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Black Cohosh - Health Benefits to Women

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By: The Tea Lady

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a perennial plant whose gnarled root has been used as treatment for various "female problems" for many years. It is well documented that generations of American women have relied on black cohosh to relieve the symptoms of female specific discomforts, from PMS and menstrual cramps to menopausal symptoms.

The first recorded use of black cohosh dates back to the 1900s when this wildflower (a part of the buttercup family), that is indigenous to the United States of America, provided the main ingredient in a popular tonic for women. In more modern times, it is being used to treat a variety of other complaints which range from insect bites to eczema, along with use as an herbal drink with various women's health benefits.

General Health Benefits of Black Cohosh Tea

Beyond its use as treatment for women's problems, black cohosh tea has demonstrated healing properties that include anti-inflammatory and mild sedative effects. This makes it the perfect antidote for muscle aches and pains. As another benefit, it may also be taken to clear mucous membranes and reduce the severity of congestion and coughs.

As a treatment for women, black cohosh tea may help to relieve hot flashes and other menopausal and peri-menopausal symptoms. During middle age, the estrogen levels in a woman's body starts to decline. Some of the detrimental side effects of this lack of estrogen can cause women to experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, depression, and other similarly unpleasant symptoms. Scientists have discovered that drinking this tea may have a beneficial effect that helps offset this decline in estrogen.

How Does Black Cohosh Help?

Black cohosh is said to contain a powerful plant active ingredient called phytoestrogen. This chemcial compound actually mimics the effects of human estrogen in the female body. If a woman takes in a significant amount of phytoestrogen by drinking this type of tea, she may alleviate or diminish many of the symptoms associated with lack of estrogen. The reason this happens is that the phytoestrogens contained in it bind themselves to hormone receptors in the uterus, breast, and other parts of the female body. This then leads to a lessening of the detrimental symptoms a lack of estrogen causes in women.

The action of the phytoestrogens possibly lessens hot flashes, vaginal dryness, headache, dizziness, depressive mood, and other hormone-related symptoms.

Another positive health effect of black cohosh tea is that it reduces the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is a compound produced by the brain's pituitary gland that regulates the activities of women's ovaries. In a 1991 study on women, it was shown to help minimize hot flashes by cutting down the LH hormone levels in a woman's body. Previous studies had shown that the rise of LH hormone in a woman's body was directly related with hot flashes.

These scientific discoveries led to the use of black cohosh tea as an alternative to hormone therapy. Some women actually prefer drinking this tea over receiving hormone therapy, because it is a much safer treatment with reduced health risks. Hormone therapy has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer when taken long-term. In contrast, black cohosh does not appear to stimulate the growth of breast tumors.

Forms of Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is available in several different forms. As an herbal supplement, it may be bought as a tincture or in tablet form. However, the most popular form is to enjoy it as a tea. Due to the popularity of the tea, it now comes in several different flavors and scents to make your herbal tea experience better a more enjoyable process. For women who are unable or unwilling to drink tea, it is now available in the form of capsules.

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About the Contributor

The Tea Lady carefully tends to her website located at where she offers information on various tea topics along with offering over 7000 different offerings of tea in her Tea Superstore.

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