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Can I safely take black cohosh supplements for menopausal complaints?

  1. If you take supplements with black cohosh for menopausal symptoms, take a maximum of 40 mg per day. And don't use it for more than 6 months. Risk groups such as pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, and people with liver disease or breast cancer are not recommended to take black cohosh.

What is black cohosh?

  1. Black cohosh is a herbal preparation that is used against menopausal complaints. Think of hot flashes and heavy sweating. Sometimes it is recommended for menstrual complaints or to induce contractions. Black cohosh is a plant native to North America. Other names are cimicifuga racemosa, actaea racemosa, black cohosh and women's carrot. You may also come across the English translation "black cohosh".

  1. Where can you buy black cohosh? In the Netherlands you can buy products with black cohosh in (nature) stores, drugstores and web shops. Products containing the extracts of the root (stick) of black cohosh are available as an herbal preparation, herbal extract or supplement. You can buy them in capsule, tablet and liquid form.

  1. What are side effects of black cohosh? At the side effects center Lareb complaints were received after taking supplements with black cohosh. Symptoms ranged from chest or stomach pain, diarrhea and nausea to bleeding or severe liver disease. In most cases people had taken high-dose black cohosh supplements.

  1. How many black cohosh can you safely swallow? Do not take more than 40 mg of black cohosh per day and use it for up to 6 months. Research by the Bureau Risk Assessment Research (BuRO) shows that you do not run an increased health risk. If you want to take it longer, please contact a doctor.

Is black cohosh safe for pregnant, breastfeeding women, children and the sick?

  1. No, black cohosh is not safe for everyone to use. The following groups are therefore not recommended to use black cohosh supplements: Pregnant women Breastfeeding women Children People with liver disease (or who have had liver disease) People undergoing treatment for breast cancer or other hormone-dependent tumors (or who have had treatment for this) People who are hypersensitive to the active ingredients of black cohosh No information is known about safe use in these groups, so do not take these drugs.

How can I tell how much black cohosh is in a supplement?

  1. The label shows how much black cohosh is in the supplement. Note that the daily dose is no more than 40 mg. This daily dose can be found in the table which also contains the vitamins and minerals, or under a separate heading. You can sometimes find black cohosh under a different name, such as "cimicifuga racemosa" or "black cohosh extract". Is the content stated per pill or coated tablet? Then see how many tablets are recommended per day. If 1 tablet contains 20 mg of black cohosh, and you have to swallow 2 per day, the daily dose is 40 mg.

What can I do if I have complaints after taking a black cohosh supplement?

  1. If you develop complaints after taking a dietary supplement containing black cohosh, please contact your doctor. You can also report your complaint to the Lareb side effect center.

Does black cohosh help against menopausal complaints?

  1. It has not been sufficiently proven that supplements containing black cohosh are effective against menopausal symptoms. There are, however, a number of studies that show that there is a slight decrease in menopausal complaints (especially hot flushes). However, there is insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of black cohosh in reducing the amount and severity of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

  1. Also read: Do I have to eat differently during the menopause?

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