Black cohosh is the name of an herbaceous perennial plant, which grows in eastern and central areas of the United States. In fact, it is native to eastern North America, from the extreme south of Ontario south to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. Often found in small woodland openings, the plant boasts of flowers with a distinctly sweet smell. As for its fruit, it comprises of a dry follicle, which is 5-10 mm long and contains several seeds. In the present times, the plant is known for its mild sedative, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, antipyretic, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
In the past, black cohosh was used by Native Americans as a part of their traditional folk remedies. They used to employ it in treating a number of medical problems, right from menstrual cramps and muscle pain to cough and indigestion. The juice of the plant was used as an insect repellent and even as a salve, to treat snake bites. Today, the fresh or dried roots and rhizomes (underground stems) of black cohosh are used in the medical field. They are easily available in drug stores as well as online, in the form of tea, capsule, tablet and liquid extract forms, with the active compound being 26-deoxyactein.
Health Benefits Of Black Cohosh
Black cohosh has been associated with a number of health benefits. While some of them have been proven, others are still waiting for convincing evidence. In the following lines, we have listed all the benefits of black cohosh, proven as well as otherwise.
- One of the most important benefits of using black cohosh has been found in the treatment of menopause symptoms. Regular use of the herb has been found to be effective as a nutritional supplement for hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness and other symptoms that occur during menopause.
- It has been seen that consumption of black cohosh can also help in the alleviation of cramps and bloating that a women usually experiences while going through her menstrual cycle.
- Black cohosh proves to be a good alternative for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), as it can easily supply the hormones much needed by a woman's body, thus avoiding the estrogen loss. In other words, it can said to have almost the same benefits as HRT, while involving a much lower cost.
- There are a number of medical conditions, in which black cohosh has proved to be effective as a part of the overall treatment. These include PMS, arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, kidney problems, malaria, rheumatism, fever and even sore throats. It also finds a use as a diuretic.
- In the past, balck cohosh has been effectively used for treating reproductive disorders. In fact, alternative practitioners have used it to treat a range of conditions associated with the female reproductive system, including infertility treatment, miscarriage prevention and even labor pains alleviation.
- Studies have suggested that black cohosh comes across as effective in reducing the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and even neuralgia.