In the past, Black cohosh was used for circulatory problems, rheumatism, arthritis and to reduce cholesterol.Now it is most well known for it’s use by women to treat the symptoms of menopause.
Black Cohosh has shown to be very effective in treating PMS, menstrual cramps and the complaints associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and fatigue. Because of it’s estrogenic effect, Black Cohosh has become a popular alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
German researchers have confirmed that Black Cohosh contains phyto-estrogenic compounds that act like estrogen. These compounds connect to estrogen receptors and decrease LH (Luteinizing hormone) in the body. This is what restores the balance of hormones in the body and controls menopausal symptoms.
Black Cohosh is also used to treat high blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory activity as well as bone preserving properties.
Do not confuse Black Cohosh with blue cohosh or white cohosh. They are toxic and should never be taken. Always make sure you are getting Black Cohosh. Even Black Cohosh can be poisonous if taken in large doses. Always follow the dosage instructions on the bottle when taking.
Even though there are many benefits of taking Black Cohosh, there may be significant risks as well. Some researchers believe that this herb causes the immune system to attack the liver, causing inflammation (autoimmune hepatitis). People with this disease can have aching joints, abdominal pain and yellow, itchy skin. Without medical treatment, this illness may cause death.
Some reports suggest that people taking Black Cohosh seem to develop liver disease more often that people not taking it. It is believed to cause other liver trouble as well.
Much more research needs to be done to determine the safety of taking Black Cohosh.