Black Cohosh, also known as Black Sheng Ma or scientifically as cimicifuga racemose, is a popular women’s health supplement often used in Chinese Medicine. Black Cohosh offers many health benefits, this herb can help with the symptoms of menopause, regulate periods, and improve fertility. Though that is what it is commonly used for, there are a number of other possible uses for this beneficial herd. In this article, we will be exploring Black Cohosh benefits.
Top Black Cohosh Benefits
Menopause Symptom Alleviation
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of menopause may include nights sweats, hot flashes, mood changes, weight gain, thinning hair, and irregular periods. As previously stated, one of the best-known benefits of Black Cohosh is alleviation of the symptoms commonly associated with menopause. A 2010 study out of the University of York was able to prove with consistent results that supplementing with Black Cohosh reduced the subjects’ instances of hot flashes and night sweats. The study gathered data from 1400 menopausal women and found that Black Cohosh reduced the instances of hot flashes by 25%.
A similar randomized controlled trial found that Black Cohosh improved sleep quality in menopausal women. The 42 women who completed the trial reported significant change to their sleeping patterns compared to those who received only a placebo.
These findings encourage the use of Black Cohosh as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy. The benefits and relief of symptoms are likely due to a compound known as fukinolic acid which has been shown to have estrogen-like properties. Its ability to improve hot flashes is a reason that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) recommends Black Cohosh for the treatment of heat in the liver. With symptoms such as feeling hot and insomnia, using Black Cohosh as a supplement along with acupuncture can work wonders.
Additional Benefits of Black Cohosh
Increased Fertility: Black Cohosh can lower levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) thus stimulating ovulation and enhancing a woman’s fertility. It can be especially helpful in women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This is thanks to the phytoestrogens that work to induce ovulation. A study completed by the Assiut University demonstrated increased pregnancy rates in women over the age of 35 who also have PCOS.
PCOS: Women with PCOS usually have a hormonal imbalance that begins when they are young and first being menstruating. Aside from infertility, they can suffer from irregular periods, obesity, and excess hair growth. In addition to the above benefit of increased fertility, Black Cohosh may help women with PCOS in regulating their menstrual cycles. A study out of Minia University demonstrated that this is thanks to the favorable changes it created in the level of luteinizing hormone (LH).
Uterine Fibroids: A noncancerous growth that forms inside the uterus, uterine fibroids mostly affect women during their childbearing years. They can range in size from microscopic to that of a lemon. Some women may have just one fibroid while others may have many of them. Symptoms of uterine fibroids include constipation, frequent urination, long menstrual periods, and heavy menstrual bleeding. A study out of Drexel University in Pennsylvania showed that using Black Cohosh to treat uterine fibroids helped relieve women of these symptoms.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Both PMS and PMDD have a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can vary from woman to woman. These can range from moods wings and food cravings to irritability and depression. They can include physical symptoms as well such as headaches, acne, and abdominal or pelvic bloating. Since many of these symptoms are hormone-related Black Cohosh has been frequently used to help relieve them.
Menstrual Cycle Regulation: As luteinizing hormone (LH) acts to stimulate egg maturation, Black Cohosh can work to lower its levels which results in a more regular menstrual cycle for some women.
Sleep Aid in Menopausal Women: In a study of 42 menopausal women, it was found that Black Cohosh increased their sleep efficiency. Black Cohosh is a safe and effective option for women who are not candidates for hormone replacement therapy and has been shown to help reduce sleep disturbances during menopause.
Weight Loss: When used as an estrogen replacement therapy, some women have had weight loss success thanks to the use of Black Cohosh. A study completed by the University of Göttingen in Germany was able to conclude that Black Cohosh reduced both weight gain and intrabdominal fat accumulation in mice. This is due to its effect as an estrogen replacement.
Inducing Labor: Black Cohosh has been widely used by midwives for years as a means to induce labor. It does so by relaxing the muscles of the uterus and stimulating contractions. It is highly recommended only to take Black Cohosh to induce labor while under the care of a skilled midwife.
Benefits of Black Cohosh in Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Black Cohosh is a cooling herb that works through the channels of the spleen, stomach, lungs, and large intestine. The cooling helps to clear the toxic heat while raising Yang energy and overall health. It can disperse wind-heat which is considered a pathogenic factor in traditional Chinese medicine. It is also believed to raise Yang Qi which is the life force that drives all life forms according to the teachings of TCM.
Combinations of Other Herbs with Black Cohosh
Using Black Cohosh in conjunction with other herbs is also beneficial. Below are just a few options to use along with Black Cohosh to achieve additional benefits:
St. John’s Wort: This can be used in combination with Black Cohosh to improve menopause symptoms. St. John’s Wort has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, which is common in menopausal women, in the short term.
Chasteberry: The combination chasteberry, the fruit of the chaste tree, with Black Cohosh can improve or relieve the symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
Dong Quai: This traditional Chinese herb is used to treat menstrual cramps and hot flashes. It can be used in combination with Black Cohosh to relieve these common symptoms.
Is Black Cohosh Safe ?
Another benefit of Black Cohosh is that it has been proven safe to use. It has been used in TCM for many years. Clinic trials have shown that women may take it for at least 12 months without experiencing side effects.
Where to buy Black Cohosh
For more information about GinSen’s herbs and how they can benefit you book your free consultation or treatment today.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.