Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh: Black Cohosh is a native plant from the east of North America that has been used by Native Americans for gynaecological conditions since before the arrival of European settlers. It was called 'Squaw root' because it was used primarily for female disorders. It was the primary ingredient of a tonic for 'female complaints', which sold widely in the USA for more than fifty years in the early twentieth century. In 1989, the German government commissioned an expert panel to address herbal products, and Black Cohosh was approved as a non prescription medicine for the treatment of climacteric ailments. However, the commission recommended its use for no longer than six months due to an uncertainty about its possible long term side effects.
The treatment of menopausal signs and symptoms has been the primary therapeutic application of Black Cohosh. It is main ingredient in the often used over-the-counter menopausal preparation called Remifemine. The mechanism by which Black Cohosh exerts its effects is unclear. It was once believed to have oestrogen-like activity, but the results of studies have been varied. The biologically active component of Black Cohosh is attributed to a number of special chemicals called tryterpine glycosides. Remifemine is standard with respect to these chemicals. In the two studies that have been conducted to study the effects of Black Cohosh on hot flushes, in only one of them was there a statistically significant reduction in symptoms. A note of caution about the use of preparations containing Black Cohosh has to be made as there have been reports of acute hepatitis in relation to its use.