The medicinal power of black cohosh
For many generations, women in the United States have relied on a root known as black
cohosh to relieve various problems associated with female health. From PMS issues and menstrual cramps to menopause, black cohosh has long been used to treat a variety of women’s issues.
As far back as 1900, the indigenous wildflower known as black cohosh provided the main ingredient for a popular tonic used to treat various female problems. Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family, and its usefulness extends far beyond PMS and menopause. In addition to these traditional uses, black cohosh has been used to treat a large number of other conditions, including everything from eczema to insect bites.
Modern uses of black cohosh
For many years, the use of black cohosh fell out of favor, but this popular root is once again being used as an herbal treatment for such symptoms as hot flashes which are commonly associated with menopause. When traditional hormone replacement therapy was found to carry significant health risks, many doctors recommended that their patients treat their menopausal symptoms instead with black cohosh.
Black cohosh is also thought to be an excellent anti-inflammatory medication, a relief for muscle aches and even a mild sedative. In addition, black cohosh has been used to clear stopped up mucous membranes and to help lessen congestion and coughing.
The importance of black cohosh
Black cohosh also has a long history of treating menstrual cramps in a drug free way. The antispasmodic properties of black cohosh may be responsible for its effectiveness at treating the discomforts of menstrual cramps. In addition, black cohosh is thought to increase the blood flow to the uterus, and to reduce the intensity of painful cramping. Black cohosh is even thought to benefit those suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Black cohosh is available in a number of different preparations, including tinctures, tablets, capsules, and dried herbs. These dried black cohosh herbs are often used to prepare soothing teas.
What to look for
When shopping for capsules or tablets containing black cohosh, it is important to look for those products which have been standardized to contain 2.5% triterpenes glycosides, which are the active ingredients in the black cohosh root. It is this amount that has proven most effective in clinical trials of black cohosh.
When buying liquid forms of black cohosh, it is important to seek out those products that have been standardized to a higher percentage, around 5% of triterpene glycosides.
For many people the capsules which contain the freeze dried black cohosh roots can be an excellent choice, since these capsules are most likely to contain all of the key ingredients in this herb. This includes many of the compounds that have yet to be identified by science, but which are likely to be part of the active ingredients of black cohosh.
The best preparation of black cohosh for PMS symptoms is to take 40 mg of black cohosh two times a day. This regimen should be started from a week to 10 days prior to your period. Muscle aches and pains are best treated with a warm compress which has been soaked in black cohosh tea. This preparation should be applied to the affected area for about 20 minutes. The black cohosh tea is made by boiling the dried black cohosh root in water for 20 to 30 minutes, and then allowing the tea to cool before it is used.