Black Cohosh

Black cohosh root was called squaw root by the Native Americans. They used it to relieve menstrual cramps and irritability, mood swings and sleep disturbances associated with menopause. It may be a worth trying as a PMDD treatment if you experience severe menstrual cramps or certain mood symptoms.

This root has been used extensively in Europe for the past 40 years. It has been approved in Germany to treat premenstrual discomfort, painful menstruation and menopausal symptoms, although it often isn’t prescribed because of the lack of studies proving effectiveness.

Treats these premenstrual symptoms:

  • menstrual cramps
  • tension (possibly)
  • depression (possibly)
  • anxiety (possibly)

Supporting evidence:
There hasn’t been a lot of research done on this herb. One study did show that it may be effective in reducing anxiety, tension and depression.

How it works:
It may act as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, allowing more serotonin available for the body to use. It’s also thought to contain substances that relieve pain and act as sedatives.

Dosage:
Take 40-80mg/day, breaking up into two doses during the day. The root can be boiled to make a tea.

Possible side effects:
Stomach upset, headache, weight gain and dizziness. Women with breast cancer or at a higher risk for developing breast cancer should not take this herb. It is not recommended you use this more than 3-6 months at a time.

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