Black cohosh is an herb used as a treatment for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. It is also used as a natural method for induction by some midwives for pregnant women who are past their due date. Black cohosh can cause a variety of side effects, although the effects on the heart are limited to a decreased heart rate, explains Drugs.com. Further research may reveal additional cardiac side effects, but as of September 2010, research on this herb is limited.
Additional side effects
Black cohosh has been reported to cause stomach discomfort, headaches, possible liver damage and a heavy feeling in the legs. Other possible side effects of black cohosh include dizziness, seizures, changes in vision and sweating.
Black cohosh is a perennial plant that belongs to the buttercup family. It grows primarily in North America and is a natural insect repellent. The roots of the plant are used to manufacture the preparations of the herb, which is available in tablets, capsules and liquid tincture. Drugs.com notes that black cohosh may also be known by other names including baneberry, bugbane, richweed, bugwort and rattleroot.
Herbal supplements are not closely monitored by governmental regulatory bodies, unlike conventional medicines, therefore the purity, strength and ingredients in black cohosh supplements may be questionable. Consumers should always consult with a doctor prior to adding black cohosh to a medication regimen or to treat any specific disease or condition. Women who have breast cancer or who have a history of liver disease should not use the herb. If symptoms such as yellowing of the skin or eyes or abdominal pain occur while using black cohosh, it should be discontinued immediately and a doctor should be notified.
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