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Should I Take Cohosh

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,

 

I recently went to a health food store to find something to help with my menstrual cramps, and I was sold a bottle of blue cohosh (Caulophyllum). However, the information I've been reading online says that while blue cohosh does help regulate menstrual flow and calm cramps, it is considered a poisonous plant. Should I keep taking the blue cohosh?

Signed: Should I Take Cohosh

Dear Should I Take Cohosh,

 

Blue cohosh is also known as Caulophyllum thalictroides, blue ginseng, papoose root, yellow ginseng, blueberry root, and beech drops. It was used as a medicinal herb by American Indians, and as a dietary supplement that can induce labor, regulate menstrual flow and suppress menstruation. It has also been used to treat rheumatism, cramps, and epilepsy.

 

Blue cohosh has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of blue cohosh may not be fully understood. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. When buying any herbal substances it is imperative that you purchase them from a reputable manufacturer.

 

As with any herbal medication you should not take blue cohosh without first talking to your doctor or health care provider. Blue cohosh should not be taken if you have stomach or intestinal problems or high blood pressure since it may aggravate these conditions.

 

You should also talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether blue cohosh will harm an unborn baby. Blue cohosh could affect the menstrual cycle and may cause uterine contractions that could result in miscarriage or premature labor.

 

Blue cohosh also contains chemicals that work similarly to nicotine. Taking blue cohosh with nicotine might increase the effects and side effects of nicotine.

 

 

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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