Black cohosh, also known as Actaea racemosa
and Cimicifuga racemosa
, is a perennial flower found in the woods of eastern North America. The North American Indian population first used the herb's roots and rhizomes (underground stems) for a number of medicinal purposes including kidney disorders and malaria. Today, black cohosh is sold as a dietary supplement
for the treatment of menopausal symptoms and PMS.
Few studies have been conducted on black cohosh, and because the herb is sold as a dietary supplement, manufacturers do not have to prove to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the flower is safe or effective. Black cohosh has been found to cause headaches
, gastric complaints and weight problems.In July 2003, a study conducted by U.S. and Canadian researchers revealed that black cohosh use may cause cancer to spread. At a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, scientists involved in the study presented data conducted on female mice bred to develop breast cancer. The cancer spread to the lungs in 27 percent of mice that ate black cohosh compared to 11 percent of the mice that did not eat the herb. Researchers warn that women who do not know they have cancer place themselves at risk when using black cohosh.
See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems after taking black cohosh. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
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