Black Cohosh

Latin names: Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa
Other names: black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort, macrotys, rattleroot, rattleweed

What is Black Cohosh?

Black cohosh is a perennial plant native to North America. Black cohosh is probably best known as an herbal remedy for a variety of gynecological disorders. The root and rhizome are generally used for health benefits. Black cohosh also appears in many American gardens because of its ornamental, deeply cut burgundy leaves. Despite the similar name, black cohosh is not to be confused with blue cohosh, which is used to remedy an entirely different set of maladies.

What are the health benefits of Black Cohosh?
Black cohosh has a history of use by Native Americans as a remedy for menstrual pains, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and other gynecological disorders. There are mixed results on studies regarding the efficacy of black cohosh in relation to these disorders, but it has been effective when used and administered for short-term treatment. Specific symptoms that are treated with black cohosh are sleep and mood disturbance, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes. Black cohosh is also used to treat arthritis and muscle pain.

Are there any precautions for taking Black Cohosh?
Black cohosh has been known to cause headaches and stomach discomfort, and it is unclear of its safety for pregnant women or women who have had breast cancer.

Where can I find Black Cohosh?

Black cohosh is available as a tincture, tea, capsule, or solid extract, and can be found at herbal specialty stores, health food stores, and online.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.