Black Cohosh Versus Hormone Therapy: Which is Better?
Black Cohosh Ginkgo Biloba Dong Quai Ginseng Red Clover Soy Vitex Macafem
Black Cohosh
Black cohosh grows in the woods of eastern North America
Ginkgo Biloba
Traditionally used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Dong Quai
Dong Quai is often referred to as "the female ginseng"
Ginseng
The Chinese word "rénshén" means "man root" in English
Red Clover
Originates from Asia, parts of Northern Africa, and Central Europe
Soy
Traditionally used in the Orient as a source of protein and medicine
Vitex
Vitex agnus-castus is also called chaste tree
Macafem
Originates from the Andean mountains of Perú

Black Cohosh Versus Hormone Therapy: Which is Better?

Women suffering from menopausal symptoms may consider the use of herbal supplements such as black cohosh or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat their symptoms. While both approaches have been successful for menopausal women, each comes with its own list of benefits and side effects. Which has the upper hand in treating menopause? Read on to find out.

The Mystery and Magic of Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh has been used like medicine for sexual function and fertility for many centuriesBlack cohosh has been used for centuries by Native American tribes to relieve problems related to female sexual function and fertility. Until recently, scientists believed that black cohosh contained phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that mimic the effects of estrogen in the female body. While recent research has contradicted these claims, women continue to champion black cohosh as a treatment for menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and osteoporosis.

However, because little is known about this mystery herb, doctors recommend limiting its usage to six months. The possible interactions and long-term risks of black cohosh as a treatment for menopause have not been determined. Short-term side effects reported by women include:

Abdominal pain
Diarrhea
Dizziness
Headaches
Joint pain
Nausea
Slow heart rate
Tremors

Click here to read more about black cohosh or continue reading below to learn more about the benefits and side effects of HRT.

HRT: Bigger Rewards Bring Bigger Risks?

Unlike black cohosh, HRT has undergone extensive studies by researchers to determine its safety and effectiveness in treating menopause symptoms. HRT works by introducing synthetic hormones into the body to treat hormonal balance. Popular treatments include estrogen-only (for women who’ve had a hysterectomy) and a combination of estrogen plus progestin (for women with a uterus). HRT is known to significantly reduce instances of hot flashes and night sweats and help treat vaginal dryness, mood swings, loss of libido and the onset of osteoporosis.

Most experts agree that HRT treatment should not last more than 5-7 years, as there are serious long-term effects associated with the treatment. These include:
HRT is the most used treatment but have serious side effects Increased risk of stroke
Increased risk of cognitive decline
Increased risk of thromboembolism (blood clots forming in deep veins)
Increased risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer.

Click here for more information about menopause or continue reading below for some important considerations.

Which One Wins?

There is no clear winner in the showdown between HRT and black cohosh, as each woman has unique needs. Black cohosh is generally considered a safe and natural treatment to HRT, but should only be taken short-term. Women who opt for HRT treatment should take the lowest dosage possible for the shortest amount of time. Always consult with a health care professional about your options. Click here to read more about types of menopause herbs.

Sources:
• Office of Dietary supplements: Black cohosh http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/blackcohosh/
• University of Maryland Medical Center: Black cohosh http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/black-cohosh-000226.htm
• University of Maryland Medical Center: Menopause Medications
http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/effects_of_menopause_on_heart_circulation_how_can_they_be_prevented_000040_5.htm

Main Sections
Macafem
Is an Andean plant regarded as one of the best treatments for menopause symptoms because of it boosts the endocrine system.
Dong Quai
Is an Asian plant that has been used for thousands of years to treat gynecological problems, blood disorders, and as a sedative.
Ginkgo Biloba
Is a popular and ancient Chinese herbal remedy used to improve circulation, mental performance, and menopause symptoms.
Ginseng
Is a root widely used by Chinese, Koreans and Native Americans as a preventative treatment and to increase vitality.
Soy
Is a healthy, low-fat source of protein and is used as treat menopause because of its high amount of phytoestrogens.
Red Clover
Is a variety of Clover with a high nutritional value and it's widely used as an immune-booster and menopause relief, but it has some side effects.
Black Cohosh
Is a phytoestrogenic herb from eastern North America and it is used as a supplement to treat several illnesses, including menopause symptoms.
Vitex
Used since roman times to help women with hormonal imbalances, but pregnant women should avoid it.
Which herb should women try? Today women are looking for relief from their menopause symptoms with herbs. Phytoestrogenic herbs and non-estrogenic herbs are good in relieving menopause symptoms, but recent studies show that non-estrogenic herbs have no side effects because they help the body to produce its own hormones instead of introducing hormones like the phytoestrogenic ones. Learn more about non-estrogenic herbs for menopause.
Black Cohosh Versus Hormone Therapy: Which is Better?