Black cohosh aka Cimicifuga racemosa is a herbal supplement taken by some women to help in dealing with some of the symptoms of menopause, namely hot flashes and to improve our quality of life.
It is a perennial flowering plant that grows in open woods and at the edges of dense forests in Canada, United States and in many many other parts of the world.
The word “black” refers to the dark colour of the rhizome (mass of roots). The name “cohosh” means “rough,” referring to the surface of the rhizome.
This herb is associated with a low incidence of adverse reactions.
The plant primarily got its name from its black roots. The roots are believed to have healing properties.
Black cohosh root has a long and illustrious history of being used for medicinal purposes.
Uses of Black Cohosh
helping with labour
PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)
PCOS and black cohosh
In polycystic ovarian syndrome, the ovaries do not work normally and produce too much testosterone. Testosterone is referred to as the “male hormone.” Normally the ovaries produce very small amounts of testosterone, but in women with PCOS, they make greater amounts of the hormone.
Normally once a month, the ovaries make a structure called a “follicle”. As the follicle grows, it makes hormones. When mature this follicle releases an egg. This is “ovulation.”
In women with PCOS, the ovary makes many small follicles instead of one big one. More hormone is then made by all the small follicles creating higher than normal levels. Ovulation doesn’t happen every month the way it is supposed
Studies have investigated black cohosh for improvement in fertilization and pregnancy rates of women with PCOS with some success.
The Native Americans how to use black cohosh to treat snake bites, uterine issues, nervous disorders, and so much more.
From the early 1900s to present black cohosh has been used in medicine.
Today, black cohosh is mainly used to help treat symptoms associated with female issues and menopause.
How is black cohosh used?
The roots are dried and made into teas, liquid extracts, and put into capsule form. Sometimes, black cohosh is used as one ingredient in a herbal mixture.
Always Consult With Your Doctor Before Starting New Medicines, Vitamins or Herbs:
Always check with your doctor before you use any new products as some products may interact with other drugs or natural products.
Black cohosh may interfere with the results of your lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all the drugs you are taking.
Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.
Do not use this product if you are breastfeeding.
Do not use this product if you are taking drugs for heart failure. These are drugs like captopril (Capoten), metoprolol (Lopressor), amiodarone (Cordarone), or losartan (Cozaar).
Exercise caution if you are allergic to aspirin.
Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:
Don’t use black cohosh if you have a history of liver disorders. Also avoid it if you’re experiencing symptoms that can signal liver trouble, like abdominal pain, jaundice, or dark-coloured urine.
Side Effects of Black Cohosh:
low blood pressure
changes in heart rhythm
Since black cohosh is in the same family as the buttercup plant, people who have allergies to buttercups should not try black cohosh.
Other Considerations When Using Black Cohosh
Herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other plant extracts are considered a dietary supplement and do not require regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If you’re considering trying the herb, first talk to your doctor. Taking black cohosh might help, but it’s not a substitute for tested medical treatments.
Today I decided to branch off on a more delicate topic. Currently or maybe since the dawn of time, aging, especially that of women have not been a favorite, anticipatory or much-discussed topic.
But this has been on my mind and I have been cerebrating on this for some time.
I am constanly being prompted to write about menopause, and I thought of creating a separate blog dedicated to the joys, pains and ultimately the blessings of aging.
Let me preface this by saying, I am certainly grateful to be alive and wish to live to a ripe old age, matter of fact I have spoken over my life that I will have a long healthy life in Jesus name and bow out in a due season.
This series will be based on my “humanness” so bear with me as I try to approach this phase with some laughter as well as tears. I have decided to be very vulnerable in this series, so be a little gentle with me.
The other alternative to aging is not one we chomp-at-the-bit to reflect upon. As the connotations are not welcomed by the masses.
I Have Seen Younger Days
I would like to take this time to reflect on and be grateful for things past, but we must trudge onward no matter the tide.
Now that I have reached the middle of the road and have recently been placed on this path, I feel compelled to say a few things on the issue I wish I had been privy to.
I thank God for every moment of this journey thus far, and per His direction each intersection was pre-planned and a necessary requirement of the trip, lol.
The road to growing old is filled with what appears to be, at least from my vantage point, lots of bumps and even a few potholes along the way.
Many, no most days I feel like the image here, not sure when or how this came to be? Why am I in this hole from which I am unable to emerge?
When I look in the mirror there is this person with whom I ‘m not familiar looking back at me.
The Changing Tides
Where is Pene’ I ask, who is this creature with a vague resemblace to her that I see here, surely this cannnot be her?
I often feel the urge to lay on the floor and have a tantrum as I am in unchartered waters and feel like I am barely threading to stay afloat. And to add insult to injury I cannot swim.
I remember when I was young my mother would be fanning herself, standing in front of the refrigerator and doing all these things that I thought were so odd.
I had asked her several times, what on earth is the matter, why are you doing these things, but she never really gave me an answer.
Back in Guyana, we have an old adage that says; ‘piglet asked, “mommy why is your mouth so long? The mother just smiled and said, oh son your time is coming’.
So here we are, a few years ago I was sitting at work one day and I felt this ‘furnace’ rise from within. I dismissed it as I had alwas been a person who is always hot and usually dripping sweat during the summer months.
The same scenario repeated itself a few times beore the lightbulb went off! Oh dear God! could this be? No, surely not! I’m still too young my mind wailed!
This picture is exactly what that fire feels like, you are burning up from the inside out.
Acceptance…Or Something Like It
And so it came to be that I had begun the next phase of my journey, albeit without any input from me at all (sigh).
I was being taken along for the ride and could not get off the train as it barrelled toward the unwanted destination.
Now Your Input Please
Please engage, those who are about to enter, have entered, at the end of and survived with sanity. Let us not remain silent so that other women do not enter into this phase of life with a little more practical information.