Black cohosh, also known as black snakeroot, is an herb made from the plant's roots. This compound may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and benefit the cardiovascular and circulatory systems. Black cohosh may help treat female problems, such as menstrual cramps.
Black cohosh's estrogen-like properties may make it useful in reducing hot flashes, headache, nervousness, and irritability—symptoms related to menopause. This herb may lessen morning sickness, and has been used to induce labor and during the process of childbirth. Black cohosh is also called 'squawroot'—a name derived from the herbal benefits it provides women.
Sources of Black Cohosh
Black cohosh is available in the following forms: tablets, capsules, liquid tincture, and tea (root simmered in water).
Guidelines and Cautions
Commerically prepared black cohosh products usually include directions for use.
- This herb should not be taken during pregnancy or while nursing. Black cohosh can stimulate contractions, leading to premature labor.
- There have been reports of liver problems associated with the use of black cohosh in certain individuals.
- If you are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, speak to a medical professional prior to including black cohosh in your diet.
- Some people who have taken large doses of black cohosh have reported headache, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, vision difficulty, and dizziness.
Do not take black cohosh if:
- You have a chronic medical condition
- You have had breast cancer
- You are in a high-risk group for cancer
Black cohosh should not be confused with blue cohosh. Blue cohosh may be used to treat similar disorders, but has not been thoroughly studied.
Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.