviews. 7:17-26 (2013).
  10. M.M. Zarshenas, S. Khademian, and M. Moein. Diabetes and related remedies in medieval Persian medicine. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism. 18:142 (2014).
  11. Rhazes. Kitāb al-hāwī fī al-Tibb (The Comprehensive Book on Medicine or Liber Continens). Tehran: Academy of Medical Sciences 2005.
  12. Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Kitāb al-Qānūn fī al-Tibb (Canon of medicine). New Delhi: Senior Press Superintendent, Jamia Hamdard Printing Press 1998.
  13. al-Ansari A. Ikhtiyarat-i Badii (Selections for Badii). Tehran: Pakhsh Razi Press 1992.
  14. Tunakabuni D. Tuhfat al-mu’minin (The Present for the Faithful). Tehran: Research Center of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Nashre Shahr Press 2007.
  15. Shirazi A. Makhzan al-adviyah (The Storehouse of Medicaments). Tehran: Tehran University of Medical Sciences 2009.
  16. Azam Khan M. Eksir - e - Azam (The great Elixir) 3ed. Tehran: Tehran university of MedicalScience : Institute for Islamic and Complementary Medicine 2007.
  17. Ghahraman A.and Okhovvat A. Matching the Old Medicinal Plant Names with Scientific Terminology. Tehran: Tehran University Press 2004.
  18. Khare CP. Indian Medicinal Plants. New York: Springe 2007.
  19. Mozaffarian V. Dictionary of Iranian Plant Names. Tehran: Farhang Moaser Press 2006.
  20. Soltani A. Dictionary of Medicinal Plants. Tehran: Arjmand Press 2004.
  21. Mokabberynejad R., Zafarghandi N., Naseri M., Davati A., BIOOS S., Tansaz M., and Kamalinejad M. Comparison of anatomical causes of amenorrhea on aspect of Avicenna and modern medicine. Medical History. 3:151-171 (2012).
  22. H. Kabir. Introduction to Ilmul advia, Shamsher Publisher and Distributors2002.
  23. E. Mohebbi-Kian, S. Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, and R. Bekhradi. Efficacy of fennel and combined oral contraceptive on depot medroxyprogesterone acetate-induced amenorrhea: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Contraception. 90:440-446 (2014).
  24. S.-H. Han, M.-H. Hur, J. Buckle, J. Choi, and M.S. Lee. Effect of Aromatherapy on Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea in College Students: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 12:535-541 (2006).
  25. S.N. Ostad, M. Soodi, M. Shariffzadeh, N. Khorshidi, and H. Marzban. The effect of fennel essential oil on uterine contraction as a model for dysmenorrhea, pharmacology and toxicology study. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 76:299-304 (2001).