Black Cohosh Root

A cousin to the buttercup, black cohosh is a flowering plant that grows throughout North America. The scientific name for the plant is Actaea racemosa. However, it was once known as Cimicifuga racemosa. The roots of the plant have been used as a natural medicine since the 19th century. Some scientists believe that black cohosh contains chemicals that are similar to estrogen, an important female sex hormone. Because of this belief, some researchers feel that black cohosh may be beneficial for addressing symptoms of menopause that are linked to changes in estrogen levels in the body. Results of clinical studies have been mixed. There is currently not enough evidence to prove that black cohosh is beneficial for women who are suffering from menopausal symptoms.

Exploring Your Options for Black Cohosh Supplementation

Black cohosh is available in both capsule and liquid forms. You'll find products that you can easily add to your diet in the collection at Walgreens. When selecting the right black cohosh health supplement for your needs, be sure to consider the amount that you'll need to take to adhere to your doctor's or herbalist's guidelines. Taking too much black cohosh extract each day can greatly increase your risk of developing side effects. These include stomach problems, headaches, dizziness, weight gain, slow heart rate and changes in vision. Herbal supplements that contain black cohosh have been linked to liver issues. Those who have liver disease or any condition that affects the liver should not take black cohosh. In addition, the herb should not be combined with any medications or herbs that could negatively impact the liver. Pregnant and nursing women should not use black cohosh. Because the herb may affect levels of estrogen in the body, do not take black cohosh if you have any condition or a history of having any condition that could be worsened by estrogen. These include cancer of the breasts, ovaries or uterus or noncancerous fibroid tumors of the uterus. The safety of using black cohosh for periods of longer than six months is unknown. Always consult a physician before using black cohosh or changing your dosage.

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.