Altern Ther Health Med. 2010 (Jan); 16 (1): 36–44
Shams T, Setia MS, Hemmings R, McCusker J, Sewitch M, Ciampi A.
Department of Obstetrics,
St. Mary's Hospital and McGill University,
This study aimed to review the evidence on the efficacy of herbal preparations containing black cohosh for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. A systematic search of three databases (PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library) was conducted to identify relevant literature. Two reviewers independently abstracted the data from the eligible studies. Of the 288 English language citations screened, nine randomized placebo-controlled trials were included. Among these trials, six demonstrated a significant improvement in the black cohosh group compared with the placebo group. Using data from seven trials, we calculated a combined estimate for the change in menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Preparations containing black cohosh improved these symptoms overall by 26% (95% confidence interval 11%-40%); there was, however, significant heterogeneity between these trials. Given that black cohosh is one of the most frequently used herbal medications for menopausal vasomotor symptoms in North America, more data are warranted on its effectiveness and safety.