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Menopause Herbal Supplement Support: Black Cohosh Root — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 11, 2008 at 4:59 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Menopause Herbal Supplement Support: Black Cohosh Root

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Menopause is inevitable for all women. It begins in the mid-thirties to mid-forties, and on average ends in the early fifties. For some women, menopause passes without unpleasant symptoms, but for most women, menopause is a time of stress and discomfort. Some of the worst symptoms of menopause are:
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Hair loss
Menopause is caused by aging and the fluctuation of the levels of hormones produced by the ovaries (estrogen and progesterone). As the ovaries age, they may produce more or less of these hormones, and eventually they stop producing these hormones. However, the ovaries do not simply "shrivel and die" as many people believe, but they continue to produce certain hormones. Menopause can also be brought on by hysterectomy. If one or both ovaries are removed, hormone levels can begin to decrease.

Treatments

There are many different available solutions for menopause, including natural herbs that have no negative side effects. One very popular herb for menopause, whether it is for natural menopause or hysterectomy-induced menopause, is black cohosh. This herb has been around for many years and has been effective for many women. It is very popular in Germany and was used by Native Americans for varying diseases, mostly gynecological.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is native to North America and historically was used by Native Americans for a great variety of illnesses. It is part of the buttercup family. Black cohosh goes by many different names:
  • Black snakeroot
  • Bugbane, Bugwort (insects avoid it)
  • Rattleroot, Rattletop, Rattleweed
  • Macrotys

Clinical studies

Many clinical studies have been performed on black cohosh:
  • Some studies indicate that black cohosh works by imitating estrogen.
  • Black cohosh can help alleviate vaginal dryness.
  • Black cohosh has been shown to be especially effective in reducing hot flashes and night sweats.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology supports the use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms for up to six months, especially for sleep and mood disturbances and hot flashes.

Preparations

The roots and underground stems of the plant are the part that is medicinally active. Generally the herb is available as a supplement in pill form. It is important to be sure you use a reputable source, as herbal supplements can vary depending on the manufacturer.

Side Affects?

Black cohosh does not normally produce negative side effects, and has not shown any interaction with medications in clinical testing.

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Sources: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/blackcohosh/ http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh.asp

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