Herbs for Health – Menopause

Black Cohosh – Actaea racemosa

Indications supported by clinical trials:
Menopausal symptoms, to promote fertility

Actions:
Antispasmodic, alterative, tonic, vasodilator and diaphoretic (1).
Suppresses luteinising hormone (LH), allays inflammation, promotes fertility, improves bone density (2).

Applications:
Muscular rheumatism, neuralgias, muscle cramps, myalgia, inflammatory conditions associated with spasm or tension, spasmodic dysmenorrhea (1)
Female reproductive tract disorders, menopausal and PMS symptoms, secondary amenorrhea, whooping cough, tinnitus and mastitis (2).

Safety:  
Generally no adverse effects are expected if used at the lower end of the recommended dosage. Not recommended in pregnancy except for assisting childbirth, although there is no strong indication of harm.  Not generally recommended for longer than 6 months (2). 
 References:

  1. Mills, S.  The Complete Guide to Modern Herbalism, Harper Collins, 1989.
  2. Bone, K & Mills, S.  Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy 2ndEd. Elsevier, 2013