Herbal Hormone Replacement

Black cohosh may substitute estrogen therapy

Natural beauty

Natural beauty

While black cohosh’s exact mechanism of action is still unknown, compounds in the herb appear to bind to estrogen receptors without changing hormone levels in the body. This means black cohosh is able to provide some of estrogen’s good effects (such as improved bone density and decreased cholesterol levels), without the negative ones (encouraging breast cancer growth). The results from eight double blind, placebo controlled, clinical trials (the most respected and useful type of research), have concluded that black cohosh is just as effective as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in reducing the symptoms of menopause.

And since clinical studies began linking HRT to cancer and heart disease, black cohosh may be a safe way to eliminate hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms.

Read: Why Asian Women Get Less Breast Cancer

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a member of the buttercup family and native to the North American forests. Like ginseng, goldenseal, and other medicinal woodland plants, black cohosh thrives in moist, shady hillsides. Its hardy nature and tall white flowers make it a popular perennial in gardens where it blooms from May into September.

Most women taking black cohosh report that not only do they have fewer hot flashes, they also feel less irritable, have a sharper mind, calmer emotions, and better sleep. And they have been saying this for hundreds of years. Passed down from generations of grandmothers to generations of granddaughters, black cohosh has remained an enduring medicinal herb simply because it works.

Read: Plant Estrogens

While conventional medicine may have a history of regarding women’s menopausal health problems as much ado about nothing (and may still, to some degree), conventional wisdom will always demand a more respectful assessment.

Read more about black cohosh history in medicine and estrogen causing breast cancer.

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