Is Black Cohosh Your Best Friend During Menopause?
It is often common practice to use supplements during menopause to help relieve menopause symptoms. Black Cohosh is becoming a more known option as natural health care is growing more and more popular. How much do you know about this supplement? Is it friend, or foe?
Learn a little about the history behind Black Cohosh, its benefits, its side-effects and whether or not it’s right for you. As always, be sure to discuss your health care plan with your physician before adding anything new to your regimen.
Black Cohosh (aka: Black Snakeroot) has a long, varied and distinguished history of use in natural health care and first aid. A perennial herb, it was used by Native Americans to treat an array of health issues ranging in severity from depression and renal problems to general infections. Most notably Black Cohosh has established quite a reputation in the field of women’s reproductive and gynecological issues, such as Endometriosis, PMS, painful and heavy periods, sterility issues and labor difficulties.
Black Cohosh is as a dietary herbal supplement used by millions of Menopausal women to successfully help control the intensity and frequency of hot flashes, balance the sex hormones and ease the uterus during this time of potentially irritating transition. The herb is considered to be generally safe and as such has few contraindications- but that being said, there are a few caveats when considering it’s use:
1. Mild stomach upset and headaches have been known to occur in users.
2. Possible weight gain issues have been reported.
3. Some cases of liver toxicity have been reported but there’s not alot of concrete evidence to back up this claim. It is advisable to monitor yourself for signs of liver damage when supplementing with Black Cohosh, especially if you are doing so unsupervised.
The primary signs of liver toxicity are:
- joint pains
- tenderness and swelling in the abdomen
- dark urine
- generalized weakness
4. If a woman is undergoing treatment for breast cancer she should discuss the risks of using Black Cohosh with her physician. It is thought that this herb can interfere with certain chemotherapy drugs and also breast tissue changes have been associated with the use of Black Cohosh, but it is not clear how these changes are associated with the herb- and how the herb’s use might bring about these cellular changes.