Black Cohosh Benefits: Naturally Improving Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

This plant provides black cohosh benefitsBl??k ??h??h ?xtr??t h?? b??n g??n?ng ???ul?r?t? ?nd r???gn?t??n in r???nt ???r? for the num?r?u? black cohosh benefits to our health. N?t?v? American? have kn?wn ?b?ut the power of th? black ??h??h h?rb f?r hundreds ?f ???r?, however, th?? h?v? used ?t t? tr??t ?nd ?ur? ?n ??t?und?ng ?rr?? of d?????? ?nd ?lln?????. T?d??, this powerful h?rb is ?l?? kn?wn ?? Cimicifuga racemosa ?nd Actaea r???m???. It ?? w?d?l? ?v??l?bl? ?? a ?u??l?m?nt, but there are ??rt??n things you must kn?w, f?r ??ur good health, in order t? properly and safely use th?? herb.

The Beginnings of Black Cohosh Benefits

Black Cohosh (also called bl??k snakeroot, r?ttl? r??t and others) ?? ?l???l? r?l?t?d to th? butt?r?u? ?nd ?? an h?rb w?th a long h??t?r? ?f use ?n tr?d?t??n?l m?d???n?. Th?? n?tur?l ?u??l?m?nt h?? b??n u??d ?? a h?m????th?? r?m?d? f?r ???n? ?n the mu??l?? ?nd joints b???u?? ?f its ?r???rt??? ?? a natural ?nt?-?nfl?mm?t?r?. Add?t??n?ll?, bl??k ??h??h benefits m?n? ????l? w?th ??r?ul?t?r? ???u?? ?? w?ll as ?rthr?t??, rh?um?t??m, ?nd high ?h?l??t?r?l. H?w?v?r, recently ?t h?? b??n ?n?r???ing in ???ul?r?t? f?r ?t? ?b?l?t? to l????n ?r r?l??v? many ??m?t?m? ?f menopause.

Stud??? have ?nd???t?d that this n?tur?l h?rb ??nt??n? some ?h?t?-??tr?g?n?? properties wh??h ??t similar t? ??tr?g?n ?n th? b?d?. Th??? h?v? b??n ?r?v?n t? h?l? r??t?r? natural h?rm?n?l b?l?n??. Because ?f its ??tr?g?n mimicking ?ff??t?, ??m? w?m?n ?r? choosing t? u?? th?? h?rb as a homeopathic ?lt?rn?t?v? t? traditional hormone r??l???m?nt therapies u??d f?r th? treatment ?f menopause and ?th?r ??nd?t??n? ??u??d b? d??r????d estrogen. Remember that both insufficient or excessive estrogen can lead to vasomotor instability and hot flashes; black cohosh benefits can make hot flashes worse if the body is in a state of pre-existing estrogen dominance.

Th? reason so many w?m?n ?r?f?r t? u?? n?tur?l r?m?d??? (?u?h as black ??h??h) to h?l? r?l??v? th? ??m?t?m? ?nd d????mf?rt? ?f m?n???u?? ?? b???u?? black cohosh benefits ?ff?r very l?ttl? side ?ff??t? in ??m??rison t? those ???????t?d w?th h?rm?n? th?r??? tr??tm?nt?.

For m?n???u??l ?nd ?r?-m?n???u??l w?m?n, black cohosh benefits ?r? w?ll documented ?? b??ng h?l?ful f?r ??m?t?m? ?u?h as changes in ???l?, m??d problems, n?ght sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, w??ght issues, and more. Although s?m? ?tud??? d?t?rm?n?d th?t th?? gr??t h?rb actually does n?t help r?l??v? h?t fl??h??, some w?m?n ?w??r b? ?t. R????r?h?r? are ?t?ll l??k?ng into the ?????b?l?t?.

