Black Cohosh has a long history of use in Native American and European herbal medicine. It is famous for its beneficial effects on women's health because of its value in treating gynecological problem, but Black Cohosh also has potent anti-inflammatory, sedative and analgesic actions, that are useful in the treatment of inflammatory diseases like arthritis and rheumatism. Black Cohosh extract is a popular herb for treating menopausal symptoms such as, hot flashes, mood swings, headaches, tinnitus and insomnia. The herb is said to provide relief from menstrual problems (including PMS) and is considered indispensable as a good substitute for estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), as it appears to maintain the therapeutic response to ERT when ERT is gradually withdrawn. An additional benefit is its apparent lack of bad side effects that frequently accompany synthetic hormones like heart disease, breast cancer or stroke due to the hormones used in some of these treatments. Black Cohosh has been used by Naturopathic doctors for headaches, heart conditions, vertigo, nervousness and depression associated with menopause, and as a digestive tonic. Native to North America it was often utilized for colds, coughs, sore throat, reduce mucus production, and as an effective antidote for snakebites.
Black Cohosh may contain anticancer properties that could help to protect you from developing cancer or prevent cancer cell growth. A 2007 laboratory study found that the phenol called petasiphenone in Black Cohosh extracts can reduce prostate cancer cell growth, as stated by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Unlike true plant-based chemicals with estrogen-like actions, called phytoestrogens, Black Cohosh doesn't induce breast cancer cell growth, according to their studies. It was actually revealed that taking Black Cohosh herbal extract prolonged cancer-free survivial.
Black Cohosh is an excellent herbal supplement for that is used primarily by women, with varied results, for the treatment of premenstrual discomfort, painful menstruation and menopausal symptoms. It alters the levels of hormones already present in the body, as well as the hormone cell receptors, instead of supplying the hormones as in hormone replacement therapy. National Center of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, NCCAM, reports that interest in alternative treatments for menopause symptoms, such as Black Cohosh, is at a peak these days because hormone therapy may put them at risk for heart attack, stroke and cancer. Black Cohosh has been used successfully for the treatment of painful or heavy menstruation, menstrual irregularity, breast pain, ovarian pain, PMS symptoms and pain during and after childbirth. It has also been effective for those awful symptoms of menopause such as, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, blurred vision, mood swings, headaches, tinnitus, insomnia, night sweats and can reduce the need for, or reduce dosage of, hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
A meta-analysis conducted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Hildesheim, Germany and published in January 2011 "Menopause" journal found that Black Cohosh is non-toxic to the liver. Liver enzyme levels, which become elevated when the liver is stressed, were not affected by the use of Black Cohosh herbal supplements. These results are contrary to other reports of adverse effects on the liver, said the researchers.
When used at the end of pregnancy, Black Cohosh is said to be a uterine stimulant that will promote labor and facilitate delivery. Black Cohosh is believed to balance the hormone levels in both men and women, it works to increase the viability of sperm cells by protecting their cell walls from oxidation caused by environmental toxins; consequently, use of the herb may help to promote fertility. According to NYU Langone Medical Center, Black Cohosh may help women who are having trouble conceiving. Women who do not respond to the fertility drug to induce ovulation may receive benefit from taking Black Cohosh herbal tincture. Large doses of Black Cohosh may induce miscarriage and cause premature birth. Do not take Black Cohosh without speaking to your health provider first.
Black Cohosh exerts a powerful effect over the nervous system. It's action is slow, but its effects are permanent. Black Cohosh is thought to be a wonderful, natural sedative that has been used to relax the entire body, relieve aches and pains. As a remedy for pain, Black Cohosh extract can be a very prompt agent, often relieving it in a few hours, even painful conditions that have existed for a long time. The neurotransmitter GABA, which has a calming effect on nerves and muscles, significantly increases in response to Black Cohosh, according to a study published in the December 2010 issue of "Journal of Natural Products". In studies, women have shown improvement in their anxiety and irritability and showed no symptoms of depression. A tonic that helps to calm the entire central nervous system, it is believed to be effective in treating nervous tension and hysteria.
Black Cohosh appears to decrease bone loss, including bone loss from osteoporosis, according to UMMC University of Maryland Medical Center. The phytoestrogens contained in Black Cohosh tincture can help prevent bones from becoming fragile and can also reduce the related risk of fractures. Another benefit of Black Cohosh herbal extract is that it can enhance bone healing when they have been fractured due to osteoporosis. Its effects are more significant when consumed during the early stages of osteoporosis.
Another benefit of Black Cohosh Root extract is its ability to lower the risk of breast cancer by almost 60%. The plant is capable of doing this, with its phytoestrogens, and it may reduce the negative effects of estrogen. One such effect is its tendency to encourage the development and growth of cancer that is hormone receptive positive.
Used as an anti-inflammatory, Black Cohosh is said to be beneficial for easing the pain associated with neuralgia and for relieving the inflammation, swelling and the soreness that is typical of rheumatism and arthritis. It is one of the better herbs to use in cases of fibromyalgia, in this condition, muscle pain is more of a problem, as opposed to joint pain. It has muscle-relaxing effects and reduces soreness of the affliction.
Black Cohosh is said to nourish the respiratory system. It is believed to help relax bronchial tubes, soothe sore throats and quell the urge to cough. It also works to break up mucus and phlegm deposits, and herbalists have used it to treat persistent coughs in cases of asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough.
Black Cohosh has been thought to slightly lower the heart rate, while increasing the force of the pulse, and it may have mild cardiac tonic effects, especially on fatty hearts. As an antispasmodic, Black Cohosh is said to be helpful in relieving muscle spasms, cramps and St. Vitus Dance. Black Cohosh Root may also be used to bring down the levels of bad cholesterol-low density lipoprotein-in the blood.
Also known as bugbane and black snakeroot, and it works as a natural insect repellent and an effective antidote for snake bites.