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ABC Submits Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

Regarding: Common Sense for Cooling Down by Leslie Berger,Science Times, 8-12-03

Dear Editor:

The article incorrectly suggests that the herb black cohosh can be used for no more than six months because longer clinical trials have not been conducted.  The six-month recommended limit of use originally came from the German Commission E following an official evaluation of the herb's safety and efficacy, published in 1989. Commission E recognized that that women using black cohosh should have a regular checkup with their physician every six months, the same as for women on conventional hormone replacement therapy. Extensive clinical use of black cohosh in Germany for over 33 years provides strong documentation of the safe and effective use of black cohosh as a treatment for symptoms of menopause, e.g., hot flashes and perspiration, for longer periods of time.


Mark BlumenthalFounder, Executive DirectorAmerican Botanical CouncilAustin, TX

Sr. Editor, The Complete German Commission E Monographs-Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines and The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs

[Note to Editor: Documentation on black cohosh duration of use can be viewed in ABC's monograph on black cohosh from the recently published reference book and accredited continuing medical education course, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs (2003), available at]