Research: HSU and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 127


HSU and co-workers, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taipei Medical University-Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, have studied a Chinese medical preparation for painful periods.


Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) is directly related to elevated level of prostaglandin F(2)alpha, and is often treated with painkillers (NSAIDs). Though the action of these drugs is rapid, the effect is temporary, and they cause many side effects to the liver, kidney and digestive system. Because of this, Chinese medicinal therapy is being considered as a feasible alternative medicine. The aim of this study was to investigate Dang-Qui-Shao-Yao-San (DQSYS), one of Chinese medicinal prescriptions.


A 50% alcoholic solution was used to extract the active ingredients and create a freeze-dried product. Using rat uterine smooth muscle in vitro, DQSYS was used to suppress spontaneous contractions and prostaglandin F(2)alpha-induced contractions. Then acetyl choline, ergonovine, propranolol, oxytocin and potassium chloride were used to analyze the physiological mechanisms.


DQSYS showed antagonistic sctivity to both prostaglandin F(2)alpha and acetyl choline induced uterine contraction. Furthermore, it showed an antagonistic effect on contractions caused by membrane depolarization.


This study elucidates what may be the major mechanism of action of the Chinese prescription DQSYS in treating dysmenorrhea.


Hsu CS, Yang JK, Yang LL. Effect of "Dang-Qui-Shao-Yao-San" a Chinese medicinal prescription for dysmenorrhea on uterus contractility in vitro. Phytomedicine 13 (1-2): 94-100, Jan 2006.

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