Black Cohosh: Easing Menopause

Focuses on black cohosh, a native American plant that offers women suffering from menopausal discomfort a natural alternative hormone-replacement therapy. Effectiveness of the plant.

By PT Staff, published March 1, 1999 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

This native American plant (Cimicifuga racemosa) offers women suffering frommenopausal discomfort--hot flashes, sleep disruption, depression--a natural alternative to hormone-replacement therapy. The herb's root contains estrogen-like substances that bind to estrogen receptors in the body and decrease the level of luteinizing hormone, a pituitary gland substance that has been linked to hot flashes.

A double-blind 12-week German study of 80 menopausal women showed black cohosh was better than hormone-replacement therapy in relieving hot flashes, depression and other menopausal symptoms. A recent Japanese experiment with laboratory rats suggests that black cohosh might also eventually prove helpful in slowing osteoporosis by increasing levels of calcium in the body.

PHOTO (COLOR): Black Cohosh: Easing Menopause