Black Cohosh For Menopausal Therapy

What is black cohosh? Is it something that will help with our menopause? It’s often promoted as menopausal help, but it’s not very effective, here is what you should know. There is new research that other combinations of herbals, such as the use of DIM, may help these herbals work for hormone balance

1. Black cohosh is not an estrogen and has no estrogenic side effects, and helps the work of tamoxifen on the breast, so very safe for those at risk for or who have breast cancer.

2. Black cohosh can be slightly helpful for some physical menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, sleep, sweats, not so much for the psychological symptoms like mood changes and depression

3. Black cohosh is thought that it would be safe to give with St. Johns Wort if you are a candidate for that medication anyway, which can help with the mood changes and depression not treated by the Black cohosh.

4.Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone therapy in menopause often works very rapidly, within days to a very few weeks, but if you are taking black cohosh for menopause expect results in no sooner 8 weeks and full effects by week 16.

5. Although most physicians wouldn’t feel that black cohosh is significantly effective for menopause if you want to try it the side effects rare, if so they will be moderate and mostly be gastrointestinal.

6. Certain supplements, including black cohosh, ma huang and valerian, can increase your risk of liver damage, so it’s important to get a unclear from your physician before you decide to regularly use this (or other) herbal medications.

7. No serious drug interactions reported yet to the FDA with black cohosh and other drugs, for checking any new reports of drug interactions, check the AARP site.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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