Does Black Cohosh Work?
Many people may wonder, "Does black cohosh work?" There is some evidence that black cohosh does work for relieving the symptoms of menopause, although these studies have shown conflicting results. However, more research is needed to determine whether black cohosh is effective at treating osteoporosis, inducing labor, and treating premenstrual syndrome.
Does Black Cohosh Work?Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) is an herbal remedy that is frequently used to treat the symptoms of menopause. In addition to this use, black cohosh is sometimes claimed to be useful for the following:
- Treating osteoporosis
- Treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Inducing labor (stimulating labor in pregnant women).
Black Cohosh StudiesOf all the possible black cohosh uses, only one is supported by scientific evidence. Even so, studies have shown conflicting results. Many studies have shown black cohosh to be moderately effective for treating the symptoms of menopause (often as effective as prescription medications), and many studies have shown that black cohosh is no more effective than a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients).
Early research suggests that black cohosh may be helpful for osteoporosis. However, this research was not designed to evaluate whether black cohosh increases bone mineral density or lowers the risk of fractures (broken bones). More evidence is necessary before any conclusions can be made.
There is not enough evidence to recommend black cohosh for PMS or for inducing labor (see Black Cohosh and Pregnancy).