What do people know about black cohosh? It is a flowering plant, a remedy used for a variety of medical conditions, or just a North American plant used from ancient times in medicine. As of now, this plant is proven to be helpful for menopausal women who are desperate to find a safe treatment approach when managing bothering menopausal symptoms. And, black cohosh is definitely the right supplement for women who want to boost their general health.
What Is Black Cohosh?
Black cohosh is a plant cultivated in North America. It is known under the name of Actaea Racemosa and was believed to be used by Native Americans in medicine for muscle pain and arthritis. The mechanism of its action on human health leaves much to research, however, it acts as a phytoestrogen. Accordingly, black cohosh may resemble the functioning of estrogen hormone which is in charge of menopausal symptoms. Furthermore, it positively affects fertility, so women get increased chances of getting pregnant by taking it regularly in the form of a supplement. Still, this plant when used as health or dietary supplement should be discussed with the doctor, as it may cause side effects.
5 Benefits of Black Cohosh for Menopause
Nowadays, black cohosh is promoted in health supplements which help women to minimize hot flashes and moderate other menopausal symptoms. Primarily, it balances the hormonal level which during menopause is “asleep”, in particular, it concerns estrogen and partially progesterone. Black cohosh helps to balance them in order to normalize the functioning of the whole body.
Among the most common benefits, a woman may enjoy the following:
- It minimizes hot flashes. Based on studies, the dosage of 20mg helped women to significantly reduce the occurrence of hot flashes or moderate their severity. It works by mimicking the action of estrogen which is responsible for menopause symptoms.
- It works for mental health. Black cohosh is believed to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression in menopausal women, however, it should not be used as the first-line solution for mental health conditions but only as an accompanying treatment protocol.
- It promotes healthy sleep. Even though there is a lack of evidence regarding black cohosh effect on sleep, some studies confirm that by suppressing hot flashes, it may help to minimize the events of insomnia or sudden wake-ups during the nights because of night sweats.
- It helps to fight excessive weight. Menopausal women struggle from a fast gain of weight that is hard to moderate when hormone levels are dropped. Black cohosh may boost the functioning of estrogen allowing women to easily manage their weight in case of sudden gain.
- It may work for vaginal dryness. There is also a lack of research regarding this menopausal symptom, however, black cohosh may promote healthier sex life if used in conjunction with vaginal creams and other supplements.
Finally, it may be used for general well-being when a woman takes it regularly to support her system once she is in menopause or post-menopause. Still, the intake intentions should be discussed with her healthcare provider only.
How to Take Black Cohosh for Menopause?
It depends on the form a woman takes black cohosh in. Typically, it is sold in tablets. 20-40 mg is the initial or recommended dosage which should be taken twice a day. It is forbidden to take more of that, especially, for boosting the therapeutic effect. The dosages of up to 900mg have been linked to overdose.
Take black cohosh as directed. Wash it down with a sufficient amount of water. Ideally, you should make a habit of taking the tablets of black cohosh every day at the same time.
It is unknown how black cohosh works if taking it for long-term, however, it is not recommended to take it more than one year.
How long does it take for black cohosh to work? Some menopausal women claim to experience the first relief during the first weeks of use. Keep in mind, it may vary. If you do not experience any effect, speak to the doctor about adjusting the dosage or choosing analog for your menopause symptoms. If you experience the worsening of your health condition, stop the intake, and address this concern with the doctor.
Side Effects of Black Cohosh for Menopause
Black cohosh plant is rich in benefits, still, it is not deprived of side effects as well. Especially, it concerns women who take more than directed or start self-treatment.
The most common black cohosh for menopause side effects include:
- weight gain;
- stomach pain;
- skin rashes.
Note, some black cohosh for menopause side effects are rare and may usually vanish within 10-15 minutes after the intake. If they continue to occur, you should report them to your doctor.
Alongside this, there are several precautions regarding the intake of black cohosh. Does black cohosh interact with any medications? Yes, and they include:
- Hepatotoxic drugs.
If you currently take these medications, or you have taken them during the past two weeks, you should inform about them your doctor, as such interactions may cause severe side effects or make black cohosh ineffective. Besides, they may affect liver function, so typically, women who have problems or existing disorders of the liver are contraindicated for the use of black cohosh, and they are prescribed other health supplements.
Do not mix black cohosh with alcohol, it may also alter the efficacy of this health supplement.
Black Cohosh for Menopause: Final Verdict
Black cohosh is most well-known for its beneficial effects in menopause symptoms, in particular when hot flashes make women’s lives intolerable. It may positively affect estrogen production and by this balance the whole body system. Furthermore, it is good for mental health which is altered during the menopause stage. Scientists still hesitate these beneficial properties of black cohosh, as fewer studies have been conducted, and a doctor should assess the risks when prescribing it or by choosing it, as other modalities may be available for hot flashes and other menopause signs. If you plan to take black cohosh, address this intention with the doctor to avoid side effects.
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