Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a perennial herb that is native to the rich, wooded areas of North America. Extracts are prepared from the dried roots of the plant. Studies have found many active compounds in Black cohosh, including triterpenes glycosides, acteina, and isoflavones (a class of phytoestrogens). Extracts are typically standardized to 2.5% triterpene glycosides. Black cohosh has long been used in herbal formulas for hormonal balancing.
Black Cohosh may be helpful in women’s health by ameliorating menopausal symptoms such as: hot flashes and sleep disturbances as well as depression and anxiety.1-6 Black Cohosh may also aid in preventing and treating stress-related disorders.1
Intake of Black Cohosh might induce liver toxicity.7
Nadaoka I, Yasue M, Kitagawa Y, Koga Y. Oral administration of Cimicifuga racemosa extract attenuates psychological and physiological stress responses. Biomed Res. 2012 Jun;33(3):145-52. PubMed PMID: 22790213.
Walji R, Boon H, Guns E, Oneschuk D, Younus J. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa [L.] Nutt.): safety and efficacy for cancer patients. Support Care Cancer. 2007 Aug;15(8):913-21. Epub 2007 Jun 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 17602247.
Jiang K, Jin Y, Huang L, Feng S, Hou X, Du B, Zheng J, Li L. Black cohosh improves objective sleep in postmenopausal women with sleep disturbance. Climacteric. 2015 May 22:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26000551.
Kanadys WM, Leszczyńska-Gorzelak B, Oleszczuk J. [Efficacy and safety of Black cohosh (Actaea/Cimicifuga racemosa) in the treatment of vasomotor symptoms–review of clinical trials]. Ginekol Pol. 2008 Apr;79(4):287-96. Review. Polish. PubMed PMID: 18592868.
Black Cohosh, Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. NIH. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/blackcohosh/ataglance.htm Accessed in July 2015.
Black Cohosh, Office of Dietary Supplements. NIH. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh-HealthProfessional/ Accessed in July 2015
Muqeet Adnan M, Khan M, Hashmi S, Hamza M, AbdulMujeeb S, Amer S. Black cohosh and liver toxicity: is there a relationship? Case Rep Gastrointest Med. 2014;2014:860614. doi: 10.1155/2014/860614. Epub 2014 Jun 30. PubMed PMID: 25093128; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4100270.