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Black cohosh

Black cohosh is a traditional medicinal herb, used for the relief of symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes, night sweats and temporary changes in mood.

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a traditional, native American herb and gets its name from the thick black roots of the mature plant, which are woody and knotted. It flowers in June and is then dug up, cut into pieces and air-dried in the shade. It can take the best part of an afternoon to harvest and prepare the roots, and the early evening air is full of the bitter smell of the resinous compounds, released as the root is exposed.

Black cohosh is a phytoestrogenic herb, meaning that its mode of action is to bind to the oestrogen receptor, thereby easing symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes and psychological changes. Its active constituents are the glycosides, isoflavones and salicylic acids within the compounds of the root. It also appears to suppress lutenising hormone, surges of wh....

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