cohosh continues to be increasingly popular and is the most widely-used
natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). (See also
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.) The herbs popularity
with menopausal/periomenopausal women and gynecologists grew significantly
after the summer of 2003 when a large-scale government-sponsored clinical trial
on HRT was halted prematurely after evidence that HRT was responsible for an
increase in cancer and cardiovascular disease in menopausal women.
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) is also another natural hormone
replacement alternative and it has gained popularity. Flaxseed is the richest
known source of lignans, one of the three major classes of phytoestrogens, and
is also a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and soluble and insoluble
fibers. Clinical studies are needed to measure its
However, an extract of black cohosh has been used in
German clinical practice since the mid-1950s with safe and effective results,
and black cohosh preparations have been approved by the German government as
nonprescription medications for treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Remifemin is the worlds leading black cohosh product. It has been
shown effective in numerous clinical trials concluding that Remifemin was
effective in relieving menopausal symptoms.
A particular controlled
trial on 304 menopausal women demonstrated that 40 mg of the German black
cohosh preparation produced clinically significant benefits, especially in
women in their early stages of menopause, with no significant adverse side
The evidence supporting the benefits and relative safety
of this traditional herb is becoming increasingly clear... Most of the clinical
trials published to date on black cohosh have demonstrated positive results in
helping to treat various symptoms of menopause, said Mark Blumenthal,
founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council.
Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes (or flushes), as well as night
sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.
Gail Mahady, PhD, Assistant
Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has
reviewed most of the research on black cohosh for the World Health
Organization. She states that at least 14 clinical trials on black cohosh
preparations support their safety and efficacy in treating menopause-related
Most of the published clinical trials are based on the two
leading black cohosh products: Remifemin® (an extract produced by the
German company Schaper and Brümmer, and imported into the U.S. by
GlaxoSmithKline) and Klimadynon® (an extract produced by the German company
Bionorica and imported by Bionorica USA).
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa
and Cimicifuga racemosa) is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)
native to the Eastern United States. The roots and rhizomes (lateral roots) of
the herb have a long history of use by women in the native American tribes.
More information on
More information on
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Index of Herbs for