Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a flowering plant that is majorly found in North America. The plant can grow up to 2 feet tall and blooms flower heads that are yellow and white.
The important part of black cohosh is its roots. Black cohosh roots have been used for hundreds of years for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. The potent constituents of black cohosh include its compounds that mimic estrogen in the body as well as its serotonin-like components. Black cohosh also contains isoflavones, triterpenes, and tannins.
Below are various benefits and uses of black cohosh;
1. Relieves Inflammations
Black cohosh contains salicylic acid which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. This is obtained from the roots of black cohosh. By taking the roots of the black cohosh, you could be relieved of inflammations such as sore throats, congestion, and high blood pressure. The root of black cohosh is also used to relieve arthritis.
2. Boosts Immunity
Black cohosh boosts immunity by strengthening the bodies defense system against pathogens. This prevents bacterial, viral and fungal attack on the body.
3. Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
This is one of the most popular uses of black cohosh. Black cohosh contains substances such as resins, aromatic acid derivatives, and triterpene glycosides. These substances reduce menopausal symptoms in women.
Research has also shown that menopause is associated with a state of imbalance between progesterone and estrogen hormones and even low levels of estrogen hormone. Black cohosh causes the production of progesterone hormone and boosts estrogen levels, thus, inhibiting symptoms of menopause. Studies have shown that black cohosh reduces night sweating and hot flashes in menopause women.
Taking black cohosh supplement tablets acts as a hormone replacement therapy for women during menopause as it has been said to be a natural hormone replacement.
4. Treatment Of Snake Bites
Due to the anti-inflammatory effect of black cohosh, it is used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain caused by a snake bite. Black cohosh is a natural anti-inflammatory hence does not cause side effects. To relieve the pain and reduce inflammation, crush the roots of black cohosh and apply it on the affected area. NOTE: Treat snake bites as an emergency and seek immediate medical attention.
5. Reduces Menstrual Discomfort
Black cohosh stimulates menstrual bleeding and eases uterine tension. Furthermore, it reduces cramping during menstrual periods. It also relieves pain during the period for women who experience painful menstruation periods.
6. Maintains Pregnancy
Black cohosh strengthens the uterine wall muscles where implantation and development of the embryo take place. This ensures that the embryo is well supported to the walls of the uterus, therefore, preventing miscarriage or abnormal implantation. Black cohosh also increases the production of progesterone hormone which maintains pregnancy. Black cohosh supplements could be used to improve the strength of the uterine wall. However, black cohosh should be used with caution during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester (as it supposedly can induce labor) and during lactation.
7. Helps In Weight Loss
Black cohosh aids in weight loss mostly in women. The herb increases the production of estrogen hormone and, subsequently, reduces the number of fat cells in the body. This leads to rapid loss of weight. Black cohosh is a good and natural weight-loss remedy, especially when combined with exercise to combat obesity. Managing your weight prevents other diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.
8. Reduces Excessive Sweating
Black cohosh reduces excessive sweating especially in women during their menopause. Excessive sweating is one of the menopause symptoms especially at night and during cool weather conditions. Research and studies have shown that the herb reduces night sweat in menopause women.
9. Relieves Headaches And Migraines
Black cohosh contains salicylic acid in its roots. Salicylic acid mimics the activity of aspirin thereby relieving headaches. The herb has a sedative effect which relieves headaches caused by stress or depression.
10. Treatment Of Arthritis
Black cohosh is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can relieve inflammation quite quickly. Black cohosh roots are thus used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The herb’s anti-inflammatory activity relieves the pain and aches of rheumatoid arthritis.
11. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are mostly caused by inflammation and contraction of the uterus. Black cohosh is a natural home remedy for this. It has both anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. A cup of black cohosh tea a day could relieve and keep menstrual cramps away. Black cohosh tea is also recommended to women who have irregular menstrual cycles.
12. Acts As An Antispasmodic
Black cohosh is used as a natural anti-spasmodic which aids muscles and nerves to function well. The herb relieves pain caused by muscle injury and strain. It also relieves and prevents cramping of muscles by preventing the involuntary contraction of muscles.
