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Black Cohosh: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

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BLACK COHOSH: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

The black cohosh is native to North America. The Indians, also known as "Women's plant" because it soothed diseases of the uterus. Of the wide variety of traditional applications keep Western herbalists only an indication of proven: The correct year change-related complaints.

The black cohosh (lat. Cimicifuga racemosa ) is part of the healing plants Treasury of North American Indians. Of black cohosh (eng. black cohosh ), the Indians used only the roots that have been sliced and dried without exposure to the sun.

The harvest time was the root of meaning: it had to be harvested before sunrise, when they should be used against menstrual cramps or for alleviation of labor pains. Was it as a remedy for rheumatism, arthritis, asthma, snakes - used or insect bites, had to have peaked at harvest the sun. According to the healers possessed different containers with different times to the harvested roots. The fresh root was used: processed to fresh pressed juice was mixed this with either maple syrup or honey and administered for coughs, whooping cough, liver or kidney disease.

About Native American healers came the black cohosh applications to the white settlers. They put the medicinal plant one especially against menstrual disorders and as a tonic after a difficult birth. American doctors considered these indications established in 1801 for the first time in writing. During the 19th century, doctors also turned to the anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis and rheumatism. A sad chapter beat the whites, when they began to use cheap alcohol as a means of payment for furs or weapons: As Indians can metabolize alcohol only bad, they suffered heavy consumption of alcohol poisoning. Here are Indian healers have supplied their compatriots with extracts of root powder that dissolved in hot water, soothing and antispasmodic worked.

New knowledge for the old continent
In the 19th century American homeopaths began to deal with the medicinal plant. Probably the most famous American homeopath of all time, James Taylor Kent (1849-1916), documented practical experience on the sick, but still took no check on the healthy before, as is required for a final assessment of a homeopathic medicine. His findings came early 20th century to the European counterparts, who made known the Indians plant in Europe. About in the 30s were interested also herbalists for black cohosh. The "Textbook of biological remedies", by Gerhard Madaus published in 1936, reflected as a comprehensive compendium against the former scientifically oriented medicinal plant knowledge.

Madaus dedicated the medicinal plant only five pages, because by the time little doctors had collected and documented experience with the plant. Madaus carried reports of regulations in bronchial catarrh, rheumatism, neuralgia and uterine and Ovarienbeschwerden together. Doctors also presented experiences of applications with delirium tremens (alcohol delirium), functional impotence, or ringing in the ears. Since then a lot has happened in the study of plant - now she is one of the best investigated to test plant at all.

Plant extracts instead of artificial hormones
Since the late 50s, the active ingredients of the plant were systematically investigated. Efficacy and safety of black cohosh have been examined in numerous studies. Meanwhile study are data from more than 8,000 women. End of the 80s the black cohosh was "premenstrual and dysmenorrheic and climacteric-related neurovegetative complaints" by the Commission E of the former Federal Health Office of the Federal Republic of Germany in positive, ie rated as effective in treating menstrual as menopausal symptoms.