On? of th? foremost u??? ?f th? bl??k ??h??h h?rb today ?? ?? a n?tur?l menopause tr??tm?nt. This h?? come ?b?ut w?th v?r? promising results. Th?? natural supplement ??nt??n? ??m??n?nt? th?t ?r? ??m?l?r to estrogen. It is l?k? a replaced h?rm?n? for ??tr?g?n. It is ?t?t?d that th??? herbs ??nn??t th?m??lv?? t? th? ??tr?g?n receptors ?n th? b?d?. It ?? supposed to d??r???? th? ?m?unt of luteinizing hormone in a w?m?n’? b?d?, making th?? ?u??l?m?nt very effective wh?n it comes t? ??ntr?ll?ng menopause ?nd ?t? ??m?t?m?.

Black cohosh benefits can assist with the following:

  • Menopause
  • Br???t cancer
  • H?t fl??h??
  • Mood swings
  • V?g?n?l dr?n???
  • M?gr??n?? ?nd h??d??h??
  • P?r???r?t??n
  • Arthr?t?? ?nd osteoporosis
  • Heart ??l??t?t??n?
  • Sl??? d??turb?n???

Improve your menopause symptoms with black cohosh benefitsA? m?nt??n?d ?b?v?, one of the key black cohosh benefits is that it is used primarily t? treat the ??m?t?m? ?f m?n???u??, ?????f???ll? h?t fl??h??. It ?? ??m?t?m?? u??d ?? ?n alternative to h?rm?n? replacement th?r??? (HRT) ?r ??nth?t?? estrogen because ?t d??? n?t have th? ??m? ??d? ?ff??t? ?? either of these tr??tm?nt?. It is ?m??rt?nt t? point ?ut th?t ?v?n th?ugh black cohosh benefits do not include r?du??ng the r??k of cardiovascular disease ?r osteoporosis that ?r? ???????t?d w?th HRT.

Similar black cohosh benefits ?n?lud? relief f?r th? ??m?t?m? ?f ?r?m?n?tru?l syndrome and other gynecological problems. Bl??k c?h??h can be m?x?d w?th valerian, ?kull???, wood b?t?n? and ??????nfl?w?r to be used ?? a m?ld ??d?t?v?. Native Am?r???n? have used bl??k ??h??h to tr??t ?th?r ??nd?t??n? ?? well, including sore thr??t?, k?dn?? ??lm?nt?, and d??r?????n.

Black cohosh benefits ???m to b? most profound wh?n used t? ease th? h?t flashes ?nd insomnia th?t ??m?t?m?? ????m??n? m?n???u??. It h?? been ?r?v?n t? ??d w?th regular m?nthl? ???l? ?r?m??ng, but has ?l?? ??d?d many women w?th menopausal ?r?m??ng.

On? ?f th? r????n? wh? th? h?rb has ?r?v?n t? be so ?ff??t?v? w?th th?ng? like n?ght ?w??t? and ?r?m??ng ?? because it contains a collective of ?h?t??h?m???l? ?nd nutr??nt?. Am?ng th? phytochemicals ?r? beta-carotene, phytosterols, ??l???l?? ???d?, ?nd tannin. The nutr??nt ?r???rt??? ?f the herb ?n?lud? calcium, iron, m?gn???um, phosphorous, ?nd B V?t?m?n?.

A f?n?l ?ngr?d??nt is believed t? offer the maximum r?l??f fr?m m?n???u??l cramping, n?ght ?w??t?, ?nd h?t flashes. F?rm?n?n?t?n tends to ?tt??h itself to ??tr?g?n r????t?r sites l???t?d within th? b?d?, and then ??t? ?nd ??rf?rm? l?k? a b???t ?f ??tr?g?n f?r th? body.

Oth?r black cohosh benefits ?n?lud? ?t? ?b?l?t? t? ??d ?n lowering ?h?l??t?r?l ?nd th? ?r?m?t??n of a h??lth? ??rd??v???ul?r ???t?m. When dealing w?th th? herb ?n t?rm? ?f female issues, th? h?rb h?? also b??n f?und t? relieve lower b??k ???n ???????t?d with m?nthl? ???l?? ?nd m?n???u??. An?th?r b?n?f?t f?r ??m? ?? th?t the h?rb t?nd? t? ??u?? ?r?gn?nt w?m?n t? g? ?nt? l?b?r. Th?? ?? also the m??n r????n wh? the herb ?? n?t ?ugg??t?d for use during ?r?gn?n??.

