This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, it’s important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.
Introduction: Taking black cohosh (an herb) has been suggested as a way to relieve menopausal symptoms.
However, most randomized controlled trials do not show a benefit for breast cancer survivors or women without cancer.
Although studies have not shown any harmful side effects of black cohosh for breast cancer survivors, there are no long-term safety data.
Learn more about black cohosh.
Learn more about ways to treat menopausal symptoms.
Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.
Study selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials with at least 80 participants and meta-analyses.
Table note: Relative risk above 1 indicates increased risk. Relative risk below 1 indicates decreased risk.
Study Population(number of participants)
Menopausal Symptoms Studied
Black Cohosh Reduced Menopausal Symptoms More Than Placebo?
Randomized controlled trials
Herbal Alternatives for Menopause Study [1-2]
351women never diagnosed with cancer
Osmers et al. 
304women never diagnosed with cancer
Hot flashes and sleep problems
Uebelhack et al. *
294 women never diagnosed with cancer
Pockaj et al. 
132breast cancer survivors and women at high risk
Frei-Kleiner et al. 
122women never diagnosed with cancer
van der Sluijs et al. †
93 women never diagnosed with cancer
Jacobson et al. 
85breast cancer survivors
Franco et al. 
Cochrane Collaboration 
* Supplement contained black cohosh and St. John's wort. † Supplement contained black cohosh and Chinese herbs.
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