Black cohosh or Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract is a flowering plant that is native to North America. It is also sometimes called black bugbane, black snakeroot, baneberry, or fairy candle.
It is an ingredient that is used in many popular women’s health supplements claimed to help with menopause symptoms, fertility, and hormonal balance.
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Benefits of using Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract:
- Black cohosh functions as a phytoestrogen: It is a plant-based compound, that can mimic the action of the hormone estrogen but there is a debate as to whether black cohosh can be classified as a true phytoestrogen.
- May help with sleep: there is only little evidence showing that black cohosh can help improve sleep and quality. It also helps to reduce symptoms that can cause sleep disturbances in menopausal women such as hot flashes.
- Another study showed that a combination of black cohosh along with chasteberry, zinc, ginger, and hyaluronic acid helped improve hot flashes that were associated with insomnia and anxiety.
- Alleviate menopause symptoms: a study was conducted in which 80 menopausal women were experiencing hot flashes and those who were supplemented with 20 mg of black cohosh daily for 8 weeks reported significantly fewer and less hot flashes.
- Improve fertiltiy: there are many claims that black cohosh can help improve fertility (help you get pregnant). There is research showing that black cohosh can improve the effectiveness of the fertility drug Clomid, increasing the chances of women with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) being pregnant.
- May improve mental health: there are studies showing that black cohosh may improve mental health in menopausal women.
- Weight loss: black cohosh exhibits some estrogenic effects, and it may help with weight loss in menopausal women but more evidence is needed
- May help with fibroids, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menstrual cycle regulation: a 3-month study in 244 postmenopausal women showed that supplementing daily with 40 mg of black cohosh may decrease the size of uterine fibroids by up to 30%. Women who are receiving fertility treatments like Clomid, black cohosh may help regulate their menstrual cycle.
Who all can use black cohosh?
Black cohosh should be suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and skin of colour but you should make sure you are not allergic to this plant.
What is the correct dosage for using black cohosh?
Black cohosh can be used by adults in doses of 40-128 mg by mouth daily for up to one year.
What are the side effects of using black cohosh?
Black cohosh is possibly safe to use for 1 year. When taken by mouth black cohosh can cause some mild side effects such as:
- Digestive upset
- Skin rashes
- Muscle pain
- Breast pain or enlargement, and
- Bleeding outside of your menstrual cycle.
- Liver damage: Black cohosh is also said to cause liver damage, so you shouldn’t take black cohosh if you have liver disease or any other supplements that can harm your liver. Also, check for symptoms of liver damage such as dark urine and fatigue if your using black cohosh.
- Anemia: High doses of black cohosh can also cause red blood cell damage, leading to anemia, but more research is needed to prove these side effects. So, it’s always better to consult a doctor about this.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: black cohosh is not safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding
- Black cohosh acts somewhat like estrogen in the body and can worsen hormone-sensitive conditions, like endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and others.
What medications can I use along with black cohosh?
There are many medications that you should be cautious about when you plan to use with black cohosh. They are as follows:
- Cisplatin (Platinol-AQ) with black cohosh.
- Medications changed by the liver with black cohosh.
- Hepatotoxic drugs interacts with black cohosh.
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor) with black cohosh.
Always consult a doctor before using these combinations.
Frequently asked questions:
Can you take black cohosh with antidepressants?
Yes, black cohosh should be safe to use with antidepressants (citalopram) as no interactions were found between the two. Now, this does not mean no interactions exist. Always consult a doctor.
Can you take black cohosh with paxil?
No interactions were found between black cohosh and Paxil, so it should be safe to use. Always consult a healthcare provider.
Can you take black cohosh with premarin?
No interactions were found between black cohosh and Premarin, but do make sure to consult a healthcare provider.
Can you take black cohosh with evening primrose?
Yes, black cohosh and evening primrose can be used together as they have been effective in reducing hot flashes and improving life. It was seen that black cohosh was more effective than evening primrose as it was able to reduce the number of flashes too
Can you take black cohosh with zoloft?
Yes, it is safe to use black cohosh along with Zoloft as no interactions were found between the two but do make sure to consult a doctor about this.
Can you take black cohosh with Warfarin?
No interactions were found between black cohosh and Warfarin, so it should be safe to use. Always consult a healthcare provider.
Can you take black cohosh with metformin?
No interactions were found between black cohosh and metformin, so it should be safe to use. Always consult a healthcare provider.