An?th?r one of the important bl??k ??h??h benefits is that it ??uld b? helpful due t? ?t? ?b?l?t? to r?du?? inflammation with arthritis. Inflammation causes a l?t ?f damage ?nd is th? chief ??u?? ?f ???n with j??nt?. R?du??ng inflammation will n?t only reduce ???n, but will ?r?v?d? m?n? ?th?r ?dv?nt?g?? t? a person’s h??lth.

Finally, this herb h?? ?b?l?t??? t? fight ?ff unw?nt?d b??t?r??, h?l? ?m?r?v? d?g??t??n, ?nd ?????bl? ?m?r?v? blood ?r???ur? l?v?l?.

Bl??k C?h??h S?d? Eff??t?

Ju?t ?? there ?r? w?th ?n? other m?d???t??n, th?r? are ??m? ?????bl? ??d? ?ff??t? ?f bl??k ??h??h. H?w?v?r, th?? ?r? n?t v?r? common. If they are in a state of estrogen deficiency due to menopause, most w?m?n u?? bl??k ??h??h without ?n? ??d? effects ?t ?ll. These are usually women who are thinner and not overweight. Even with the most healthy body, side effects may be expected. S?m? of these ?n?lud? an upset stomach, headache, and weight gain. Th? degree t? wh??h ??u w?ll experience ??d? ?ff??t? w?ll depend ?n th? ?m?unt th?t ??u ?r? t?k?ng.

Possible liver damage may be caused by black cohosh benefitsTh? biggest d?ng?r to using bl??k cohosh would be liver damage, wh??h has ???urr?d in a f?w people taking ?t. This ?? th? r????n wh? ??m? ??untr??? ?u?h as Au?tr?l?? h?v? ?ut warning l?b?l? ?n th? supplement. The g??d news is th?t it has not yet been proven th?t black ??h??h w?ll h?rm th? liver. S?m? ?f the ??rt?????nt? th?t h?v? experienced l?v?r ?r?bl?m? could have additional lifestyle ?h????? that n?g?t?v?l? ?ff??t?d th?? ?rg?n. As mentioned earlier, hot flashes can also worsen in some, especially those who are overweight for their height.

Another d?ng?r to th?? h?rb ?l?ng w?th n??rl? all h?rb?l r?m?d??? ?? for w?m?n who ?r? ?r?gn?nt. If you are pregnant, ??u should n?t use th?? h?rb?l tr??tm?nt since ?t has b??n f?und t? ?n?r???? ??ur r??k of m????rr??g?. Y?u should ?l?? not u?? th?? h?rb?l tr??tm?nt wh?l? ??u are breastfeeding. To b? ??f?, the b??t option is to consult a m?d???l professional b?f?r? t?k?ng herbal r?m?d??? if you’re ?r?gn?nt ?r still breastfeeding your child. Those t?k?ng ?r???r??t??n drug? ?r hormonal therapy should also talk to a physician – because th?r? m?ght b? a n?g?t?v? ?nt?r??t??n.

Th?r? are also ?th?r mild side effects th?t ??uld h????n by taking bl??k cohosh. These side ?ff??t? ??uld potentially t?k? ?l??? with ?n? herbal remedy so they are n?t unusual. Th??? unwanted effects m?ght include an allergic r???t??n, stomach ?r?m??, h??d??h??, b??ng n?u???u?, bl??d?ng ?n th? r??r?du?t?v? area ?nd ??rh??? weight g??n.

Y?ur g?n?r?l ?ll around health w?ll ?l?? have some impact ?n th? degree of fr?qu?n?? or ??v?r?t? ?f the ??d? ?ff??t? ?f bl??k ??h??h. Another possible side effect is dizziness. It is important to monitor your daily routine while using the supplement.

