BLACK COHOSH & DONG QUAI
Cimicfuga racemose or Actea racemosa
Grown in the Eastern and Central areas of the United States, black cohosh has a long history of folk and traditional use. Used exclusively by the Native Americans as a remedy for women’s health conditions, it is primarily used today to help women suffering from the effects of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. How black cohosh works is not entirely understood. It was once thought to have estrogen like activity, but there is growing evidence that it does not. The safety of black cohosh in pregnant and breastfeeding woman is not established, so for safety’s sake, avoid the use of this herb until after nursing.
Native to China, Japan, and Korea, the root of this herb in the celery family is primarily used.
It is considered by many to be a female ginseng because of the balancing effect it has on the female hormonal system. However, studies have not found dong quai to have hormone like effects. People have found this herb helpful in treating symptoms of menopause, weakness after childbirth, PMS, irregular menstruation, fibroid tumors, and fibrocystic breast disease. Dong quai should not be used by those who have a bleeding disorder, excessive menstrual bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal bloating or during infections. Those who are pregnant, or nursing should avoid use.
The recommended dose is 1-2 daily, taken when symptoms are experienced the most.