No evidence that black cohosh relieves menopause symptoms

by Glenda Fauntleroy
No evidence that black cohosh relieves menopause symptoms

Although many women coping with hot flashes and other distressing symptoms of menopause have turned to black cohosh supplements as a treatment alternative, a new review by the Cochrane Library finds no evidence that the herb is effective.

"I was a little surprised of the outcome of the review given the large number of perimenopausal women that use the herb across the globe for the management of , as well as the many manufacturers and therapists that promote the herb for this purpose," said lead reviewer Matthew Leach, Ph.D., a research fellow in the School of Nursing & Midwifery at the University of South Australia.

Leach and his co-reviewer evaluated 16 studies involving 2,027 menopausal women. Study participants used an average daily oral preparation of 40 mg of black cohosh for an average of 23 weeks. Treatments for randomly assigned comparison groups included using placeboes, hormone therapy, red clover, or antidepressants.

The reviewers found there was insufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms. There was no significant difference between it and the placebo groups in changing hot flash frequency. Compared to black cohosh, hormone therapy significantly reduced hot flash frequency.

"I have many women patients who have tried black cohosh," said Brent A. Bauer, M.D., director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. "I would say the response seems to roughly fall into three camps: those that get a pretty noticeable improvement in symptoms and continue to use it long term, those that get some improvement but not enough to get enthusiastic about it, and those that try it and perceive no benefit at all."

More information: Leach MJ, Moore V. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga spp.) for menopausal symptoms. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 9.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Jamaica Senate starts debate on pot decriminalization bill

17 hours ago

Jamaica's Senate on Friday started debating a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry on the island where the drug ...

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

23 hours ago

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

Research finds 90 percent of home chefs contaminate food

Jan 30, 2015

If you're gearing up for a big Super Bowl bash, you might want to consult the best food-handling practices before preparing that feast. New research from Kansas State University finds that most home chefs drop the ball on ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.