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Black Cohosh Helped Hot Flashes

Q. You had a question from a reader having trouble with hot flashes. I too was on hormones and finally got off, despite the hot flashes coming back.

Remifemin-brand black cohosh has helped me a lot. I was reluctant to try it, but it worked: my persistent hot flashes dropped by about 75 percent. I had a hysterectomy when I was younger, so I have no hormones at all.

A. Many women who use hormones for hot flashes find that they experience these uncomfortable heat rushes again when they discontinue their HRT. It can be just as disconcerting the second time around.

Research on the efficacy of black cohosh for hot flashes and night sweats has produced mixed results, but the extract combined with St. John’s wort seems to work quite well (Gynecological Endocrinology, online March 2, 2012).

We discuss details on black cohosh, St. John’s wort, Pycnogenol and vitamin E as well as bioidentical hormones and other ways to reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness in the Guide to Menopause we are sending you.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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