Dr. Hudson shares what black cohosh is and if it is a safe and effective method for treating menopause.
Black cohosh is a beautiful plant. It grows in the wild in the northeast, southeast of the United States and the root of the plant is probably the number-one-single most important plant for treating menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats and even irritability and melancholy and mood swings, and the root is powdered and put in capsules and sold in many different products on your natural retail outlets.
The reason why I mention it as the number one most important is it’s the most researched, the best researched plant for menopause symptoms. There’s over, it’s probably closed to 100 studies now that have been published on black cohosh and not every single study shows that it’s effective, but most show that it’s effective and most show at least 50% of women will get relief and at least 50% of women will get a 50% reduction in the relief of their symptoms.
So in my practice in Portland, Oregon, that’s the single most common plant I might prescribe for women with menopause symptoms. Now often there’s other things that are needed because she also especially has anxiety or she especially has insomnia, so we use the black cohosh in combination with other herbs and nutrients and formulations.
So it’s effective 50 to 80% of the time in a kind of a reliable way, and one of the things that I like to tell people is, you’ll read some information that see they’re kind of outdated or just incorrect. Black cohosh is not estrogen, it does not contain estrogen, it does not stimulate estrogen and it does not even contain fido estrogens and that information is old and new research of several years now really confirms the things that I just said.
So, it becomes also very important plant for breast cancer survivors who have menopause symptoms. They can safely take black cohosh and in fact, in several different studies now black cohosh has been shown to inhibit breast cancer cells from dividing and, in the test tube, and women who take black cohosh products seem to have a lower risk of breast cancer. This is one study, but one study that offers a lot of reassurance.
So for breast cancer survivors it’s the number one herbal choice and in general, I would say as a single plant it is the most important menopause herb we have.
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