Black cohosh has long been a fan favorite for reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Evidence has always been mixed (as it so often is), but there were enough solid studies and positive links that millions of middle-age women have taken the plunge to see if it can work.
So, can it? A new review published in the âCochrane Libraryâ (which specializes in literature reviews) has found no solid proof that black cohosh can help a menopausal woman deal with hot flashes and the like.
Investigators looked at 16 studies that totaled more than 2,000 women with menopause. In the studies, women used an average of 40 milligrams of black cohosh each day for an average of 5.5 months. In studies, a treatment is always compared to another, so black cohosh was compared against included placebo, red clover, antidepressants, and hormone therapy.
Among the 2,000 women studied, there was insufficient evidence to promote this herbâs use for menopausal symptoms. Versus placebo, black cohosh had no significant difference in reducing the number of hot flashes. And against hormone therapy, the herb came out way behind in reducing hot flashes.
This might come as a bit of a shock to the huge number of women around the world who use black cohosh to manage menopausal symptoms. All this said, a lot of menopausal symptoms are what a woman feels. And for many women, black cohosh may be producing benefits, because they do feel better on it. Some get great improvements and use it for years. Some feel slightly better. Some get no benefits at all from black cohosh.
Here are some other tips for controlling symptoms. Try yoga, which may help lower hot flashes. Avoid smoking. Create a solid sleep ritual for yourself. Exercise regularly. Try to figure out what is triggering your symptoms and do your best to avoid or neutralize it. Meditation, deep breathing and imagery could help relieve symptoms. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.