EMBARGOED: Hold for release until after presentation at the 2005 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Abstract # 8013; Sunday, May 15, 2005, 8 a.m. EDT
Mayo Researchers Evaluate Black Cohosh
Mayo researchers will present new data showing evidence that black cohosh does not reduce hot flashes in women any better than a placebo. Used extensively in Europe for treating hot flashes, black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is an herbal remedy derived from a plant native to North America and a member of the buttercup family.
The black cohosh study findings should help patients and their physicians look for other methods that can help control the common symptoms in women during menopause.
"The findings demonstrated absolutely no improvement of symptoms when women took black cohosh compared to placebo," says surgeon Barbara Pockaj, M.D., of Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., the lead physician in the study. "This finding is extremely important, because we can now say to our patients that black cohosh does not work and we have to try other methods to control their symptoms."
The double-blind, randomized study involved 132 women divided into two groups. One group took black cohosh pills for one four-week period and then a placebo for one four-week period. The other group took a placebo during the first four weeks, followed by the black cohosh. Participants in the study kept a daily hot flash diary during a baseline week and during the eight-week cross over treatment period. They kept track of the daily number of hot flashes and hot flash scores (measured by assigning points to