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What is black cohosh?


Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family and is found in hardwood forests. Black cohosh is a phytoestrogen, substances that are chemically similar to the human hormone estrogen. Black cohosh is available in capsules and liquid. Its active ingredients are thought to be complex triterpenes, tannins, resins, and isoflavonoids.

Black cohosh has been reported to increase menstrual flow, increase heart rate, and cause nausea or vomiting, dizziness, headache, tremors, and giddiness. People with high blood pressure or heart disease should not use black cohosh. Because of its similarity to estrogen, women with estrogen-dependent cancers or those taking birth control pills or estrogen therapy should not use it. Black cohosh should not be used during pregnancy, particularly during the first six months. Because the long-term effects of black cohosh are unknown, you should not use it for more than six months.

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