Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a phytoestrogenic herb that has been gaining popularity as a treatment for hormonal imbalance and its symptoms, particularly hot flashes. Find out more about this herbal supplement.

What Is Black Cohosh?

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a phytoestrogenic, flowering plant found in rich, shady woodlands of eastern North America. Black cohosh is the most used herb for relieving menopause symptoms because of its ability to control hot flashes and night sweats.

What Is Black Cohosh Used for?

herbs for menopause

Black cohosh has been used by the North American first nations as medicine for gynecological disorders, depression, fever, and conditions that affect the female reproductive organs, including menstrual problems and infertility.

Currently, the primary use of black cohosh is for alleviating menopause symptoms. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology supports the use of black cohosh for up to six months, especially in treating hot flashes, sleep problems, and mood disturbances.

These are the menopause symptoms black cohosh relieves efficiently:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood swings

It is important for women to get informed about how this herb works in their bodies and the possible side effects before using it in order to see if it fits your specific case.

How Black Cohosh Works

PMS and menopause symptoms occur because of unbalanced hormone levels, principally estrogen imbalance. Black cohosh works by providing the body the estrogen it needs.

black cohosh function

In other words, black cohosh replaces the natural estrogen with herbal estrogens to raise the amount of this hormone, leading to higher levels. However, the use of black cohosh for relieving menopause symptoms has been recently questioned because some studies have shown that there may be a relationship between phytoestrogens and the development of breast cancer and other diseases.

In any case, you should get informed on the benefits and side effects of this phytoestrogenic herb before using it.

Benefits and Side Effects of Black Cohosh

Before using black cohosh, women should be aware of the beneficial and the adverse effects this herb has.

Benefits of using black cohosh

black cohosh benefits and side effects

Black cohosh relieves menopause symptoms efficiently. For many women, it's effective in relieving host flashes and night sweats. 

Black cohosh is a good alternative for HRT. Black cohosh can supply the needed hormones to avoid the estrogen loss in women. Black cohosh has almost the same benefits as HRT, but it is generally less expensive.

Black cohosh has several health benefits besides relieving menopause symptoms. Black cohosh is also used for treating PMS, easing arthritis, and preventing osteoporosis.

Side effects of using black cohosh

Black cohosh stimulates breast cancer. Phytoestrogens in black cohosh may accelerate the spread of breast cancer cells in forms of breast cancer with estrogen receptors.

Black cohosh has contraindications with other medication. Black cohosh must not be combined with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. Also, it should not be used by women who are allergic to aspirin, as it could lead to harmful side effects.

Conclusions about Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is effective in treating menopause symptoms for many women, and it's reasonably priced compared to HRT. However, this herb has been recently questioned because it adds artificial hormones to the body. By doing this, black cohosh can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, especially when used for a long period of time. Nonetheless, black cohosh may be a good option for short-term treatments.

On the other hand, you can find other alternative treatments that are just as effective as black cohosh, but have little to no side effects. For example, hormone-regulating herbs are a great alternative for treating hormonal imbalance.

Hormone-regulating Herbs

Hormone-regulating herbs have nutrients that nourish the endocrine system to balance hormone levels naturally. This means that hormone-regulating herbs make the body itself produce the needed hormones. Click on the following link to read more about hormone-regulating herbs.

Can Alternative Treatments, like Black Cohosh, Really Relieve Menopause Symptoms?

Investigators noticed that the supposed benefits of black cohosh, which include increasing estrogen levels, reducing hot flashes, decreasing the risk of breast cancer among other benefits, are not completely accurate.