What is Black Cohosh?
Black cohosh is a plant that grows in the forests in eastern North America. Its scientific names are Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa, and some of its folk names are bugwort, rattle weed, bugbane and black snakeroot.
Black cohosh has been traditionally used to treat a wide variety of ailments, and Native Americans used it to counteract snake bite and poison, kidney problems, sore throat and malaria. They also noted that this plant can help with symptoms of menopause, especially mood swings, sleep disturbances, hot flashes and cramps.
Today, black cohosh is used as an herbal supplement for menopause problems and many women have testified in favor of its effectiveness.
Black Cohosh and Menopause
Menopause is a period characterized by a series of processes that change a woman’s body. After this period, the body is no longer able to host a baby, and it signs the end of menstrual cycles. During menopause, the hormonal levels change and cause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, osteoporosis, thinning hair and dryness of the vagina.
The conventional medicine addresses these symptoms with hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen, antidepressants and other medications, and also recommends lifestyle and dietary changes.
Black cohosh, on the other hand, is one of the most popular remedies of alternative medicine and it is widely used for this purpose.
Many women choose to go through menopause without synthetic drugs and hormones, and black cohosh is proven to be very helpful, even in studies where its action was compared to conventional therapy, like Prozac.
Black cohosh is proven to be effective against the main symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, emotional and psychological disturbances, vaginal dryness and night sweats. Some women combine it with conventional medication and some use it alone, and all of them are very satisfied with its action.
Black Cohosh Dosage
This herb is available as a supplement that does not require prescription. The traditionally recommended dosage is 40 to 80 milligrams for a period of no more than six months. It comes in the form of tablets and capsules, tinctures and teas.
It is always recommended to consult a physician, specifically the gynecologist or obstetrician, before taking black cohosh. This is because each woman is different and it is important to adjust the dosage and the period of taking to her specific needs.
Black cohosh is not suitable for women who have or have had breast cancer, and its side effects, which are rare and occur only in case of long-term excessive consumption, include liver and gastric problems, headache, nausea and dark-colored urine.