Can Black Cohosh Help Fight Menopausal Hot Flashes?
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

Can Black Cohosh Help Fight Menopausal Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause, affecting about 75% of all women making “the change”. Trademark characteristics of hot flashes include periods of intense heat followed by perspiration. The herbal supplement black cohosh has been championed by women as a cure for menopausal hot flashes for decades, but does this herb really help treat menopausal hot flashes? Read on to learn more.

The History of Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a perennial flowering plant that grows in the eastern woodlands of North America. It has been used for centuries by Native American tribes as a cure for female ailments such as PMS symptoms and menopause symptoms.

Black cohosh is a popular herbal remedy for night sweats and hot flashes.The herb started to gain popularity as a treatment for menopause in the 1940’s when clinical trials were done to assess black cohosh’s effect on the performance of vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. It was once believed that the herb contained phytoestrogenic properties, or plant-based compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen when introduced into the body. Thus in theory, black cohosh would alleviate menopause symptoms by balancing hormone levels in the body.

Yet new research has contradicted this belief, leaving scientists to wonder exactly how this mystery herb works. It is thought that black cohosh works as a selective estrogen receptor modifier and that it also may exert an agonistic effect on serotonin receptors.

The Use of Black Cohosh for Hot Flashes

Studies about black cohosh are inconclusive, but scientists believe the herb shows promise.Studies on the effectiveness of black cohosh in treating menopause symptoms like hot flashes have remained inconclusive, although scientists still believe the herb shows promise. Some studies have reported positive results from their trials, while others have concluded that black cohosh works no better than a placebo in decreasing the instance of hot flashes in women.

Women interested in starting black cohosh treatment should consult with their health care professional. The herb has no known interactions with prescription medications, but reported side effects of usage include nausea, dizziness and headaches. Because long-term side effects of black cohosh have not been studied, experts recommend that usage of the herb be discontinued after 6 months.

Recommendation:

Unfortunately, natural supplements are often given very little attention by the medical community. Little is known about the benefits and side effects of black cohosh. You should always consult with a doctor before introducing a natural supplement such as black cohosh into your lifestyle. You can also read more about what is black cohosh by clicking here.

Sources:
Carroll, Dana G., PHARM.D. “Nonhormonal Therapies for Hot Flashes in Menopause”. American Family Physician. 2006 Feb 1;73(3):457-464. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0201/p457.html#afp20060201p457-b42
Geller, Stacie E., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Laura Studee, MPH. “Botanical and Dietary Supplements for Menopausal Symptoms: What Works, What Doesn’t”. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2005 September; 14(7): 634649. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764641/?tool=pubmed
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

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.
Can Black Cohosh Help Fight Menopausal Hot Flashes?