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                                        Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh

Actaea macrotys, Actaea racemosa, Actée à Grappes, Actée à Grappes Noires, Actée Noire, Aristolochiaceae Noire, Baie d’actée, Black Cohosh, Baneberry, Black Aristolochiaceae, Black Snakeroot, Bugbane, Bugwort, Cimicaire à Grappes, Cimicifuga,


Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa or Cimicifuga racemosa), a member of the buttercup family, is a perennial plant native to North America. Other, mostly historical, names for this herb include snakeroot, black bugbane, rattleweed, macrotys, and rheumatism weed . Black cohosh has a long history of use. Native Americans used it, for example, to treat musculoskeletal pain, fever, cough, pneumonia, sluggish labor, and menstrual irregularities . European settlers used black cohosh as a tonic to support women’s reproductive health


Preparations of black cohosh are made from its roots and rhizomes (underground stems). They are sold as dietary supplements in such forms as powdered whole herb, liquid extracts, and dried extracts in pill form 

Available preparations vary considerably in their chemical composition, in part because the compounds in black cohosh that may be responsible for any relief of menopausal symptoms are not known. 


Constituents

Substances in black cohosh that may account for its activity include triterpene glycosides such as actein, 23-epi-26-deoxyactein, and cimicifugoside; resins, such as cimicifugin; and aromatic acid derivatives such as caffeic, isoferulic, and fukinolic acid

Fukinolic acid (a compound found in black cohosh) appears to have estrogen-like activity. Proponents suggest that black cohosh's potentially estrogen-like effects may be beneficial to women as they experience menopause-related declines in their estrogen levels (a key factor in the development of menopausal symptoms).


Uses

Black cohosh is most often used to control the symptoms of menopause, such as:

Headaches

Hot flashes

Mood changes

Sleep problems

Heart palpitations

Night sweats

Vaginal dryness


Cautions

Do NOT use black cohosh if:

you are allergic to any ingredient in black cohosh or to salicylates (eg, aspirin)

you are pregnant or breast-feeding

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using black cohosh:

Some medical conditions may interact with black cohosh. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

if you are planning to become pregnant

if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement

if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

if you have kidney disease, an estrogen-dependent tumor, or a blood-clotting disorder (eg, hemophilia, hypoprothrombinemia)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with black cohosh. However, no specific interactions are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if black cohosh may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.