How often occurred in herbal preparations on the part of conventional medicine, the criticism that the studies did not meet the criteria of evidence-based medicine. But since then, randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind studies are available with some active ingredients of black cohosh, critical voices have become silent. It can even detect a contrary tendency: Because herbal cohosh preparations could fill a gap that is caused by the scandals surrounding the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during the last year. Reminder: As part of the women were prescribed HRT female sex hormones to relieve menopausal symptoms and most importantly prevent diseases, such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. But a large, American study showed [2] that the medicalization of healthy women can be a deadly affair in menopause: Several study participants paid with their lives or were seriously ill, because the artificial hormones, for example, cancer, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases had done.
Ingredients
Triterpene glycosides and Cimicifugosid, resin fraction cimicifugin, alkaloids, cytisine, methylcytisine and flavonoids. Has medical uses of dried, collected after the fruit ripening rootstock.
Scientific knowledge
Until forever yesterday gynecologists, the HRT continues to recommend against the exchange, receipt allegedly dwindling femininity or as a preventive panacea, prescribe more and more physicians in menopausal symptoms herbal supplements with so-called phytoöstrogener effect: preparations from red clover, chasteberry, or just black cohosh. In what way phytoestrogens act, is still uncertain. While it was considered earlier by a direct effect on the estrogen receptor, scientists today prefer the hypothesis that plant extracts can alter the function of estrogen receptors partially (selective estrogen receptor modulator, SERM) strengthen or weaken, for example. Several controlled studies alone from last year confirm appropriate statements of older works: So doctors showed the Hildesheim Women's Hospital, that the alcoholic Cohosh extract menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes effectively soothes - especially at the beginning of menopause [3].. The results of the scientists at the pharmaceutical institute of the University of Basel are similar: patients had received significantly fewer symptoms than women who received placebo after taking Cimicifuga extracts. The most notable effect at least moderate symptoms [4]. Scientists from the Department of Medicine in Evanston / United States dealt with the question whether Cimicifuga extracts are toxic under long-term use or even have carcinogenic effects. Reason: If the plant stimulates estrogen receptors, as suggested earlier, it would have under taking for example occur more frequently breast cancer (similar to the hormone replacement "therapy"). Used were standard laboratory tests that tested the toxicity and carcinogenicity of the extract on cell lines that carry estrogen receptors. The very elaborate work concludes that Cimicifuga extracts unfolds no estrogenic activity. The medicinal plant thus does not promote the emergence or proliferation of estrogen-sensitive cancer cells [5]. Nevertheless, women who had breast cancer and get menopausal symptoms, necessarily with their doctor (or oncologist) discuss whether black cohosh extract is really advisable. This applies also and especially for women without prescription buy appropriate extracts in the pharmacy or on the Internet.

The change
For women in menopause (menopause) the ovarian function and female sex hormones ends decreases. This natural process begins most often between the 48th and 52nd. The menopause often terminate at the irregular, sometimes increased bleeding. Also, symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue, sleep disturbances occur. Although such disorders of the autonomic nervous system unsettle some women, but are not dangerous or expression of a disease. To 25-30 percent of women complain of severe change, 30 percent on mild discomfort. The hormonal changes gradually leads to some changes. Example: The skin becomes thinner, but heals better. Mucous membranes can easily dry out, which for example can cause pain during sex. The relative preponderance of testosterone (as compared to the female sex hormones from adipose tissue and adrenal cortex) but makes sex more intense. The change is perceived differently by women. When processing this period of life, many factors play a role: health status, social status, education, faith, cultural differences, etc. In severe conditions, which formerly had supplemental estrogen effects, herbal aids such as Cimicifuga can relieve discomfort.
Homeopathic Application
The black cohosh has made homeopathic perspective pronounced effects on the female genital organs (especially uterus and ovaries). Homeopathic treatments are suitable for self-medication (Cimicifuga D12, 3 beads, 1 time a week, maximum 3 months). They are administered in physical and mental complaints, menopause or childbirth are associated with the rule. Homeopathic symptoms are depressed mood and complaints usually associated with great sensitivity and pain that cut across the basin. Typically also the greater the bleeding, the greater the discomfort. Worsening of symptoms in the morning or cold. Improvement by heat and eat.

The plant
The Black Cohosh belongs to the family of the buttercup family ( Ranunculaceae ). The genus name Cimicifuga is from the Latin and is from the word elements cimex (Bug) and fuga (escape) composed. The white settlers used the plant - perhaps because of their offensive odor or her name - as an insect agents: They put the flowers on the right and left of the front door entrance, so as to expel pests. The Latin word element racemosus means grape and clearly indicates the racemose inflorescence.

An ornament in the garden
The black cohosh is a lush growing plant: it is between 90 cm and under good conditions even 2.70 meters high. The plant is unmistakable with its erect stems, bipinnate, sharp and deeply serrated leaves. In its heyday period from May to August, they developed small, whitish flowers, which are very long and narrow grapes. From this arise later called follicles. The rhizome is large, bulbous and has long, thin rootstock of blackish color. The wild plant was first described in 1705 by botanists and arrived in 1732 as an attractive, durable and hardy plant in English gardens. Then, as now appreciate gardeners silver candle. The shrub is as Cimicifuga simplex than or -spectabilis commercially available and thrives in partial shade or shade. The silver candle requires nutrient-rich humus soil and enough moisture and deployed under these conditions all their white flowering splendor.

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