Black cohosh, a flowering plant found in North America, is famous for its enormous health benefits. It is also called snakeroot, bugbane, and fairy candle. It has a long history of use. Evidence shows that black cohosh roots and flowers have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. Today, it is included as an active ingredient in different supplements used in dealing with women’s health problems. Some health experts suggest black cohosh for hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms.
Menopause is the time that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and cessation of reproductive periods. It bothers women mostly with sleep problems, vaginal dryness, weight gain, and hot flashes. These symptoms can vary among women.
Black cohosh is a commonly used herbal supplement for hot flashes. It is also used for several women’s health-related issues such as night sweats, sleep disturbance, heart palpitations, irritability, painful intercourse, and heart diseases in postmenopausal women. In addition to these, black cohosh is also used for menstrual irregularities and to ease premenstrual syndrome.
Herbs for Hot Flashes and Black Cohosh
Women suffer from hot flashes when they are about to experience menopause. A hot flash is a feeling of intense heat that appears suddenly without any involvement of an external source. You may experience tingling in your fingers, warm skin, a flushed face, and sweating.
Hot flashes sometimes last for only a few seconds but sometimes they can last up to ten minutes. Generally, hot flashes last an average of four minutes. The frequency of hot flashes is different for all women; some experience hot flashes once a week while others have them two or three times a day.
Modern medicines are generally expensive and come with possible side effects. Therefore, many people turn to find natural or herbal solutions for their problems.
Although many herbal products are not backed up by medical research for their effectiveness to reduce hot flashes, some women find herbs such as Red Clover, Evening Primrose Oil, Dong Quai, Soy, and Black Cohosh helpful in dealing with menopausal symptoms. Herbal supplements, for pre and post-menopause, comprised of those listed above, are the first line of defense for providing relief of moods swings, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Red clover is believed to increase the chances of bleeding whereas Dong Quai interacts with the blood thinner Warfarin. Dong Quai and primrose oil may also interact with other blood thinners. Each herb has its unique way of easing menopausal symptoms. Check with your doctor if you are taking prescriptions that might interact with these supplements.
Black cohosh has long been used in both Chinese traditional medicine and western herbal medicine to reduce pain and ease the nervous system. North American native people used it to help with pain associated with periods and childbirth.
Best Black Cohosh for Hot Flashes
It is still not clear what causes hot flashes. Studies are being carried out and evidence shows that hot flashes are a natural side effect of hormonal changes in the body. Most of the black cohosh benefits are related to women’s health problems and hormonal balance. A study conducted on 80 women in their early menopause stages revealed interesting results for the use of black cohosh supplements against hot flashes.
It was reported that women who took a 20 mg dose of black cohosh daily for 8 consecutive weeks experienced promising results in the form of less severe and fewer hot flashes.
Another research suggests that black cohosh contains phytochemicals having serotonin-like effects which may help to normalize the body temperature and hot flashes. Many health experts suggest black cohosh for hot flashes because it contains phytoestrogen which imitates the functions of estrogen hormone and makes black cohosh a possible reliever for hot flashes.
Usually, black cohosh stems and roots are crushed to make powdered herbal supplements and are administered in the form of capsules, pills, and teas.
Does Black Cohosh Work for Hot Flashes?
Studies suggest that Native Americans began using black cohosh for fertility and menopause problems centuries ago. Modern research on the possible health benefits of black cohosh started in the early 1950s.
A scientific review of studies conducted in 2010 revealed interesting findings for the use of black cohosh for hot flashes. The purpose of the study was to investigate the mechanisms and effects of medicinal plants employed in the handling of menopause symptoms. It was found that premenopausal women experienced an almost 26 percent reduction in hot flashes when they used black cohosh supplements.
Another study conducted in 2013 suggests that black cohosh may help in reducing pain and relieving hot flashes during the premenopausal period. One more study in 2017 found that black cohosh helped regulate body temperature in female rats without ovaries.
However, a few studies suggest that although black cohosh is generally safe to use people with liver problems may want to avoid it or use it with caution, and breastfeeding or pregnant women may also want to use it with extra caution due to its impact on hormone levels.
Some Useful Supplements for Menopause Related Hot Flashes
Women face a lot of problems like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido during the pre-menopausal and menopausal periods. Mainstream allopathic medicine can disturb the natural cycle further so most women take to natural herbs and supplements to counter this issue. A few popular supplements like Menopause Complex and Menobalance Cream control hot flashes and other symptoms related to menopause.