Side effects of Black Cohosh?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: March 12, 1999

What are the potential side effects (short term/long term) of Black Cohosh? I was told to take this for menopause. When we looked it up in your catalogue it said medicinal: poisonous. What exactly does this mean?

Varro Tyler, in "Herbs of Choice" (Pharmaceutical Products Press) states that research indicates Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is effective in nervous conditions of menopause and in treatment of PMS and painful periods. The only side effect known is that it may cause stomach upset. No other problems or side effects are known. Tyler recommends that since no long-term toxicity studies have been carried out, use of the herb should be limited to six months.

Black Cohosh is a nerve and muscle relaxant, used for headaches, pain and muscle spasms. It’s estrogenic properties make it useful for hormone balancing in menopause. Because Black Cohosh contains salicylic acid, it has a pain relieving effect similar to aspirin. It’s anti-inflammatory property makes it useful in rheumatoid arthritis. It stimulates uterine contractions, and is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation.

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