Black cohosh is a root herb that is used for medicinal purposes since ages by the Native Americans. The Native American introduced the black cohosh root to the European colonists, who used it to address the various women's health issues in Europe.
Black cohosh has been used to treat many women health problems that include symptoms of menopause, premenstrual syndrome, painful menstruation, acne, osteoporosis, hot flashes and initiation of labor pains in pregnant women. Many have even claimed it to be useful against snakebites, sore throats, fever and cough. However, many people have reported the possible side effects. Let us see more on black cohosh information and side effects.
Black Cohosh Root Information and Side Effects
There are some side effects that may be seen after intake of this herbal supplement. These side effects may vary from mild discomforts to liver damage. Let us begin with the mild side effects.
Mild Side Effects
The most common side effects include headaches, stomach upsets, weight gain, leg heaviness, etc. Other common side effects are nausea, stomach cramps, and may be diarrhea in some people. These side effects soon disappear after the use of the herb is discontinued. As black cohosh is sometimes associated with the hormone estrogen, one may suffer from increased water retention, bloating and mild weight gain. Other mild gastrointestinal disturbances include constipation, vomiting and low blood pressure.
Severe Side Effects
Women who have been using this herb for over a long period of time, have reported to suffer from serious side effects. These serious side effects include jaundice, liver cirrhosis and liver damage. If one experiences right abdominal pain, yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine and high liver enzyme levels in a blood test, it is best to consult a doctor regarding liver damage as a possible black cohosh side effect. Other side effects include unexplained vaginal bleeding or spotting. Allergic reactions like rash, hives, itching, swelling of the mouth, throat, wheezing and breathing difficulty are a few serious side effects of black cohosh. Many women have experienced seizures due to long term use of black cohosh. If one blacks out completely or losses consciousness, one should discontinue using black cohosh completely.
It is very important to keep in mind that one does not get confused with blue cohosh or white cohosh. They are completely unrelated to black cohosh. It is found that blue cohosh has a negative impact on newborn children. Mothers who have used black cohosh mixed with blue cohosh have had babies with impaired cognitive functions and breathing problems. It is thus advised, that pregnant or breast feeding mothers should not take black cohosh.
If you suspect side effects of black cohosh like yellowing of skin or eye whites, speak to a doctor immediately. The mild side effects of black cohosh will disappear on their own after discontinuation of the herb. However, the side effects that cause liver damage and hepatitis may require medical help. You should always begin any herbal remedies after speaking to your physician to prevent the risk of black cohosh side effects.