Black Cohosh

Menopause Relief

There are times when it can feel like menopause is a force that has hijacked your life. This inevitable transition can bring a host of symptoms  – sometimes severe, and sometimes not – that need to be addressed in order to live a healthy, vibrant life and keep a positive perspective.

Unfortunately, many of the choices carry the risk of serious consequences, including an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart attack. Fortunately, there is a natural way to fight mood swings, night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms, without the risk of pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

For a long time, hormone replacement therapy was considered standard conventional treatment. Then in 2002, a clinical trial known as the women’s health initiative spotted a correlation between combined hormone therapy and the increased risk of heart diseas, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer. As a result of these findings, many women experiencing menopause are looking for a natural alternative that works with the body and without the risk.

Black Cohosh – The Natural Solution

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries in the past 50 years, Black Cohosh has been the focus of clinical research on menopause relief. Black Cohosh is an interesting botanical because it doesn’t act as a phytoestrogen (at one time researches thought that it did). It does appear to work as a selective estrogen receptor modulator. This makes Black Cohosh different from soy or red clover, which are phytoestrogens. The lack of phytoestrogens in Black Cohosh makes it safe to use for a women who have had breast cancer.

Black Cohosh is time-tested: over the course of decades of study and use, it has been proven to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other troubling menopause symptoms. I have heard from many women who say that Black Cohosh didn’t relieve their menopause symptoms at all, or only worked for a little while after they’d passed the 8-weeks average for the botanical to take full effect.

The Correct Dosage of Black Cohosh

The effectiveness of Black Cohosh comes down to many things, and foremost among them are concentration, standardization, and dosage levels. Even hundreds of milligrams of Black Cohosh, with the wrong extraction or concentration, may be completely ineffective. It appears that, in some cases, Black Cohosh actually provides less benefits as you increase the dosage level. That is because the herb works on a bell curve. Once you pass the peak of that curve, it is just not that effective anymore. In fact, clinical studies have found that the best dose of Black Cohosh is much less than you might expect – 13 mg daily.

Written by:
Jeff Sherman, CEO, Master Herbalist, Biochemist