Black cohosh is an antispasmodic herb that is native to eastern North America, from the extreme south of Ontario south to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. Relatively unknown till a few decades back, it is now being used as one of the most effective remedies for the symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause and other gynecological problems. However, since quite sometime, black cohosh usage has come under controversy, mainly because of the alleged side effects of the herb. Even though there is no consensus on the same, the possibility has not been completely disregarded. Read on to acquaint yourself with the probable black cohosh side effects.
Side Effects Of Black Cohosh Herb
- The minor side effects of black cohosh, which are common to many other medications as well, include abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness and nausea.
- Black cohosh may have anti-estrogenic properties, so it is usually not recommended for pregnant women.
- It is believed that black cohosh can make the immune system ‘attack’ liver and cause inflammation, resulting in a condition called ‘autoimmune hepatitis’. However, there is no conclusive evidence for the same.
- Regular consumption of black cohosh might make the user more prone to liver diseases. It is also said that they herb can cause various liver problems. However, again, there is no conclusive evidence.
- Black cohosh might depress heart rate and is not recommended for a person who is suffering from any type of heart disease.
- Other possible side effects include low pulse, vomiting, uterine irritation, abdominal pain and abnormal blood clotting.
- Black cohosh should not be consumed by someone who is taking antidepressants or who has been advised against taking oral contraceptives.
Till date, there has been no consensus on the issue of black cohosh side effects. While some of the doctors believe that the side effects are enough to discontinue the usage of the herb, others believe that its advantages far outweigh its negative effects. The latter category of doctors specifically reiterates the fact that black cohosh have proved beneficial in treating ‘female complaints’, such as the symptoms of menopause, irregular period, etc. On the other hand, there have been reports suggesting that estrogen supplements, including black cohosh, can lead to increased risk of heart problems and breast cancer in the users.
Consult Your Doctor
If you are experiencing side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, low pulse, or shakes, after consuming black cohosh, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately. In many cases, the side effects of the herb are not immediately visible; rather manifest themselves over a period of time. So, in case you suddenly experience abdominal pain, uterine irritation and/or unusual blood clotting, see your doctor immediately. If you want to be on the safer side right from day one, ask your doctor to administer a liver test, if you are currently taking black cohosh.