If you’re looking for the best black cohosh supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Black Cohosh Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Black Cohosh Supplements
|#1||Gaia Herbs Black Cohosh||More Info|
|#2||Rainbow Light Black Cohosh Meno-Relief||More Info|
|#3||Pure Encapsulations Black Cohosh 2.5||More Info|
|#4||BlueBonnet Black Cohosh Root Extract||More Info|
|#5||Vitanica Black Cohosh||More Info|
|#6||GNC Herbal Plus Black Cohosh Extract||More Info|
|#7||Natrol Black Cohosh Extract||More Info|
|#8||Source Naturals Black Cohosh Extract||More Info|
|#9||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Black Cohosh||More Info|
|#10||Metagenics Black Cohosh Plus||More Info|
Women face a variety of hormonal challenges, particularly during menopause. While there are treatments such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy) that can be effective in easing the symptoms of imbalanced hormones in women, many of these treatments come with unpleasant, even dangerous side effects.
Black cohosh supplements are a safe, natural way to help ease and control the symptoms of menopause and hormonal issues, as well as potentially beneficial for a range of symptoms and conditions found in both women and men.
What is Black Cohosh?
The black cohosh is a flowering plant, a member of the buttercup family, which is indigenous to North America. It’s commonly found in wooded areas in eastern North America, along the coast from Ontario to Georgia and inland as far as Missouri.
Also known by several nicknames, including black bugbane, snakeroot, rheumatism weed, rattleweed, squawroot, and fairy candle, the black cohosh plant has been used medicinally for centuries by Native American tribes. In addition to treating hot flashes and other hormonal symptoms, Native Americans traditionally used black cohosh for a variety of ailments, and also as an insect repellent. Chinese herbalists and early American settlers have also historically used this herbal remedy.
The plant itself, which can grow up to eight feet tall, is characterized by jagged green leaves and large, knobby roots. Black cohosh stalks bloom with long stems of white flowers in the spring, and bear dark blue berries during the fall months. The roots and underground stems of the black cohosh are the parts used for medicinal purposes.
Benefits of Black Cohosh
There are a surprising number of potential benefits of black cohosh supplements. Of course, the most common use of black cohosh is the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Women experience menopause, which is when menstruation stops and signifies the end of the reproductive period, typically between the ages of 40 and 55. There are a number of uncomfortable symptoms that occur during and after menopause, which typically include:
- Hot flashes (hot flushes)
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness or irritation
- Heart palpitations
- Tinnitus (ringing ears) and vertigo (dizziness)
- Nervousness and irritability
- Sleeplessness and / or insomnia
Black cohosh supplements can help to greatly reduce and ease the symptoms of menopause, and may even help regulate symptoms that occur with menstruation. This natural treatment is particularly effective against hot flashes, and has seen some effectiveness in treating these symptoms for some cancer patients, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Perhaps due to its usefulness in treating menopausal and hormonal symptoms in women, black cohosh can be used to help ease symptoms of other female health disorders. For example, some studies indicate that the supplement can help those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It has also been useful in managing uterine fibroids, which are benign growths that can appear in the uterus during a woman’s peak fertility years.
Because black cohosh has anti-inflammatory properties, this supplement can help to relieve symptoms of arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. When used to treat arthritis swelling and to manage pain, black cohosh is often blended with other herbal anti-inflammatories including willow bark, giaiacum resin, sarsaparilla, and poplar bark.
Additionally, some studies have suggested that black cohosh supplements, which contain plant-based estrogens called phytoestrogens, can help to delay or inhibit bone loss. For this reason, people with osteoporosis may benefit from using black cohosh.
Finally, at least one study has shown that black cohosh may be a promising treatment for diabetic patients, as it has the potential to help reduce body weight and improve the body’s capacity for processing insulin.
Are There any Side Effects?
While most types of medication, including natural supplements, come with potential side effects, the observed side effects of black cohosh are surprisingly few. Most clinical trials indicate that people who have taken black cohosh for up to 12 months experience no or very mild side effects, with the most common being upset stomach and temporary rashes.
Outside of clinical trials, some people taking black cohosh supplements have reported potential side effects such as headaches, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, weight problems, low blood pressure, or seizures. However, these symptoms may be caused by some commercial manufacturers mis-identifying the black cohosh plant.
In some cases, black cohosh may have a detrimental effect on the liver. Those who currently suffer from liver disease or disorders should refrain from using black cohosh supplements. If you develop symptoms of liver problems, which include abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin), or dark urine, discontinue the use of black cohosh.
While research is not extensive, black cohosh does not appear to cause issues when interacting with other medications. However, it is recommended that you consult a doctor about black cohosh if you take medications, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you suffer from a hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer.
Finally, black cohosh should not be confused with blue cohosh, which is an herbal supplement for treating entirely different symptoms and conditions.
How to Take Black Cohosh
Like most herbal supplements, black cohosh is available in a variety of forms. The most commonly used type is the tablet or capsule form, though you can also purchase black cohosh as a tincture, a tea, or simply the dried root of the plant.
When taking black cohosh supplements for menopause, the optimal dosage is between 80 and 160 milligrams per day, taken in either two or three doses. Typically, you would take 40 to 80 milligrams twice per day. Most black cohosh capsules and tablets contain 20 milligrams each. You can increase or decrease the dosage as needed in order to achieve results.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that more than 900 milligrams of black cohosh in a single day is considered an overdose. Also, some studies claim that no one should take black cohosh supplements for more than 6 months to one year at a time.
Black cohosh liquid extracts and tinctures are also available, and can be added to food or mixed into water. The same dosage recommendations apply to these mixtures. There are also several varieties of black cohosh tea available from various retail outlets and health food stores, including black cohosh root tea and tea blends that include additional herbal ingredients.
What to Look For in a Good Black Cohosh Product
As with all herbal supplements and health products, the most important aspect in choosing a black cohosh supplement is to identify a high quality product that is manufactured by a reputable company. This is especially important considering some commercial black cohosh treatments have been found to contain the wrong herbs, or an ineffective herbal blend that doesn’t provide the true benefits of black cohosh.
The active ingredient in black cohosh is labeled as triterpene glycosides. The standardized extraction for this ingredient is at 2.5 percent total, which is the minimally acceptable level, though some black cohosh supplements can contain up to 4 percent active triterpene glycosides.
Search the labels of black cohosh supplements for third-party certifications from recognized health groups, in order to determine which black cohosh brands are safe and high quality. Other potential things to consider identifying on supplement levels include organic farming and production, purity and potency testing, and the use of whole root standardization methods for extracting the supplement.
You can find black cohosh supplements available at a variety of locations, including local grocery stores and health food shops as well as retail department stores and pharmacies such as Walgreen’s, Walmart, and Target. In addition, there are a number of online retail websites that carry black cohosh in various forms, from pills and tablets to tinctures, teas, and dried roots. Retail sites such as Amazon and directly from manufacturer’s websites can be great sources for obtaining this inexpensive, helpful herbal supplement.