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Black Cohosh Extract
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is one of the world's most widely
used herbal extracts and is the most popular and potent Western herb for
the treatment of menopause.
The German Commission E Monograph on black cohosh states that it is a
useful phytomedicine for premenstrual discomfort, dysmenorrhea (painful
menstruation) or climacteric (menopausal) ailments.
As women age, the chemical signals between the pituitary and the ovaries
are disrupted, resulting in decreased estrogen and increased luteinizing
hormone (LH). High levels of LH are linked to night sweats, hot flashes,
palpitations and thinning of the vaginal walls.
A large study of 629 women who supplemented with 80 mg black cohosh
extract daily for six to eight weeks showed positive results. Most of
the women noticed benefit within four weeks and a large percentage of
women had complete resolution of symptoms within eight weeks.
Herbalists have long known that black cohosh is a useful nervine and
muscle relaxant, and have used black cohosh to treat headache and muscle
spasms. Well known herbalist, David Hoffman, explains: "It is very
active in the treatment of rheumatic pains, rheumatoid arthritis,
osteo-arthritis and in muscular and neurological pain. It finds use in
sciatica and neuralgia. As a relaxing nervine it may be used in many
situations where such an agent is needed. It has also been found
beneficial in cases of tinnitus."