Black Cohosh

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Enzymatic Therapy Black Cohosh, 60 Tablets, From Enzymatic Therapy

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Natural Factors Black Cohosh Extract, 90 Capsules, 40 mg, From Natural Factors

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Black Cohosh, 90 Capsules, 80 mg, From NOW

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Black Cohosh, Support Women During Perimenopause, 60 Tablets, From Nature's Way

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Cimi-Fem Black Cohosh 40mg Sublingual 60+60t, From Source Naturals

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Black Cohosh, 100 Capsules, From Solaray

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Black Cohosh Root, 120 Capsules, From Solaray

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One Daily Black Cohosh Extract, 30 Capsules, From Solaray

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Enzymatic Therapy, Remifemin, Good Night, 21 Tablets

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Enzymatic Therapy, Remifemin, Menopause Relief, 120 Tablets

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Irwin Naturals, EstroPause, Menopause Support, 80 Liquid Soft-Gels

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MenoRemin Natural Menopause Support, 120 Tablets, From Nature's Life

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Hot Flash Rescue, 2 oz, From Peaceful Mountain

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Solaray, Bilberry & Lutein, One Daily, 30 Easy-To-Swallow Capsules

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Black Cohosh Extract Standardized 120 vegicaps from Nature's Way

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Black Cohosh Root 100 caps from Nature's Way

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Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a native American medicinal plant, the root of which has been used by native Americans for a variety of conditions for hundreds of years and in European phytotherapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms for over 40 years. Clinical experience, coupled with chemical, pharmacological, and controlled clinical studies have confirmed that black cohosh preparations provide a safe and effective alternative to hormone replacement therapy in the treatment of menopause.

Generations of American women have relied on the gnarled root of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) to relieve various 'female problems,' from PMS and menstrual cramps to menopausal symptoms. In the 1900s, this indigenous American wildflower, a member of the buttercup family, provided the main ingredient in a popular tonic for women. (The concoction--Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound--is still sold, but it no longer contains the herb.) Black cohosh has also been used to treat a variety of other complaints, including insect bites and eczema.

After falling out of favor for several decades, black cohosh is once again being heralded as an herbal antidote for such menopausal symptoms as hot flashes. It has even been recommended as an alternative to standard hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can produce unwanted side effects in many women.

Common Names of Black Cohosh
Cohosh bugbane, battle weed, black cohosh, black snakeroot, blueberry, blue ginseng, bugbane, cohosh, columbine-leaved leontice, cordate rattle-top, heart-leaved snakeroot, meadow rue leontice, papoose root, rattle root, rattlesnake root, rattle-top, rattle weed, richweed, squaw root, yellow ginseng.

Black cohosh consists of the underground parts (rhizome and roots) of the showy North American forest plant Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt., family Ranunculaceae. The plant's common names are numerous and include black snakeroot, rattleweed, rattleroot, bugbane, bugwort, and squaw root (not to be confused with blue cohosh). The genus Cimicifuga contains twenty-three temperate climate species: six from North America, one in Europe, the remainder from temperate eastern Asia. Similar to black cohosh, several Asian species are traditionally used for gynecological conditions.

The medication was introduced into by the American Indians, who valued it highly. They boiled the root in water and drank the resulting beverage for a variety of conditions ranging from rheumatism, diseases of women, and debility to sore throat. Black cohosh was subsequently used, especially by eclectic physicians, for all these conditions but particularly for so-called uterine difficulties to stimulate the menstrual flow. Black cohosh was one of the principal ingredients in Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound. Herbalists recommend it for all of the aforementioned ailments and also as an astringent, diuretic, alterative, antidiarrheal, cough suppressant, diaphoretic, and other uses.

Scientific studies designed to identify specific physiological activities in the medication have not been numerous, and most have been carried out abroad. The long-suspected estrogenic effects, based on its use to stimulate menstruation, could not be verified in comprehensive experiments in mice reported in 1960. Subsequent experiments have shown that a methanol extract of black cohosh contains substances that bind to estrogen receptors of rat uteri; the extract also causes a selective reduction in luteinizing hormone level in ovariectomized rats. These results are interpreted to mean that black cohosh possesses some degree of estrogenic activity.

A al triterpene derivative called actein, was found to lower blood pressure in rabbits and cats but not in dogs. It produced no hypotensive effects in either normal or hypertensive human beings, although some peripheral vasodilation was observed.

