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Black Cohosh Extract

Black cohosh extract comes from the root of the black cohosh plant. It has been used in alternative medicine for centuries. It was first used by Native Americans. Today, several European countries widely use this extract to address a number of common medical conditions and issues. This plant is a member of the buttercup family. It is native to North America despite its international usage. It is also known as bugwort, rattleroot, and rattleweed. Its history as a remedy began with its potential to relieve symptoms of arthritis and muscle pain. However, over time, the herb has also been used to treat other health conditions. Research results are mixed. Some clinical studies have indicated that black cohosh extract can relieve menopausal symptoms related to hormone changes. These include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. However, other studies have not confirmed the effectiveness of black cohosh to help with menopausal symptoms. Further, a limited amount of data exists regarding its effectiveness to address inflammation. Additional research is required to determine the herb's effectiveness for reducing symptoms associated with these conditions. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine explains that most studies related to black cohosh extract were short-term studies. They were less than six months in duration. This means that the long-term effects of the herb are yet to be thoroughly researched.

Side Effects and Precautions

Black cohosh is available in liquid form at Walgreens. The potential benefits of black cohosh extract should be weighed against the potential side effects and interactions of the herb. A number of side effects related to the herb have been reported. These side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and joint pain. However, most studies have not indicated significant side effects related to the herb's use. Women with liver disorders should avoid black cohosh extract. This herb has been found to cause hepatitis (liver disease) as well as liver failure. As always, discuss adding herbal supplements to your daily routine with your healthcare provider.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.