What is black cohosh?
Is it something that will help with our menopause? It's often promoted as menopausal help. Alternative herbals for menopause include ed clover extracts or soy, or flaxseed. Similarly it has not been shown that Vitamin E is helpful A cancer treatment group, in conjunction with Mayo Clinic has shown that in addition to possibly some flatulence and diarrhea, flaxseed when given in supplemental form won't relieve hot flashes.
When evaluating herbal's effectiveness the difficulty is that lifestyle help (wearing layers) or placebo have a fair amount of effectiveness. As a rule of thumb even placebo treatments work 40-60% of the time, and some of these estrogen alternatives work about 50-70% of the time.
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1. Black cohosh is not an estrogen and therefore has no estrogen side effects, and helps the work of of the anti-estrogen treatment tamoxifen on the breast, so very safe for those at risk for or who have breast cancer
2. Black cohosh can be helpful for lots of menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, sleep, sweats, not so much for the psychological symptoms like mood changes and depression
3. Black cohosh is thought to be safe to give with St. Johns Wort if you are a candidate for that medication, which can help with the mood changes and depression not treated by the Black cohosh
4.Estrogen therapy in menopause often works very rapidly, within days (large doses) to a very few weeks, but if you are taking black cohosh for menopause expect results in 8 weeks and full effects by week 16
5. Side Effects are moderate. Although most physicians wouldn't feel that black cohosh is significantly effective for menopause if you want to try it the side effects rare, if you have a side effect it will likely be moderate and mostly be gastrointestinal.
6. As of 2012, however, there were reports of liver complications with use of black cohosh-containing products. Whether these reports really were from properly produced black cohosh, or in fact an entirely different plant which was suspected, it was just a reason to remind women to purchase reliably sourced herbal products. The US Pharmacopeia states that any product containing black cohosh should carried the following statement "In rare cases, black cohosh has been reported to affect the liver. Discontinue use and consult a healthcare practitioner if you have a liver disorder or develop symptoms of liver trouble, such as abdominal pain, dark urine, or jaundice."
6. Any medication or herb can interact with other medications or herbs, and this is why it's so important to involve your gyno in any of your health strategies. No serious drug interactions reported yet to the FDA with black cohosh and other drugs, for checking any new reports of drug interactions, check the AARP site. What is black cohosh? Is it something that will help with our menopause? It's often promoted as menopausal help.