Home Medicinal Plants Cimicifuga (Black Cohosh): Does It Help With Menopause?

Cimicifuga (Black Cohosh): Does It Help With Menopause?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 357 views

Cimicifuga (black cohosh) can relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating. The medicinal plant is also used for painful menstrual bleeding and premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Read more about Cimicifuga!

What is the effect of Cimicifuga?

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a recognized medicinal plant for menopausal symptoms. The underground parts of the plant, i.e. the rootstock (rhizome) and the roots, are used medicinally. They are collected and processed from wild Cimicifuga plants in certain areas of the United States and Canada.

They contain effective ingredients. These include, among others:

  • Triterpene glycosides such as actein and cimicifugoside
  • phenolic acids
  • Isoflavone
  • Cimicifugaic acid F

Overall, the ingredients have a similar effect to the female sex hormone estrogen and thus help with estrogen deficiency.

Cimicifuga has been used traditionally as a remedy by Native Americans for centuries.

What is black cohosh used for?

Cimicifuga is used medicinally for:

  • Physical and psychological symptoms during menopause such as hot flashes, sweating, vaginal dryness, sleep disorders, mood swings, weight gain or depressive mood
  • premenstrual symptoms such as tender breast pain and depressive moods
  • cramping menstrual pain

A study by Bochum University also showed that black cohosh was able to slightly stop hereditary hair loss – in both men and women. However, there is very little research on Cimicifuga and hair loss overall.

Native Americans also use Cimicifuga for joint pain. However, there is no scientific evidence of its effectiveness.

What side effects can Cimicifuga cause?

In some people, black cohosh supplements cause side effects in the gastrointestinal tract, such as stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. Skin reactions such as itching, rash and redness as well as fluid retention (oedema) on the face and other parts of the body are also possible.

Since there is currently too little research on long-term use of Cimicifuga, limit use to a maximum of six months.

Watch out for possible signs of liver damage while taking it. These include tiredness, loss of appetite, severe upper abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and dark-colored urine. If you experience such symptoms, you should definitely discontinue the preparation and go to the doctor!

You should also seek medical advice immediately if you are bleeding from the vagina.

How is Cimicifuga used?

A dry extract can be made from the rhizome and roots of Cimicifuga, which is processed into tablets and capsules. Also available are Cimicifuga drops. Such finished preparations are preferable to black cohosh tea, which contains varying amounts of active ingredients.

You can find out how Cimicifuga preparations are used and dosed correctly from the package leaflet and from your doctor or pharmacist.

Please note: the effect of black cohosh products usually only sets in after a few weeks.

What you should consider when using Cimicifuga

Because of the lack of research on long-term effects, you should take Cimicifuga for a maximum of six months.

Some women have developed liver damage, some severe, while taking Cimicifuga. It is not yet certain whether the black cohosh is actually responsible for this. If you have liver problems, you should still consult your doctor as a precaution before using the medicinal plant.

In addition, all women should watch out for signs of liver dysfunction while taking it.

Caution is advised in women who have or have had an estrogen-dependent tumor such as breast cancer. You should then only take Cimicifuga after consulting your doctor.

Cimicifuga should not be used together with estrogen preparations – this includes, for example, the birth control pill.

Since there are no studies on the safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding, affected women should avoid taking it during this time.

How to get Cimicifuga and its products

You can get various black cohosh preparations from your pharmacy or drugstore. For correct use, please read the respective leaflet and ask your doctor or pharmacist.

What is Cimicifuga?

Cimicifuga, also known as Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa alongside black cohosh, belongs to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and is native to the forests of North America and Canada. In the meantime, however, it is also occasionally found wild in Europe – for example as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks.

The perennial plant, which is up to two meters high, has doubly to triply pinnate leaves that are distributed on upright stems. The German plant name black cohosh is derived from the shape and color of the inflorescences: numerous small, white, almost silvery flowers are in large clusters at the ends of the stems.

Shortly after flowering, the petals fall off and only the numerous stamens and stamens remain. In autumn, after the flowers have developed into seed-bearing capsules, all parts of the plant above ground die off and Cimicifuga ensures its survival via the rootstock and attached roots.

You may also like

Leave a Comment