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Unless you are something of a nutritional know it all, you probably wont have heard of black cohosh. However, many women believe it is one of the most important food supplements you can take.

What is black cohosh?

Found in North America, black cohosh is a large, dark plant of the buttercup family. It is the root of the plant that Native Americans discovered to have medicinal properties. This is why it is sometimes referred to as black snake root.

What are the health benefits of black cohosh?

The main use of black cohosh is to help women with menstrual problems. The root actively reduces the levels of the luteinizing hormone which is one of the main causes of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms. These typical female problems are also eased by the phytoestrogens contained within the plant which act in the same way as oestrogen. Another use of black cohosh is for muscle and joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Are there any side effects of black cohosh?

Like most naturally occurring substances, black cohosh simply wont agree with some people. However, if you are one of the unlucky few the worst you can expect is nausea and a mild headache. Exceeding the recommended amount can affect both your blood pressure and pulse rate. You should not use this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, using contraceptive pills or if you are receiving medical treatment for high blood pressure or hypertension.

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