Several recent studies have confirmed that black cohosh provides safe, natural relief for menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats. Approximately 75% of menopausal women suffer hot flashes and for many the symptoms are so severe that they significantly impact quality of life.

A single hot flash can last anywhere from one to five minutes and some women experience several a day. Many women turn to hormone replacement  therapy (HRT) for relief but it has been linked to increased risk for several serious health issues, including certain types of cancer.

Black cohosh, also known as black snakeroot or bugbane, is a medicinal root that has been used for hundreds of years to treat women’s gynecological symptoms. Studies at the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that black cohosh might provide the same benefits as HRT without the negative side effects.

A member of the buttercup family, black cohosh grows in the eastern and central areas of the United States. Native Americans embraced it for its positive effects on women’s health. It helps regulate the hormone mechanism in the body which is why it supports relief from menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Both fresh and dried roots of the plant are used medicinally. It is available in tea, capsule and liquid extract forms online and at natural health stores.

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If you are suffering from hot flashes and night sweats talk to your holistic practitioner about the benefits of black cohosh. Other tips for coping with menopausal symptoms include:

Watch Your Weight: Being overweight increases your chances for having frequent hot flashes.

Keep Your Cool: There are several products on the market designed help women cope with hot flashes. Products such as cooling pillows, breathable mattress pads and light cotton sheets can help ease the discomfort of hot flashes and night sweats.

Know Your Triggers:  Alcoholic beverages and foods that are spicy are triggers for some women. Listen to your body, learn your triggers and try to avoid them.

Embrace Layers: If you are having frequent hot flashes, dress in layers so that you can remove outer garments as needed to keep yourself more comfortable.

Don’t Smoke: Women who smoke significantly increase both the frequency and duration of hot flashes and night sweats.