- Stock #81-4 (60 tablets)
Numerous symptoms are associated with the onset of menopause, including hot flashes, spontaneous perspiration, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, mood swings, palpitations, poor memory and concentration, frequent urination, bone loss, and pain with intercourse. Research indicates long-term health risks stemming from menopause and the subsequent decline in estrogen levels include heart disease and osteoporosis. However, according to an article in American Family Physician, the most common side-effect, experienced by up to 75% of menopausal women, is hot flashes—the number one reason women seek hormone replacement therapy (HRT).1
Although many studies have shown HRT to be effective in relieving hot flashes and in reducing bone loss and the risk of heart disease, the New England Journal of Medicine reports woman receiving HRT have a 46% higher risk of developing breast cancer over women not receiving HRT, concluding that “the trade-offs between risks and benefits should be carefully assessed.” Similar findings were achieved by a study published in Lancet.1-3
Fortunately, a number of natural plant alternatives to HRT have been shown to effectively reduce menopausal symptoms by providing compounds known as phytoestrogens. These substances function similar to the hormone estriol, the weakest type of estrogen and the only one linked to a reduced risk of breast and endometrial cancer. Phytoestrogens—which mimic the effects of estriol by binding with estrogen receptors in the body to provide a weak estrogenic effect—have also been shown to inhibit breast cancer. A recent study in Lancet found women with a high intake of phytoestrogens exhibited a substantially reduced risk of breast cancer.1,4
Journal of Women’s Health, featured a review article confirming black cohosh’s safety and effectiveness as a natural remedy for menopausal symptoms, particularly in cases where HRT is contraindicated, such as hormone-sensitive mammary carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma and malignant melanoma.3,5-9is perhaps the most thoroughly studied of plants providing phytoestrogens. In Germany, standardized extracts of black cohosh have been used for decades to treat menopausal symptoms—the German Commission approved black cohosh as a natural treatment for menopause. In fact, a commercial extract of black cohosh, known by the trade name Remifemin (standardized to contain 1mg of triterpenes—calculated as 27-deoxyacteine), is the most widely used natural alternative to HRT, with an estimated 1.5 million women worldwide having used this herbal preparation since 1956. In 1997 alone, over 10 million monthly units were sold in Australia, Germany and the U.S. Even the American Medical Association (AMA), which publishes the
German researchers conducted an open study using a standardized extract of black cohosh with over 700 menopausal women. Over 80% of the women experienced definite improvements in their symptoms within 6 to 8 weeks, with most participants reporting noticeable benefits within 4 weeks. After 6 to 8 weeks, a large percentage of women achieved complete relief of menopausal symptoms which included headache, heart palpitations, hot flashes, nervousness/irritability, profuse perspiration, ringing in the ears and vertigo.6-7
In addition to its estrogenic effects, research indicates black cohosh may help menopausal symptoms by reducing the pituitary’s secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH). Elevated blood levels of LH, exhibited during menopause, are believed to contribute to the hot flashes, insomnia, and depression many women suffer.3,9-10
A 12-week double-blind study was conducted involving 60 women given either a standardized extract of black cohosh (2 tablets twice daily providing a daily dosage of 4mg 27-deoxyacteine), conjugated estrogens (0.625 daily), or diazepam—a Valium-like drug (2mg daily). Results were assessed using the Kupperman Menopausal Index and clearly indicated an advantage to using black cohosh over either drug for relieving menopausal anxiety and depression, especially in light of the herb’s safety and lack of side-effects.7
Each Flash-Ease tablet contains 80mg of a concentrated extract of black cohosh root and rhizome, standardized to provide 2.5% total triterpene glycosides calculated as 27-deoxyacteine (2mg per tablet). Flash-Ease also contains dong quai root and is designed to provide a full 10 hours of timed-release support.
American Journal of Chinese Medicine, dong quai contains phytoestrogens which help regulate estrogenic activity in the body. Furthermore, dong quai is believed to be effective for relieving hot flashes due to a combination of the herb’s estrogenic activity and ability to dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.3,5,7-8,11is widely recognized for its role in relieving female complaints such as menstrual irregularities and menopause. Traditional Chinese medical practitioners in particular, have long used dong quai in combination with other herbs for treating menopause. According to research published in the
Pregnant and lactating women, as well as those currently taking HRT, should consult their healthcare professional before using this product.
1 Alschuler ND, L. “Menopause: Easing the Change.” Nutrition Science News; August 1997.
2Colditz, GA, et al. “The use of estrogens and progestins and the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.” New England Journal of Medicine; 1995, 332 (24), 1589-93.
3White MD, L. “Let Herbs Keep You Healthy.” Delicious! Magazine, March 1998.
4Ingram, D, et al. “Case-control study of phyto-oestrogens and breast cancer.” Lancet;1997, 350 (9083), 990-994.
5“Menopause: Herbs That Can Ease the Transition.” Herbs For Health; 1996, Vol. 1, No. 2, 29-33.
6“Black Cohosh Gives Relief For Menopause.” Alternative Medicine Digest; 1996, Vol. 13.
7Murray ND, M. and Pizzorno ND, J. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 2nd Ed.Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1998.
8Murray, Michael T. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin.CA: Prima Publishing, 1995.
9“Natural herb shown in clinical trials to relieve menopausal symptoms.” Reuters; July 10, 1998.
10Duker, EM, et al. “Effects of extracts from Cimicifuga racemosaon gonadotropin release in menopausal women and ovariectomized rats.” Planta Medica; 1997, 57 (5), 420-424. 11Friedrich PhD, J. “Understanding Premenstrual Syndrome.” Nutrition Science News; June 1996.