Black Cohosh As An Herbal Remedy For Menopausal Symptoms

The onset of menopause is leaving you feeling aggravated by hot flashes and night sweats, but you shy away from hormonal replacement therapy because you've heard about the associated health risks. Ask your gynecologist about taking herbal supplements to relieve the symptoms. Research indicates that black cohosh is often effective for women at this stage of their lives. 

About Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is part of the buttercup family and grows wild in eastern regions of North America. For herbal remedies, the roots and rhizomes are used for their active components.

Black cohosh may be helpful during perimenopause and menopause because it contains plant estrogens known as phytoestrogens, as well as substances with anti-inflammatory effects. Herbalists recommend black cohosh for women who begin experiencing hot flashes, headaches, mood swings and insomnia as menopause approaches. The herb is also part of traditional Native American treatment for menopausal symptoms. 

Relevant Research

You might wonder whether medical doctors generally recommend herbal supplements over pharmaceutical medication. They may be skeptical in some cases, but research supports the use of black cohosh during perimenopause and menopause. 

A review of studies that was published in 2010, for example, found that the general effectiveness rate of black cohosh for vasomotor symptoms was 26 percent. This means you might expect a 26-percent reduction in your hot flashes and night sweats. Of course, some women experience better results and some don't find black cohosh to be very effective at all. You would need to give the herb a try and see how it works for you. 

Types of Supplements

Black cohosh as an herbal remedy is available in various forms. You can take it as a capsule or tablet, or in liquid form. These supplements should contain standardized extracts so you know you're getting a certain amount of active components. Black cohosh tea also is available, but tea has lower amounts of those components. 

Concluding Thoughts

Talk with your gynecologist about adding black cohosh to your health care regimen. Even if the doctor isn't entirely familiar with the herb, he or she will be glad to check out some information for you and offer an expert opinion. Since gynecologists are focused on women's health, this type of specialist will have a keen interest in helping you. In addition, because your gynecologist has become familiar with your medical history, the doctor has insight into whether black cohosh may be a good fit for you in particular. 

For more information, contact a local clinic, like Women's Healthcare Associates LLC.