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Approximately one in five women will develop uterine fibroids during childbearing years, according to the National Institutes of Health 2. If you are one of those women, you may have already experienced the pain often associated with the noncancerous tumors. Treatments often involve prescription medications that carry with them potential side effects. Herbalists have used black cohosh medicinally for centuries to treat many gynecological issues such as painful menstruation and menopause. Black cohosh may help treat uterine fibroids, but be sure to consult your physician before use.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Fibroids occur most commonly in women over 30 and may shrink with menopause. While the cause of fibroid tumors remains a mystery to researchers, the hormone estrogen plays a dominant role in the growth of tumors. As long as a woman continues to menstruate, she will continue to produce estrogen and tumors will likely continue to grow. Fibroids may range in size from smaller than a pea to 6 or more inches in length. Symptoms of fibroids include:
- abdominal fullness
- bleeding between periods
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- pelvic cramping
- pain during intercourse
- pressure or fullness in the lower abdomen
- an increase in urinary frequency
- Fibroids occur most commonly in women over 30 and may shrink with menopause.
Can Red Clover Help Fibroids?
Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family. You will most commonly find the tall plant in the shady woods of Eastern North America, and it goes by several names including bugbane, bugwort, squawroot and black snakeroot. Herbalists have used black cohosh medicinally for centuries to treat painful menstruation, night sweats and hot flashes associated with menopause and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The active ingredients in black cohosh are isoferulic acids, which scientists think contain anti-inflammatory properties, and phytoestrogens, plant based chemicals that act as estrogen in the body.
- Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family.
- The active ingredients in black cohosh are isoferulic acids, which scientists think contain anti-inflammatory properties, and phytoestrogens, plant based chemicals that act as estrogen in the body.
The use of black cohosh to treat fibroids will produce mixed results just as using any estrogen-based product to treat uterine fibroids. Researchers have conducted insufficient clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of black cohosh for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Research does show that introducing extra estrogen into your system, such as with birth control pills, will cause uterine fibroids to grow slightly. However, it will also help alleviate heavy menstrual flow and painful cramping associated with fibroids, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Many women consider the slight growth in fibroids a small price to pay for increasing their level of comfort. However, you should always discuss the use of black cohosh or any herbal remedy with your physician before use.
- The use of black cohosh to treat fibroids will produce mixed results just as using any estrogen-based product to treat uterine fibroids.
- Researchers have conducted insufficient clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of black cohosh for the treatment of uterine fibroids.
Bloating & Fibroids
Black cohosh may also negatively affect hormone-related illnesses such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and endometriosis and may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Pregnant women should avoid the use of black cohosh as it can stimulate uterine contractions leading to miscarriage or early labor.
Can Red Clover Help Fibroids?
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- University of Maryland Medical Center: Black Cohosh
- National Institutes of Health: Uterine Fibroids
- Merck Manual Consumer Version. Fibroids. Updated June 2019.
- Dalton-Brewer N. The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Management of Fibroids and Associated Symptomatology. Curr Obstet Gynecol Rep. 2016;5:110-118. doi:10.1007/s13669-016-0156-0.
- Yang Y, He Y, Zeng Q, Li S. Association of body size and body fat distribution with uterine fibroids among Chinese women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014;23(7):619-26. doi:10.1089/jwh.2013.4690.
- Roshdy E, Rajaratnam V, Maitra S, Sabry M, Allah AS, Al-hendy A. Treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids with green tea extract: a pilot randomized controlled clinical study. Int J Womens Health. 2013;5:477-86. doi:10.2147/IJWH.S41021.
- Liu T, Yu J, Kuang W, et al. Acupuncture for uterine fibroids: Protocol for a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019;98(8):e14631. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000014631.
Based in Florida, Martina McAtee has been writing health and fitness articles since 2003. She attended Keiser University, graduating with an Associate of Science in nursing. McAtee is currently working toward a master's degree in nursing from Florida Atlantic University.