R?m?mb?r, you ?h?uld ?lw??? t?lk to your d??t?r or pharmacist b?f?r? t?k?ng ?n? supplements if you have plant related ?ll?rg???, a m?d???l condition, ?r ?f ??u ?r? t?k?ng other m?d???n?? ?r herbal/health supplements. Th?? natural ?u??l?m?nt ?? n?t g?n?r?ll? r???mm?nd?d f?r ????l? wh? have h?d a reaction to ????r?n as th?? may experience breathing difficulties.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

Adr?n?l Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) ?? a condition wh?r? your adrenal glands are weakened; it causes your b?d? to not receive as much assistance from those glands. When these glands are not working properly, they are not able to produce the cortisol hormone. Cortisol assists the body in coping with stress, and ?? literally wh?t g?v?? th? b?d? the ??t??n? of “f?ght” ?r “fl?ght” ?w?? fr?m ?tr???. Too much cortisol is like being pumped up on caffeine and not enough cortisol will result in being stressed and exhausted. Prolonged periods ?f f?ght?ng ?tr??? w?ll result in fatigued ?dr?n?l glands. Keep in mind that cortisol lowers thyroid hormones over time, which is how the thyroid is connected to AFS.

Improve hot flashes by using black cohosh benefitsAdrenal fatigue is currently not considered a medical condition by conventional medicine, as there is no scientific evidence supporting that the adrenal glands are fatigued after long-term mental, physical, and emotional stress.

Black cohosh, as previously mentioned, contains estrogens that act like hormones in our body. Women who suffer hot flashes during menopause often use black cohosh benefits to support reproductive health and hormone balance. Thyroid imbalances can cause hot flashes; black cohosh benefits include being known to alleviate hot flashes in women – reducing not only the frequency, but also the intensity.

Hot flashes happen due to a hormone imbalance in the hypothalamus gland, which regulates body temperature. Black cohosh benefits aid in limiting the activity occurring in the hypothalamus, which then limits its production of corticotropin-releasing hormones that stimulate your adrenal gland to produce adrenaline. Keep in mind, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate nutritional supplements such as black cohosh and therefore it is not regulated for safety.

If you have a hormonal condition, it is important to take precaution if you plan on using black cohosh benefits. Given the delicacy of our endocrine system, it is very easy to create a hormonal imbalance. Such imbalances can cause irritability, nervousness, insomnia, muscle tension, cardiovascular changes, and headaches.

NEM Stress Response

The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response can be thought of as a complex network comprised of systems and organs connected to each other to create a functional network. To put it simply, think of it as being a safety net assisting to protect the body when stress threatens its survival. Our body’s functional response to stress is based on our neuroendocrine and metabolic response circuits, which operate 24/7 at varying levels.

There are six functional components of the NEM stress response between the neuroendocrine circuit and the metabolic circuit, with each group containing three. The three that fall into the neuroendocrine circuits include hormonal, cardionomic, and neuro-affective. The three components of the metabolic circuits are inflammation, detoxification, and metabolism. These collectively make up the NEM response to stress from a functional medicine perspective.

Black cohosh benefits may affect the neuroendocrine circuits, which involve the thyroid, adrenals, heart, autonomic nervous system, brain, and the gastrointestinal tract. If looking at the NEM Stress Response graphic, one will see that black cohosh benefits would affect the hormonal response section, especially given its estrogen mimicking effects.

When stress is present, the hormonal response is to secrete cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is considered one of the most fundamental anti-stress hormones in the body. When there is low adrenal function, then this could lead to low thyroid function. When thyroid function is slow, then fatigue is unavoidable.

The body’s response to stress and fatigue is to reduce libido and therefore lessen the importance of the reproduction system as it attempts to create balance using the Ovarian Adrenal Thyroid (OAT) hormonal axis.

Fatigue maybe improved by black cohosh benefitsWhen hormonal response is overworked due to high amounts of stress, then the following symptoms may come as a result:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Afternoon slump
  • PMS
  • Dry skin
  • Menses irregularity
  • Reproductive disruption and/or infertility
  • Feeling cold
  • Exercise intolerance

Black cohosh benefits in assisting the body when it is overwhelmed by stress as it would r??t?r? natural h?rm?n?l b?l?n?? due to its ??tr?g?n mimicking ?ff??t?. It can also worsen estrogen dominance if the body is already in such a state. Adrenal crashes can be the result – along with worsened fatigue and anxiety.

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Black cohosh benefits