Black cohosh is a medicinal root from the buttercup family which grows in eastern and central regions of the United States. It was used by Native Americans as a remedy to treat hormone-related symptoms in women, such as menstrual cramps, hot flashes, as well as helping the discomfort of arthritis, muscle pain, sore throat, cough and indigestion. The juice from the plant was used as an insect repellent and was made into a salve and applied to snake bites. In Colonial times, the root was believed to be the primary ingredient in witches brew, and any woman found with it in her possession would have been denounced as a witch.
Today, black cohosh is widely used as a supplement for hot flashes (or hot flushes), mood swings, vaginal dryness, night sweats, and other symptoms that may occur during menopause. It is popular in the U.S., Germany and Australia. In Germany it has been as a prescription alternative to conventional hormone therapy. In the U.S., black cohosh is available without a prescription.
The parts of the plant used for nutritional supplements are the fresh or dried roots and rhizomes. Black cohosh is also known as Bugbane, Squaw Root, Black Snake Root, American Baneberry, Bugwort, Rattle Root, Cimicifuga, or Rattle Weed. The name “Cohosh” comes from the Algonquin word for “rough”, referring to the plant’s root. Black cohosh contains potent phytochemicals that affect the endocrine system.
In many studies, black cohosh relieved symptoms including hot flashes, profuse sweating, mood swings, irritability, depressive mood, heart palpitations, sleep problems, headache, and vertigo related to perimenopause.
Black cohosh should not be used during pregnancy or while you are breast-feeding. Do not take black cohosh if there is any chance that you might be pregnant. Black cohosh should not be combined with birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or tamoxifen. It is a muscle anti-inflammatory; it contains the anti-inflammatory salicylic acid (the base for the active ingredient in aspirin). It can be used to treat arthritis and other painful rheumatic difficulties.
If you have allergies to aspirin or salicylates, you should avoid Black Cohosh.
Menopause and the symptoms associated with it can severely disrupt your quality of life. A wonderful natural formula is Women’s Natural Balance (click here to view), a safe, effective daily supplement that contains many of the top ingredients. This specially blended formula contains many safe and all natural substances that include black cohosh, soy isoflavones, red clover, Mexican yams and red raspberry extract.