Clinical Study: Sun Ten Dang Gui Four Combination (Si Wu Tang) Effectively Relieves Menstrual Pain


A Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Used to Treat Dysmenorrhoea

Among Taiwanese Women 

By Jui-Fen Cheng, Zxy-yann Jane Lu, Yi-Chang Su, Li-Chi Chiang and Ruey-Yun Wang




Aim: The purposes of this study were twofold, firstly to ascertain the relative effectiveness of the alternative drug, Si-Wu-Tang (SWT), for dysmenorrhoea treatment and secondly to compare two different timings for consumption of SWT in terms of menstrual pain.

Design: A two-group time series experimental design.

Methods: A total of 49 participants were alternately assigned into two study groups. The experimental group was provided with 15 g of SWT daily for seven consecutive days, subsequent to the cessation of menstrual bleeding, for two consecutive menstrual cycles and the comparison group was provided with a similar intervention as soon as menstrual bleeding was noted. The degree of menstrual pain was recorded daily using a visual analogue scale and the duration of pain was also recorded during menstrual bleeding for five consecutive menstrual cycles.

Results: The results indicated that the decrease in menstrual pain levels and the duration of pain between the experimental group and the comparison group was not significant. However, the decrease in menstrual pain over the five menstrual cycles within the experimental group (from 2.07 to 1.42; 2.71 to 1.21; p < 0.05) and within the comparison group (from 1.94 to 1.23; 2.66 to 1.68; p < 0.05) were significant.

Conclusions: The SWT formula has been continuously standardised for effective use as part of menstrual health and can be integrated as an alternative therapy within Western medicine.

Relevance to clinical practice: This study provides information for health care professionals not only about the general principles of traditional Chinese medicine, but also about the selection and consumption of an appropriate SWT formula among Asian women with dysmenorrhoea. Moreover, nurses should build up a partnership with their clients of Asian origins based on the use of an alternative therapy using different assessment criteria that are related to healing and recovery based on bodily constitution balance.


Key words: Chinese herbal medicine, dysmenorrhoea, menstruation, nurses, nursing, Taiwanese women

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Methods
    1. Study design
    2. Subjects
    3. Preparation of SWT: All SWT consumed in this study was purchased from the Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Company in Taiwan, which is certified as a Good Manufacturing Practices manufacturer and approved by both the Taiwanese and Australian health authorities.
    4. Data collection instruments
    5. Data-collection procedure
    6. Ethical considerations
  4. Results
  5. Discussion
  6. Conclusions
  7. Relevance to clinical practice
  8. References

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