Black/Blue CohoshMenopauseNCCAMProf. Ernst

Review of black cohosh for menopause

Prof. Ernst has reviewed black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) to treat menopausal symptoms.

First, the details.

  • They searched the medical literature.
  • 6 studies in 1112 peri- and post-menopausal women were of sufficient quality to warrant review.

And, the results.

  • The results failed to consistently demonstrate an effect of black cohosh on menopausal symptoms

The bottom line?
A beneficial effect of black cohosh on peri-menopausal women could not be excluded. However, for treating menopausal symptoms, the value of black cohosh was “uncertain,” and further rigorous trials seem warranted, according to Prof. Ernst.

The abstract of this review provides few details. However, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative medicine (NCCAM) has summarized the science on its website.

  • Study results are mixed on whether black cohosh effectively relieves menopausal symptoms.
  • Studies have been less than 6 months long, so long-term safety data are not available.

NCCAM is funding studies to determine whether black cohosh reduces the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Go to the NCCAM website for a list of side effects and cautions.

7/1/08 21:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.