When it comes to the best menopause supplements, the research is still ongoing. Menopause — which literally means “the end of the period” — is a time of huge hormonal changes in a woman’s body. Hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc on the neurotransmitters in the brain causing everything from shifts in mood, to impaired metabolism and decreased energy levels.
Black Cohosh is one of the most studied natural remedies for hot flashes. Read on to discover what science has to say about the Black Cohosh plant.
Jump ahead to
When does menopause happen?
Perimenopause (the phase before menopause) tends to begin between 45 and 50 years old, with the early onset of symptoms. In the US, the average age for hitting menopause is 51 years old.
What are the best menopause vitamins?
During menopause many women will take topical or oral hormone replacement therapy medications to help stabilise their symptoms. Common symptoms of menopause include fatigue, trouble sleeping, mood swings, hair loss, and hot flashes.
These uncomfortable symptoms are largely due to the hormonal changes that are happening in the body whereby the balance of estrogen and testosterone is disrupted.
For women looking to natural solutions, menopause vitamins and supplements can be a great compliment to over-the-counter medications. Some of the most popular herbs for treating menopause include:
Herbal supplements can also impact hormones so it’s important to defer to guidance from a health care professional or Nutrition Expert before incorporating herbs into your vitamin routine.
What is Black Cohosh?
Black Cohosh is a flowering perennial plant native to North America. A member of the buttercup family, Black Cohosh has a distinctive odor that has been described as overly sweet or fetid.
Black Cohosh plant has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans for a variety of conditions — especially gynecologic disorders.
Today, researchers have found that Black Cohosh may be helpful in treating the most common symptoms of menopause.
Why is Black Cohosh one of the best menopause supplements?
Although its exact mode of action is not fully understood, current research suggests that Black Cohosh may be beneficial in the treatment of menopausal symptoms such as sleep and mood disturbance, as well as night sweats and hot flashes.
Some researchers believe Black Cohosh may work through a brain-related action such as the modulation of serotonin, or through its ability to work as an antioxidant or anti-inflammatory.
Black Cohosh’s roots and underground stems contain triterpene glycosides — a group of compounds believed to be responsible for its efficacy in treating hot flashes.
In one study, a group of 80 postmenopausal women were split into two groups. One group received Black Cohosh and the other group received evening primrose oil. The women who supplemented with 20mg of Black Cohosh daily for 8 weeks reported significantly fewer and less intense hot flashes than those taking evening primrose oil.
In another study, the efficacy of Black Cohosh for treating hot flashes and night sweats was compared with that of the antidepressant fluoxetine. A total of 120 healthy women with menopausal symptoms were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups, and were treated with fluoxetine or Black Cohosh for a total of 6 months. Monthly scores for hot flashes and night sweats decreased significantly in both groups; however, Black Cohosh reduced scores to a much greater extent than did fluoxetine. After 6 months of treatment, Black Cohosh reduced the hot flush score by 85%, compared with 62% for fluoxetine.
Although Black Cohosh is recommended for a variety of other purposes related to women’s health such as PCOS, PMS, and menstrual cycle regulation, the research to support its benefits for menopause and fertility is more robust.
Related reading: What vitamins should I take for period pain?
What are the side effects of Black Cohosh?
Side effects from Black Cohosh are generally rare. Black Cohosh is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have a history of breast cancer, kidney or liver problems, high blood pressure, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, high cholesterol, or reproductive cancer, consult your doctor before taking Black Cohosh.
How much Black Cohosh should I take?
Clinical studies indicate that 20-80 mg of Black Cohosh per day can help alleviate menopausal symptoms.
The long-term impacts of Black Cohosh usage have not been evaluated. To date, most of the clinical trials have investigated Black Cohosh supplementation for 6 months or less.
Our 40mg Black Cohosh capsules are highly concentrated and contain 2.5% of the active triterpene glycosides compound for easing hot flashes.
The bottom line
If you suffer from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, Black Cohosh may be able to relieve your symptoms.
When it comes to herbal supplements, you can’t be too careful about screening for quality and safety. Take our 5-minute quiz and we’ll pre screen all your vitamins for you. If you still have questions, one of our Nutrition Experts will be glad to help you personally.