Wednesday Bubble: That old black cohosh

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in hot flash | 0 comments

That old black cohosh. Is it magic or not?

Investigators from the esteemed Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 16 studies enrolling 2,027 perimenopausal or postmenopausal women using oral black cohosh, a median 40 mg daily for at least 23 weeks. In no uncertain terms, the authors concluded that “there is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms. However, there is adequate justification for conducting further studies in this area,” and …”the effect of black cohosh on other important outcomes, such as health-related quality of life, sexuality, bone health, night sweats and cost effectiveness also warrants further investigation.”

The reasons for this conclusion were several-fold:

  • There was a wide range of doses used in the studies examined, making comparisons difficult.
  • Many studies reported data that could not be used for the purpose of the analysis.
  • A number of different measures were used in the trials and few looked at the same outcome.
  • A lack of complete reporting made it difficult to measure the effect of black cohosh on vaginal atrophy, health related quality of life, sexual dysfunction and bone health.

In other words, available data do not allow any definitive conclusions but they still think that the herb is worthy of further exploration.

Guess what? So do I!

The last time I wrote about black cohosh was in January. In that post, I pointed out that black cohosh formulations differ. Consequently, so do their effects. The good news? The compound is safe and as the Cochrane authors point out, any GI, muscle or tissue complaints are rare, mild and reversible.

Personally? I would say that the verdict is still out. In the words of that iconic song…that old black cohosh still got me in its spell.┬áThe same old flash that I feel inside. And when that elevator starts its ride, darling, down and down I go, round and round I go, like a leaf that’s caught the tide.I should stay away but what can I do. I feel the burn and I’m aflame, aflame with such a burning desire, that only black cohosh can put out the fire.

For me, only black cohosh can put out the fire. What about you?

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