Black cohosh is prescribed in Europe for various conditions, including symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), dysmenorrheal, and menopause. Reported activities include an estrogen-like action, binding to estrogen receptors, and suppression of luteinizing hormone. Occasional stomach pain or intestinal discomfort has been reported. Studies on mutagenicity, teratogenicity, and carcinogenicity have proven negative, and a six-month study on chronic toxicity in rats at about ninety times the human intake failed to prove deleterious. Further studies on black cohosh are warranted.

Black Cohosh Uses

  • Gynecological uses - Black cohosh has long been used by Native Americans for female problems, for which reason it was also known as 'squawroot.' Black cohosh is used today for menstrual pain and problems where progesterone production is too high, and for menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes, debility, and depression.
  • Inflammation - Black cohosh is useful for inflammatory arthritis, especially when it is associated with menopause, and it is also an effective remedy for rheumatic problems, including rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Sedative properties - The sedative action of black cohosh makes it valuable for treating a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Black cohosh is also valuable for whooping cough and asthma.
  • Other medical uses - Osteoarthritis

    The rhizome of this plant was used by Native Americans as a cure for rattlesnake bites (hence its common name, rattle root) and for menstrual and labor pain. The root was also chewed as a sedative and to alleviate depression. A tea made with the herb was sprinkled in rooms to prevent evil spirits from entering. In herbalism, the root is still used as a diuretic, a cough suppressant, and to reduce inflammation and rheumatic pain. Cimic. is largely a women's remedy that acts on the nerves and muscles of the uterus. It is used for menstrual symptoms, such as congestion in the head before menstruation and heaviness and cramps in the small of the back during menstruation. This remedy is good for early miscarriage and it is also helpful for common complaints in pregnancy, such as nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness and shooting pain in the uterus. Postpartum depression and menopausal symptoms, such as fainting spells and hot flashes are also helped by Cimic. Neck stiffness that causes headaches is helped by cimic., as well as emotional symptoms due to a hormonal imbalance, such as sighing, sadness, anxiety, and irritability.

    Habitat and Cultivation
    Black cohosh is native to Canada and the eastern states of the US, growing as far south as Florida. Black cohosh prefers shady spots in woods and shrubby areas. The herb is now grown in Europe and can be found in the wild, having self-seeded from cultivated plants. Black cohosh is grown from seed, and the root is harvested in autumn.

    Black Cohosh Research

  • Menopause herb - Research has confirmed the validity of traditional knowledge. The results of a German trial, published in 1995, revealed that black cohosh in combination with St. John's wort was 78% effective at treating hot flashes and other menopausal problems.
  • Estrogenic properties - Black cohosh has a well-established estrogenic action and is thought to reduce levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries' production of progesterone.

  • Constituents
    Black cohosh contains triterpene glycosides, isoflavones, isoferulic acid, volatile oil, and tannins.

    How Much Black Cohosh to Take?
    Black cohosh can be taken in several forms, including crude, dried root, or rhizome (300-2,000 mg per day) or as a solid, dry powdered extract (250 mg three times per day). Tinctures can be taken at 2-4 ml per day. Standardized extracts of the herb are available and contain 1 mg of deoxyacteine per tablet. The usual amount is 40 mg twice per day. Black cohosh can be taken for up to six months, and then it should be discontinued.

    Side Effects and Cautions of Black Cohosh
    Black cohosh has an estrogen-like effect, and women who are pregnant or lactating should not use the herb. Large doses of this herb may cause abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Women taking estrogen therapy should consult a physician before using black cohosh.

    How Black Cohosh Works in the Body?
    Gynecologically, in North America, it is thought that black cohosh balances estrogen by stabilizing it. In European herbalism it is thought to have an estrogenic action, which actively works to reduce progesterone and promote estrogen levels in the body. It is therefore used where there is a lack of estrogen and an excess of progesterone. In the musculoskeletal system it is used as an anti-inflammatory in arthritic conditions. Its sedative qualities have applications in other systems, for example, in lowering blood pressure, in reducing spasm and tension, and in the respiratory system.

    Specifically, Black Cohosh may help to:
  • Relieve hot flashes and other menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms
  • Ease menstrual cramps

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