Black cohosh is a plant that is native to North America. It has been historically used for a variety of reasons, including pain, dysmenorrhea and menopausal symptoms. It has a reputation for being effective for treating menopausal hot flashes. According to an article appearing in the American Family Physician (2003; 68(1):114-6), “. The roots and rhizomes of this herb are widely used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms and menstrual dysfunction. Studies have demonstrated that this botanic medicine, when standardized properly to the terpene glycoside fraction, appears to be effective in alleviating menopausal symptoms. Adverse effects are extremely uncommon, and there are no known significant adverse drug interactions.”
An article appearing in the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (40(2):234-242, 2000) took a look at research involving herbs used for women’s health. The author, Mary L. Hardy, MD is medical director, Cedars-Sinai Integrative Medicine Medical Group, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and associate clinical professor of medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Dr. Hardy cites a number of research articles that demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms. Research appearing in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (2005; 20(11):2036-43) suggests that black cohosh may have a positive effect on bone mineralization.