Black cohosh – do you know what this is? If not, now’s the time for you to learn. Black cohosh is a flowering plants native to southern and central North America. This plant is oozing with essential nutrients. It can act as an analgesic, prevent mood swings, promote sleep, improve immunity, regulate menstrual periods and reduce inflammation. There is actually more to black cohosh than meets the eye. Give this article a read to learn more.
What is Black Cohosh?
Scientifically known as Actaea racemosa, black cohosh is a North American plant which has white and yellow flowers. Its most precious part, though, is its root. Black cohosh root has been utilized as an herbal medicine by American indigenous groups for thousands of years. While many of the medicinal effects haven’t been scientifically proven, there’s still a noteworthy amount of people who turn to it for help. It used to be eaten as is, but now you can get ready-made supplements.
Because of its relatively narrow range of cultivation, the plant is highly sought after by alternative medical practitioners. Many of its active ingredients are serotonin-like compounds which can mimic estrogen, and it also boasts various starches, essential fatty acids, tannins, isoflavones and triterpenes. Due to it being an anti-inflammatory, sedative and analgesic substance, it is used to manage both menopause and menstruation, and it is a valuable herb to add to your weekly regimen for preventative treatment.
How does Black Cohosh Work?
Although several clinical studies show how effective black cohosh is in treating the symptoms of menopause, we still don’t know how it works. One study suggests the extract acts as a selective receptor modulator of estrogen, which means it stimulates normal estrogen activity. However, other studies show it doesn’t have an estrogenic effects at all! Another theory is that the strength comes from the plant’s antioxidant properties, but a study involving fish showed the opposite. Finally, a more accepted theory claims that a derivative of serotonin in black cohosh helps activate serotonin receptors. All we know is that nothing has been conclusive yet.
Health Benefits of Black Cohosh
Here are some of the most astounding health benefits of black cohosh:
- Helps relieve menstrual discomfort. It’s more valued for its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms, but black cohosh can also help manage unpredictable periods.
- Helps reduce mood swings. Black cohosh has a powerful impact on maintaining hormonal balance, so if you suffer from unpredictable bouts of depression or mood swings, the plant can help stabilize you.
- Helps promote sleep. Aside from the aforementioned health benefits, black cohosh can also act as a natural sedative. It’s not recommended for those with sleep disorders such as non-restful sleep, insomnia, stress or chronic anxiety.
- Helps improve digestive health. Research shows that black cohosh boosts the efficiency of nutrient uptake and improves the elimination of waste.
- Possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Black cohosh’ salicylic acid is greatly beneficial as a natural anti-inflammatory substance. So if you feel like your head is going to burst, try an herbal supplement like black cohosh!
- Acts as an anti-spasmodic. Black cohosh helps the nerves and muscles function properly, prevents cramps and relieves pains. The herb also possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Cautions for Black Cohosh
In spite the diverse applications of black cohosh, there have been some reports of liver damage, especially if you use it for a long period of time. You might also find out you’re allergic to it, in which case you’ll experience headaches, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and dizziness. Before you add it to your diet, make sure you consult your doctor.