Black Cohosh for Menopause Symptoms

If you are going through menopause, there is one tried and true natural remedy that I prescribe and suggest for older women. It is Black Cohosh.

Menopause

According to The Australasian Menopause Society the term menopause simply means “a pause in menstruation and refers to the time a woman experiences her last period. For most women this is between the ages of 45 and 55.”[1]

At this time, the ovaries stop releasing progesterone and oestrogen, although some oestrogen may still be released by the fat tissue deposits found on the female body.

Symptoms of menopause include:

  • Night sweating
  • How flushes
  • Loss of sexual drive (libido)
  • Insomnia or irregular sleep patterns
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings

Black Cohosh

This herb is a member of the buttercup family. The Native American Indians dug up the roots (rhizomes) and used them to treat women’s reproductive health issues. Hans Wohlmuth, head of Natural and Complementary Medicine at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, says there is ample evidence that Black Cohosh can help “relieve menopause symptoms. There’s also traditional evidence – anecdotal and use over time – that it helps for period pain and PMS.”[2]

This is refuted by allopathic medicine sources via the AMA (Australian Medical Association) that dispute the efficacy and suitability of Black Cohosh because of a few isolated cases of hepatoxicity. (Liver problems associated with its use.) However, in each of these reported cases, the use of the Black Cohosh was excessive and extended beyond a period of 6 months.[3]

Pharmacology

Black Cohosh comprises the primary active ingredient of terpene glycoside fraction with actein and cimifugoside. It is believed these active ingredients may either exert their main effects by way of the oestrogen receptors or by way of other mechanisms. It is an anti-spasmodic herb and therefore helps with pain, cramping and many gynaecological and muscular conditions or problems.

“Scientifically speaking Black Cohosh suppresses the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH); sudden bursts of LH have been linked to the occurrence of hot flushes, night sweats and other menopausal symptoms.”[4] It also seems to have a balancing and harmonising impact on hormone production.

As a natural product, the use of Black Cohosh may be considered contentious by some allopathic medical practitioners.

However, many female patients using this natural health product speak highly of its efficacy and its aid in the elimination of hot flushes and other discomforting menopausal symptoms that disrupt sleep and daily lifestyle patterns.

Conclusion

If you are an older woman who is experiencing menopausal symptoms, or even if you are a younger woman who is experiencing gynaecological problems or hormonal and period problems or irregularities, speak with your local naturopathic professional or natural remedy specialist as soon as possible.

Black Cohosh may be a suitable herb and remedy that can help you with painful and discomforting symptoms.

Have a wonderful day and stay tuned for more naturopathic advice tomorrow.


[1] http://www.menopause.org.au/images/stories/media/docs/AMS_Media_Kit_2010.pdf

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/health/healthyliving/naturalhealth/guide/stories/2008/05/20/2229125.htm

[3] http://ama.com.au/node/2994

[4] http://www.sisterzeus.com/rroseb.htm#6