Black Cohosh 40mg 90 caps

The Latin name of black cohosh, Cimicifuga, actually means bug repeller, although today it is better known for its hormonal activity.  Black cohosh is a phytoestrogenic agent.  This means that it contains plant estrogens, compounds that look similar to human estrogen and can interact with estrogen receptors in the human body.  The important thing to remember is that these plant estrogens only stimulate the receptors a fraction of the amount that the hormone estrogen would.  Therefore black cohosh can be used to treat conditions of high estrogen activity, by blocking the activity of the hormone estrogen.

It can also treat conditions of low estrogen activity by binding to vacant receptor sites and causing a bit of hormonal stimulation. Black cohosh is used to treat menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes, anxiety and depression, and PMS and painful periods.  Black cohosh also contains aspirin precursor molecules called salicylates.  Therefore black cohosh has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for conditions like arthritis.  Some compounds in black cohosh have been found to decrease blood pressure by dilating vessels making black cohosh useful for treating high blood pressure.

Menopause: A Time for Change
Once treated by mainstream medicine as a disease, menopause is a normal transition in a woman’s life from an age of fertility to one of wisdom.  Like anything important in a woman’s life, this transition can sometimes be a challenge.  

Clinically, menopause is complete when one year has passed since the cessation of menstruation.  The perimenopausal period can last for several years.  During this time women experience gradual cycle changes like more or less bleeding and variations in cycle length.  Anemia can occur due to heavy menstrual bleeding.   Another way to experience menopause is through the removal of the ovaries.  Hormonal shifts during perimenopause or after ovary removal cause hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido, urinary incontinence, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches and mood swings.  Factors that aggravate symptoms are poor diet, stress, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and spices.

Around menopause hormone release occurs sporadically and produces symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido, urinary incontinence, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, irregular cycles, irregular bleeding and mood swings.  Estrogen receptors are located on non-reproductive cells too.  Therefore, menopause affects the aging of a women’s whole body.  Skin cells need estrogen to stay smooth and moist.  The thyroid gland uses estrogen to maintain body temperature.  Proper bone formation requires estrogen.  The arteries and heart require estrogen for maintaining their functioning.

Progesterone and testosterone levels also decline in menopause.  Progesterone has a calming affect on the brain and nervous system and menopausal women may suffer with anxiety, depression or other emotional concerns.  Testosterone regulates the libido and contributes to a decrease in sex drive often reported by menopausal women

The typical perimenopausal symptoms are treated conventionally by synthetic hormone replacement of estrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone.  It decreases perimenopausal symptoms and was also believed to protect against heart disease and bone loss .  Recently these benefits have been called into question.  New research suggests that there may also be health risks associated with hormone replacement regardless of whether the source is synthetic or natural.  Talk to a health professional about the benefits and drawbacks of hormone replacement.

The relief of these symptoms and natural support for the increased risk of other health concerns aggravated by menopause should include some or all of the following:  balancing of hormones (sex hormones as well as adrenal and thyroid hormones), reducing symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, supporting bone health, and supporting heart health.  Natural support of the menopausal woman involves supporting the whole body because at menopause women lose the protective effect of estrogen on the body.  The skeletal and cardiovascular systems are especially susceptible to degeneration due to low estrogen levels