Herbal Supplements
Black Cohosh: Menopausal Supplement

Many doctors are no longer advising that their patients take HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) when going through menopause. For years, estrogen was given to menopausal women to decrease some of the annoying and sometimes incapacitating side effects of menopause. Recent studies have shown that supplementing estrogen can increase womenís chances of getting breast cancer. The hormone replacement therapies have also caused heart problems in a lot of women. Doctors are now determining that the benefits arenít significant enough to risk the possibly devastating and fatal side effects.

The frightening side effects of HRT have brought about the popularity of a medicinal herb called black cohosh. It is also known as bugbane or black snakeroot. It has been used by holistic practitioners for years, and now more women understand why.

For a lot of menopausal women, black cohosh is believed to be a miracle root. In studies and practical use, it reduces and can even eliminate hot flashes, profuse sweating, drastic and sudden mood changes, menopausal headaches, perceived or real heart palpitations, and even vaginal dryness. With such amazing benefits, many women are now using this herbal remedy as a hormone replacement therapy.

As with many plant-derived phytochemicals, scientists donít really know how black cohosh does what it does. Many studies have shown the benefits, and doctors are receiving positive feedback from patients, but it remains a mysterious herb that just seems to work for some people.

Potential harmful side effects do exist. Use of black cohosh seems to have the potential to cause detrimental effects on the liver. An assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago believes that autoimmune hepatitis of the liver can be caused by black cohosh. Symptoms of this inflammation of the liver include extreme fatigue. When caught early, the inflammation seems to be completely reversible, and itís believed to be a genetic condition in some women.

While there is a potential for liver damage, the risks are far less than traditional estrogen hormone replacement therapy. If you decide to use black cohosh for menopausal symptoms (people also vouch for its effectiveness in combating cramps and other pre-menstrual symptoms), simply ask your doctor for periodic liver function tests. They are affordable and pretty simple tests to keep tabs on your liver function. Itís a small price to pay for most women having to deal with the frustrating side effects of menopause.

As you should when beginning any home treatment, discuss it with your doctor. You can get black cohosh in pill form, powder, and liquid tinctures. You will often find a menopausal formula that combines black cohosh with other helpful herbs, such as yucca extract, which is a mild remedy for the pain of cramps or headaches. The main difference in the supplements are the additives to the black cohosh ingredients. Many vitamin companies tout their additional ingredients as the perfect addition to aid in your bodyís uptake of the cohosh. Honestly, youíll have to see which one works best for you. Different ingredients work differently on different people.

All in all, black cohosh seems to be worth a try for menopausal women or women who experience moderate-to-severe menstrual symptoms.

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More About Black Cohosh...

Black Cohosh and Menopause

Black cohosh is also known as bugwort, black snakeroot and rattleweed. It is a perennial related to ...

Black Cohosh - Not Just for Menopause

Recent studies and media blitzes have informed most people of the benefits of Black Cohosh for ...

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