To assess the efficacy of herbal medicine (cinnamon/fennel/ginger) for treating primary dysmenorrhea.
Relevant studies were searched in multiple databases. The weighted mean difference (WMD) was used as the effect indicator for measurement data, and each effect size was given estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Nine studies with 647 patients were selected. Compared with the results in the control group, pain intensity was significantly relieved in the trial group when assessed by the intervention (cinnamon vs. placebo: WMD = 1.815, 95% CI = 1.330–2.301; fennel vs. placebo: WMD = 0.528, 95% CI = 0.119–6.829; ginger vs. placebo: WMD = 2.902, 95% CI = 2.039–3.765), observation period (one cycle: WMD = 2.061, 95% CI = 0.815–3.307; one cycles: WMD = 1.831, 95% CI = 0.973–2.690), and study quality (high quality: WMD = 2.224, 95% CI = 1.488–2.960). Pain duration was significantly shorter in the trial group (cinnamon vs. placebo: WMD = 16.200, 95% CI = 15.271–17.129). No publication bias was observed for either outcome.
For primary dysmenorrhea, cinnamon/fennel/ginger effectively reduced pain intensity, and cinnamon shortened the duration of pain. Further studies are needed to confirm our results.
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