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Safety and Evidence- Black Cohosh

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Fromwhat I have encountered so far, there has been widespread confusion betweenhomeopathy and herbal remedies regarding the lack of distinction between them.  Homeopathy is a completely different conceptwhich has been the subject of many debates.

Herbalremedies on the other hand are a popular choice for people, since they believeherbal remedies are ‘natural' and do minimal harm compared to standardpharmacological interventions. However, this has not always been the case. Onesuch herbal remedy currently in the news has been the use of the herbBlack Cohosh. Black Cohosh has been used primarily for the treatment of menopausalsymptoms in addition to other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Theevidence for the efficacy of Black Cohosh is unclear.

TheMedicines and Health products Regulatory Agency previously speculated the safety of theuse of Black Cohosh and recently this herb has been back in the news againafter increasing reports of liver failure through the Yellow Card reportingscheme.

As futurepharmacists who rely on evidence-based interventions, there is also a need tobe aware of the variety of complementary and alternative therapies out there. Justlike with pharmacological interventions, it's important to use evidence to providea non-biased approach in achieving public safety.  

 

Useful links

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/NewsCentre/Pressreleases/CON199545

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-black-cohosh

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/blackcohosh/ataglance.htm

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