Black cohosh is a plant found growing wild in parts of the eastern United States and eastern regions of Canada. The root of the plant has been used by Native Americans for centuries to treat numerous illnesses. It has been used most commonly to treat problems in the reproductive system of women, including reduction of cramps and regulation of menstrual bleeding. It has also been found effective in treating problems resulting from menopause.
The Black cohosh root contains salicylic acid, which has both anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic qualities, along with other pain-fighting chemicals. An anti-inflammatory reduces the amount of inflammation in the body, which helps with arthritis and other pain. An anti-spasmodic helps prevent pain causing constriction of blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. This can help prevent tightness and pain in muscles throughout the body. Black cohosh root is especially effective in treating uterine cramping during menstruation. It also helps with pain in ovaries during ovulation.
Many women suffer from painful cramping and uterine tension that prohibits the blood flow during menstruation. This can make the menstrual cycle last longer as the lack of blood flow prevents the egg and lining buildup of the uterus to be released. In addition to making menstruation last longer, this condition also causes considerable cramping and pain. Black cohosh root can help to relax the muscles of the uterus, allowing for the release of tension and increasing blood flow. This also helps to reduce painful cramping as well.
During and post-menopause, women commonly experience numerous symptoms as a result of a lack of estrogen in the body. Women who experience hot flashes during menopause often find that their condition improves significantly when taking black cohosh. Research also shows that women who take black cohosh sleep better during menopause than they did before they began taking the black coshosh. This is due to the lack of tension in muscles and the decrease in night sweats often experienced by menopausal women.
Black cohosh has been found to be as effective in some women for reducing many side effects during and post-menopause as hormone replacement therapy. Not every woman responds well to hormone replacement therapy because of the effects of the hormones, but some do well when taking black cohosh for regulating uterine muscle tone and cramping. Black coshosh is also effective in helping some women with vaginal dryness, another common side effect suffered by women post-menopause.
Black cohosh has also been found to be beneficial to digestive health. It has been used by Native Americans as a stomach tonic to help with mild disruptions, including mild diarrhea or nausea. Its taste is both bitter and sweet, and those flavors help to stimulate the digestive process, helping to prevent constipation. Native Americans also found black cohosh to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, such as scarlet fever, smallpox, and whooping cough. This suggests that the plant has natural antibacterial properties. Black cohosh also has a mild effect on blood pressure by slightly increasing blood flow through vessels.
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