13. Enhances Functioning Of The Nervous System
Black cohosh improves and maintains the proper functioning of nerve and brain tissues and cells. This is enabled by the herb’s antispasmodic properties.
14. Relieves Swelling
Black cohosh roots have an anti-inflammatory effect. Crush the roots and apply on the swelling for relief. The anti-inflammatory chemicals, contained in black cohosh, also relieve the pain caused by swelling.
15. Improves The Digestion Process
Black cohosh improves digestive health. Studies have shown that the herb increases the rate of nutrient uptake and improves the process of waste elimination. Black cohosh also has tannin which helps in managing diarrhea. It is therefore used in the treatment of digestive problems such as constipation, flatulence, bloating, nausea, morning sickness, and cramps. A cup of black cohosh tea daily goes a long way in combating these disorders and ensuring a healthy lifestyle.
16. Treatment Of Respiratory Disorders
Black cohosh is rich in antibacterial and antiviral properties which combat bacterial and viral attacks. It is used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, respiratory tract infection, and nasal congestion. A cup of black cohosh tea is recommended for both treatment and prevention of the aforementioned respiratory disorders and diseases.
17. Controls Mood Swings
Black cohosh creates a good hormonal balance in the body and relieves stress. It stimulates the body to produce serotonin hormone causing a good mood and reducing depression. Low serotonin hormone levels have been linked to depression and chronic anxiety. Black cohosh also causes mental stability reducing variations in mood. A cup of black cohosh tea daily would surely keep you smiling and high in spirit.
18. Prevents Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. It is associated with back pains. It is caused by a lack of calcium and Vitamin D. These nutrients can be obtained from dairy products such as milk. Plant-based estrogen has also been proven to prevent bone loss. This prevents osteoporosis. Plant-based estrogen also improves bone density and structure. Black cohosh tea, with milk or other daily products, improves bone structure by providing calcium and plant-based estrogen.
19. Improves Vaginal Tissue Elasticity
Black cohosh maintains and improves elasticity and moisture of the vulva and vaginal tissue. It prevents vaginal dryness. This is one of the many roles the herb plays in a woman’s reproductive system. It offers many other benefits for a woman’s reproductive health.
20. Provides A Good Night Sleep
Black cohosh stimulates the body to produce serotonin hormone. This hormone has a sedative effect and relieves stress. It also treats sleep disturbances such as anxiety and insomnia. The herb causes the balancing of hormones, thus, reducing stress. Black cohosh improves your sleep by providing restful and undisturbed sleep.
21. Good For The Cardiovascular System
Black cohosh reduces the risk of a blood clot, heart attack, and stroke. The herb, therefore, improves cardiovascular health.
22. Management Of Pain
Black cohosh also has an analgesic effect. It has a pain-relieving effect during labor contractions and menstrual periods in women. It is also used to stimulate contraction during delivery. It, therefore, reduces the risks associated with delivery.
23. Relieves Hot Flashes
Black cohosh reduces hot flashes in menopause women and those suffering from breast cancer. Supplements of black cohosh have been proven to relieve these hot flashes.
24. Relieves Congestion
Black cohosh is used to deal with nasal and chest congestion. The herb aids in removing mucus which may have blocked the bronchi or entered the lungs.
25. Treatment Of High Blood Pressure
Black cohosh is used in blood pressure control due to its sedative effects. A cup of boiled black cohosh roots lowers the blood pressure. It also stimulates the production of serotonin hormone which reduces stress and, in turn, prevents high blood pressure.
26. Breast Enlargement
Although not scientifically proven, black cohosh has been said to enlarge boobs. This is due to its compounds that mimic estrogen hormone which, in turn, stimulate secondary sex characteristics such as enlargement of breasts.
Word Of Caution
There have been reports of liver damage especially when black cohosh is used for a long period of time. There are also cases of allergic reactions to the use of black cohosh. These reactions include; nausea, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and dizziness. Ensure you consult your doctor before including any herb to your routine regiment.
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