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How do I Determine the Best Black Cohosh Dosage?

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  • Written By: M. West
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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For adults over 18 years, the suggested black cohosh dosage is 40 to 80 milligrams (mg) per day in divided doses. Look for tablets that contain 1 milligram (mg) of standardized 27-deoxyactein. If you prefer an herbal tincture, the suggested dose is 0.4 to 2.0 milliliters (mL) of a 60% ethanol solution per day. Scientific tests regarding the herb for menopause treatment use 20 to 40 mg of Remifemin® two times a day, or 40 drops of the liquid extract for as long as 12 weeks. Remifemin® is a black cohosh supplement that is touted for menopause.

Black cohosh, otherwise known as cimicifuga racemosa, is a popular herb used by the alternative medicine community to treat menopausal symptoms. Early research suggests it may relieve common symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness for up to six months. The means of action is unknown and some studies indicate that it doesn't directly affect estrogen receptors. Overall, the test results are inconclusive and further studies are necessary. Safety for any black cohosh dosage hasn't been established for a period longer than six months.

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In addition to being used in menopause, early studies indicate that black cohosh may relieve inflammation associated with arthritis. Tests showed that a black cohosh dosage used in tandem with other herbs was helpful. More studies are needed before recommendations can be made. Another condition for which the herb may possibly be beneficial is osteoporosis. The plant estrogenic compounds in black cohosh may reduce loss of bone mass, but, once again, further research is needed.

A few tests have studied the effects of a black cohosh dosage in breast cancer patients. Two studies showed it was ineffective in relieving hot flashes caused by the cancer drug tamoxifen. Additionally, Yale scientists report that herbal supplements such as this may interfere with chemotherapy and radiation treatment. On the other hand, another study indicated protective effects against breast cancer growth from black cohosh. As further tests are needed, you should check with you doctor before taking this herb.

Although black cohosh supplements are usually well tolerated if taken within the recommended dosage range, the lasting effects haven't been studied beyond six months. Side effects include irregular or slow heart rate, low blood pressure, and intestinal disorders. High doses of the herb can produce visual disturbances and dizziness. Severe cases of liver damage and liver failure have been reported, so if you have liver disease, you should consult your doctor before taking this herb. It should also be used with caution by anyone with seizures, blood clots, or an allergy to aspirin.

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