black cohosh

Has anyone tried black cohosh for hot flushes? Does it have an oestrogenic effect or work by some other mechanism? Any advice appreciated - my hot flushes are driving me mad and nothing seems to help…

Hi Blackheath

BCC advise that before taking any type of complementary medicine you check with your medical team first in order to avoid any contraindications when taken with any prescribed medication.

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi Blackheath,
I took red clover and sage with the o.k. from my onc. Black cohosh was not recommended it can feed the b.c. but I will let your onc explain to you as yours may not agree with mine.
It is a minefield so good luck.
Love Debsxxx

I’ve read a lot of reports in the last few years about black cohosh being a no no for BC patients.

I took it for perimenopause and period problems about 3 years before diagnosis and it made me feel worse; evening primrose made me feel nauseous.

i was told to try red clover, didn,t do anything for me but worth a try, i,m on veniflexin (mild anti depressant) for hot flushes/night sweats which have worked can sleep for a good few hours now ,

When I first met my oncologist, he was very non-committal - either way - to supplements in general BUT I do remember him telling me in no uncertain terms to avoid Black Cohosh altogether. I only remember the name of it because of the contrast between his overall indifference to supplements on the one hand and his absolute belief of the danger of this supplement in particular on the other hand. I cannot remember the reasons he gave for telling me to avoid it but it was obviously because he thought it could potentially encourage any malignancies to grow. But, of course, check with your own oncologist for their advice/opinion.

As for the hot flushes, I’m afraid I have nothing to recommend - I experienced several months of terrible flushes after chemotherapy pushed me into a (very) early menopause but, for a variety of reasons, I experience them less and less frequently now and certainly not to the extent where I would need to control them by taking anything else. While they don’t resolve the flushes, though, I have read about something called a chillow pillow on one of these threads, as well as some form of magnet which some women commended. I am sometimes a little sceptical of things like this but the reports were good.

Wishing you luck, Naz

I know the drug Clonidine helps some people - worth a try

Clinical trials have shown that flushing symptoms in some women can be eased by taking a medicine called clonidine. However, it frequently causes side-effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, and feeling sick. It is therefore not commonly used, but may be worth a try if other treatments do not help. Clonidine is thought to work by interfering with a body chemical called noradrenaline which is involved with the process of flushing and sweating.