Black Cohosh and Hot Flashes

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell

Our transformative years can bring about a number of spiritual changes which accompany a plethora of physical changes. What should be an exciting and rejuvenating experience is, for too many women, reduced to a daily hodgepodge of irritability and uncomfortable side effects, including, but not limited to:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
  • Panic Attacks
  • Mood Swings

These physical effects of menopause can, and will, begin to influence our lives and the lives of those around us. It is when these symptoms become severe that many women turn to modern science to ease the effects of menopause.

What can I do?

In recent years a number of natural hormone replacement therapy solutions have become widely recognized. As this emerging solution becomes more prominent, an increase in the number of studies on the subject has shown that for some women, this treatment is undesirable. However, this leaves us in a situation where treatment is necessary, so what options do we have available to us?

A natural solution

Black Cohosh is a menopausal herb that can be taken in many forms. Known botanically as Cimicifuga racemosa, Black Cohosh is a popular phytoestrogen that studies suggest will ease the discomfort associated with the symptoms of menopause. Similar in chemical structure to natural estrogen, phytoestrogens, like black cohosh, are milder on the body than natural estrogen. Recent studies have shown that phytoestrogens work by binding to at least one type of estrogen receptor, effectively shutting down this receptor and regulating the hormonal system in the body. It is important to note however, that while these studies suggest that phytoestrogens work in this manner, there is still some debate as to whether or not this is how these supplements work.

Is it For Everyone?

While the exact function of phyoestrogens, such as black cohosh, is unclear, it is well documented that these treatments do work quite well. In fact, one study comparing the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy, supplemented with valium, has shown that menopausal herbs is just as effective in treating both the physical and psychological effects of menopause. In another study, conducted in Japan, Black Cohosh was linked to increased bone mineral density, illustrating its ability to prevent age related osteoporosis. More studies need to be conducted to valid this. Furthermore, black cohosh has been found to be effective in as much as 93% of women, by taking a standardized extracts twice a day.

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