Monday, June 2, 2008

Black Cohosh ineffective against menopausal hot flushes

A Clinical trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in America, has found the herbal supplement Black Cohosh to be ineffective against hot flushes in postmenopausal women or those approaching menopause.

Some 351 women aged 44 to 45 took part in the Herbal Alternatives (HALT) trial led by Katherine M Newton PhD of the Group Health Center for Health Studies, Seattle and Washington University, over a 12 month period. Each participant was experiencing at least two hot flashes and/or night sweats daily at the start of the study. The women were approaching menopause, having missed at least one menstrual cycle in the preceding 12 months or were postmenopausal, having had no menstrual cycle in at least 12 months.

The women were initially given one of five treatment options which included Black Cohosh on its own or as part of a multi-herbal supplement. Participants met at 3,6, and 12 monthly intervals. At the end of the trial, the researchers could find no significant difference between the number of daily hot flushes/and or night sweats in any of the herbal supplement groups when compared to placebo.

“While this study found that black Cohosh alone or with other herbs did not reduce menopausal hot flashes, it highlights the importance of studying herbs, using well-designed research to find out what works and what does not,” commented National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Acting Director, Ruth Kirschstein, MD.