Menopause FAQs: Black Cohosh explains study results have been inconsistent about its effectiveness for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Black Cohosh

What is black cohosh?

In Black Cohosh: Background the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) elaborate on:

  • “Black cohosh, a member of the buttercup family, is a plant native to North America. Native American and Chinese herbalists have traditionally used black cohosh for a variety of ailments and as an insect repellent
  • Currently, people use black cohosh as a dietary supplement for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. It’s also been used as a dietary supplement for other conditions, including menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome, and to induce labor”.

Menopausal Symptoms

Is black cohosh effective for the treatment of menopausal symptoms?

In Menopause & Herbs: Herbal Medicine Glossary (Alphabetical) – Black Cohosh, Actaea Racemosa, (Previously Known As Cimicifuga Racemosa): Family: Ranunculaceae, last reviewed 09 May 2019, the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

Menopause FAQs: Black Cohosh
“Black cohosh is the most extensively researched of all herbs used for managing menopausal symptoms, and is available in many different formulations, which vary in quality and efficacy. Many of the clinical studies of black cohosh have used the commercially available product Remifemin®, or the extract Ze 450 (available as Flordis Femular®)”.

In Black Cohosh: What Have We Learned? updated September 2016, the NCCIH note:

  • “Studies that tested black cohosh for menopause symptoms have had inconsistent results. The overall evidence is insufficient to support using black cohosh for this purpose”.

Vaginal Dryness

Is black cohosh effective  for the treatment of vaginal dryness?

In Menopause & Herbs: Vaginal Changes the JH explain:

“Black cohosh, taken orally (by mouth) or topically (as a cream or pessary), may be useful for treating vaginal dryness. Black cohosh pessaries or vaginal cream are available only from naturopaths.

Linseed (flaxseed) has been shown to reduce vaginal dryness by a mildly oestrogenic action of ‘plumping up’ the vaginal cells”.

Health Care Provider

What if I choose to use black cohosh?

If you choose to use black cohosh, it may be in your best interest to also choose to talk to your health care providers about this.

In Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes: Do Mother Nature’s Treatments Help Hot Flashes? Use With Caution the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) note:

“Keep in mind that herbal supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription drugs. The amount of herbal product, quality, safety, and purity may vary between brands or even between batches of the same brand. Herbal therapies may also interact with prescription drugs, resulting in dramatic changes in the effect of the botanical, the drug, or both. To be safe, tell your healthcare provider about all botanical therapies you are considering and always stop all herbal treatments at least 2 weeks before any planned surgery”.

Menopause FAQs

Where may I find more menopause FAQs?

Menopause FAQs: Black CohoshIn Menopause FAQs: Expert Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Menopause the NAMS include Menopause FAQS: Hot Flashes: Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms?

“A. No over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement or herbal therapies have been found to be effective on menopause symptoms”.

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Last Updated: 15 July 2019 – Last Revised: 15 July 2019
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