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Open AccessReview

Fennel for Reducing Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1
Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea
2
Clinical Medicine Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea
3
Korean Convergence Medicine, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34113, Korea
4
Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin 3419759811, Iran
5
You and Green Korean Medicine Clinic, Daejeon 35262, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3438; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113438
Received: 9 October 2020 / Revised: 27 October 2020 / Accepted: 4 November 2020 / Published: 10 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Nutrition)
Fennel is used as an alternative treatment for primary dysmenorrhea. This review aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of fennel for reducing pain in primary dysmenorrhea. Twenty databases, including English, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Iranian, and Spanish databases, were searched from inception to 20 October 2020. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effectiveness of fennel for treating primary dysmenorrhea were considered. Two reviewers conducted the data extraction and risk of bias assessment independently. Any discrepancies were resolved through discussion with a third reviewer. A total of 12 studies were included in this review. The pooled results of seven trials showed that the effect of fennel is similar to that of conventional drug therapies in alleviating pain (n = 502, standardized mean difference (SMD): 0.07, 95% confidence interval(CI): −0.08 to 0.21, p < 0.37, I2 = 0%). In comparison with placebo, fennel was seen to have favorable effects on reducing pain in primary dysmenorrhea (n = 468, SMD: −3.27, 95% CI: −5.28 to −1.26, p = 0.001, I2 = 98%). Only three studies assessed adverse events (AEs), and one study reported minor AEs. Although the risk of bias for all the included studies was moderate, potential publication bias was observed due to the presence of a greater number of small studies with favorable effects. This systematic review concludes that fennel is as effective as conventional drug therapies in alleviating pain in primary dysmenorrhea. More studies that include more diverse populations and robust evidence of fennel’s effects will be needed in future research endeavors. View Full-Text
Keywords: fennel; extract; placebo; pain; dysmenorrhea; systematic review; meta-analysis fennel; extract; placebo; pain; dysmenorrhea; systematic review; meta-analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, H.W.; Ang, L.; Lee, M.S.; Alimoradi, Z.; Kim, E. Fennel for Reducing Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3438. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113438

AMA Style

Lee HW, Ang L, Lee MS, Alimoradi Z, Kim E. Fennel for Reducing Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2020; 12(11):3438. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113438

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, Hye W.; Ang, Lin; Lee, Myeong S.; Alimoradi, Zainab; Kim, Eunseop. 2020. "Fennel for Reducing Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials" Nutrients 12, no. 11: 3438. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113438

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