What is the Cimicifuga and What are Its Properties?
Cimicifuga racemosa is a medicinal herb that exerts its effects on the endocrine regulatory (hormonal) mechanism in the body. It is a phytoestrogen, but by definition it means that it is weaker than the estrogens your body creates. Structurally, black cohosh (as it is also called cimicifuga) resembles estradiol , researchers believe it offers protection against endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer. That is a real conclusion of the research carried out on the alternatives of treatment of menopause . You can take black cohosh or cimicifuga for menopausal symptoms and you will get protection against cancer at the same time.
The most commonly used preparation is black cohosh in the form of an extract . It has been standardized (that’s good because you know how much of this medicinal herb you are consuming every time you take a capsule), it contains an amount of 250 mg of black cohosh extract. Research has concluded about how well it works in women with menopausal symptoms, in a study of 704 women, 49% of women who took black cohosh extract experienced a complete improvement of menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, sweating, pain of head, vertigo, heart palpitations and ringing in the ears.) 37.8% reported a significant improvement. According to the doctors who participated in the study, 72% of women who took black cohosh in the experimental treatment, achieved benefits and advantages over those who received hormonal treatment. In another controlled study, 629 women with complaints and symptoms of menopause who took a standardized extract of black cohosh twice a day, between 76 and 93% had a general improvement in symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, irritability, heart palpitations, mild sleep disturbances and depression. The reduction in headache, palpitations and sleep disorders is understandable because black cohosh also contains a small amount of salicylic acid (component used to make aspirin) that has anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities. But black cohosh or cimicifuga has not only been helpful for women with natural menopause. It also helped women who had undergone hysterectomy with partial removal of their ovaries. The results of animal studies in Japan indicate that a variety of black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) can increase bone mineral density. There are no studies in humans that have been done yet, but the results point in the direction that black cohosh also helps protect us from osteoporosis.
- Kidney health – Black cohosh was widely used by Native Americans for this purpose.
- Rheumatism: this is another traditional use of this amazing medicinal herb.
- To help with labor: Black cohosh was used during the 1850s by the Eclectic to help with labor and delivery.
- Muscle pain: there are currently several patent remedies for this one that contains black cohosh in Europe and Australia.
- Sedative: many modern herbalists consider black cohosh a sedative.
- Cough and colds: black cohosh was a common remedy for Cherokee and Iroquois to treat these conditions.
- Diuretic: Black cohosh extract is said by many modern doctors to help rid the body of excess weight of water.
- Antioxidant: Black cohosh is an extremely potent antioxidant. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals that cause damage to cells and DNA.
- Headaches: Black cohosh extract was used during the 1850s by Eclectics for the treatment of this painful condition.
- PMS, menstrual cramps and pain: this herb surprising was included in the Pharmacopeia of the United States from 1820 to 1920 for the treatment of these conditions.
- Inflammation: black cohosh is a general anti-inflammatory. Total body inflammation is now recognized as a factor in many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
- Symptoms of menopause: Black cohosh has shown significant benefits for almost all symptoms related to menopause. One study showed that after only 4 weeks of treatment with black cohosh, study participants showed improvements in almost all parameters of menopausal symptoms. No black cohosh side effects were reported. After 8 weeks, all symptoms disappeared in approximately 50% of patients and improved greatly in 40% of patients. The rates of overall improvement varied from 76% to 93% of patients. More details are in the following paragraphs.
- Hot flushes: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was performed on 80 women suffering from menopause symptoms, including hot flashes. After 12 weeks of treatment, the average number of hot flashes per day decreased from 4.9 to .7 per day in the black cohosh group, compared with 5.1 to 3.1 per day in the placebo group, and from 5.2 to 3.2 per day. in the estrogen group.
- Postmenopausal anxiety: 80 volunteers suffered symptoms of menopause, including anxiety. For 12 weeks, all women received estrogen, black cohosh or a placebo. To adequately measure, the study used the 14-point Hamilton Anxiety Scale to measure anxiety levels, and the Kupperman Menopause Index to address mainly neurovegative complaints.
Prior to the aforementioned trial (# 14), women were diagnosed with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, including anxiety. After 12 weeks of treatment, the black cohosh extract group showed a large decrease in the median scores of the Hamilton anxiety scale compared to the placebo and estrogen groups. These results were evident after only 4 weeks of treatment.
“The dose of black cohosh for the studies mentioned above was mostly different, but still effective”.
Where to Buy Cimicifuga?
You can buy this medicinal plant in any herbalist or specialized store, or you can make an order online. We show you below one of the best offers in relation quality / price that there is in Amazon. This is Donna Plus +, a quality extract in capsule format, specifically this product contains 60 capsules and costs about 15 euros.
Is the Consumption of Cimicifuga Racemosa Safe?
After more than 45 years of use in Germany, no evidence of serious adverse effects, contraindications or interactions with other medicinal products has yet been recorded. The only side effect shown appeared in only 7% of the participants in one of the many studies. In this case, the women experienced a short-term upset stomach, but not enough to stop taking the herb and the problem did not continue for a long time. Another study critically assessed the safety of black cohosh or cimicifuga racemosa. The researchers examined all studies published by the FDA and the World Health Organization, monographs, data from the leading manufacturers of cimicifuga-derived products. Trials conducted on more than 2,800 women demonstrated a very low incidence of adverse events (5.4%). Of these, 97% were minor events and not only severe events due to having black cohosh as a treatment. An important consideration for the long-term use of cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh) , or of any substance, is its potential toxicity and cancer-causing attributes. The Northwestern Medical School researchers found that black cohosh extract does not present any or any estrogenic activity (associated with breast cancer), in this sense the use and consumption of cimicifuga is safe. The alarm rang in the summer of 2003 in a case report in Australia, but the results were not sufficiently proven; In addition, a case report of reactions in a single person does not provide strong evidence, while excellent results have been achieved in thousands of women.
So far, no amount of black cohosh or comicifuga has been found that produces an overdose in humans. In a study in animals that received 90 times the daily human equivalent, no negative results were found. Black Cohosh or Cimicifuga may be a medicinal herb that you may consider consuming if you have symptoms such as vaginal or itchy pain, depression, or due to natural menopause or surgically induced bone loss. And don’t forget, it can also protect against breast cancer, ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Precautions and Recommendations:
Cimicifuga or also known as black cohosh is considered safe when taken at the recommended doses for a period of six months. If you are allergic to plants in the buttercup family, you may not be able to take this medicinal plant. The salicylates found in black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) are similar to those found in aspirin, so you should not consume this herb if you have any type of allergy to aspirin. Taking high doses of black cohosh can cause headaches, excessive sweating, dizziness and visual problems. Liver damage and liver failure have been associated with its use and should not be used if you have any liver disease. More studies are needed, but black cohosh may not be safe if you have breast cancer and are sensitive to hormones, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, fibroids or endometriosis, as it can work in the same way as estrogen.
Do not take black cohosh if you are pregnant; There have been incidences of premature delivery, miscarriage and vaginal bleeding associated with its use. Consult your doctor before taking black cohosh or cimicifuga, to avoid any interaction with other medications you may be consuming.