Black cohosh extract is also known as bugwort, rattleweed, bugbane, black snakeroot, rattleroot, macrotys, and by the Latin names Cimicifuga racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa.
Black snakeroot is indigenous to North America; it is a member of the buttercup family. Black snakeroot is a herbaceous perennial plant it reaches a height of between 25 to 50 centimeters. The leaves it produces grow up to 1 meter in length.
Native Americans were the first to spot the medicinal potential of black snakeroot. They used it to treat several ailments such as depression, kidney problems, sore throats and as an antidote for rattlesnake bites.
The Europe settlers who arrived later on also started using black snakeroot. In 1834 It gained further popularity when a eclectic physician called Dr John King used it to treat nervous disorders and rheumatism.
In the mid nineteenth century other eclectic physicians used black snakeroot for numerous ailments, including after birth pains, dysmenorrhea, endometritis, menorrhagia, additional breast milk production, sterility and amenorrhea.
Today it is used as remedies for menopause, premenstrual tension and other gynecological problems. It is also used as a dietary supplement.
The roots and underground stems are used dried or fresh to make strong infusions, pills, liquid extracts, capsules and tinctures.
Laboratory research results suggest that black cohosh extract may stimulate bone formation.
The study was done by researchers from Columbia University, City University of New York and Hong Kong University.
The researchers added a low dosage of black snakeroot extract to bone forming mouse cells and observed that the extract increased bone nodule formation.
The researchers also stated that the results provide an explanation for the claims that black snakeroot might offer postmenopausal osteoporosis protection.
People who take blacksnake root in high doses have reported side effects these include headaches, nausea, tremors, weight problems, dizziness and low blood pressure.
A few people have reported liver damage but it is not clear that this is linked to black snakeroot.
Many women throughout history have taken snakeroot without any problems.
If you have a breast cancer history or at high risk of developing breast cancer, talk to your health care provider. The Studies on whether black cohosh inhibits or stimulates breast cancer growth have mixed results.
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