Black Cohosh Herb Uses and
Cohosh has a long history of use by Native Americans and as an alternative
medicine by early settlers. It was used mainly to treat painful periods
and problems associated with the menopause, used in conjunction with St.
John's Wort it has proven to be effective in treating hot flushes and
other menopausal problems. Black Cohosh is believed to be useful for
treating a range of other complaints; including tinnitus and high blood
pressure. The fresh flowers have a strong odor and are effective insect
Black Cohosh contains Acetic-acid, Actein, Ascorbic-acid, Butyric-acid,
Cimicifugin, Formononetin, Gallic-acid, Isoferulic-acid, Oleic-acid,
Palmitic-acid, Salicylic-acid, and Tannic-acid. It is a powerful cardiac
stimulant and has a sedative effect on the nervous system. Research
has shown that Black Cohosh root has estrogenic activity and reduces
levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries
production of progesterone. Used as an alterative, antidote,
anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, birthing
aid, cardio-tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue (to promote
menstruation), expectorant, hypnotic, tonic and to treat rheumatism.
Large doses can cause poisoning.
Black Cohosh is a
native North American perennial herb, found from southern Canada to
the Appalachian Mountains and as far south as Georgia and Missouri.
It grows mostly on hillsides and in open woods in moist rich soil.
Black Cohosh grows to about 8 feet tall and bears a handsome long
plumb of white flowers from June to August. The leaves are pinnate
and compound with irregular tooth leaflets. The rootstock is knotty
and scared with old growth. The rhizome of the root is black and
rough, Cohosh is a Native American word for rough, hence Black
How to Grow Black Cohosh
Black Cohosh is a hardy perennial in shaded
areas to zone 3. Grow in shaded areas, requires watering to thrive.
Sow seed 1/4 inch below soil surface in a flat in
the late Summer. Plant in rich, moist ground in Spring.
Easily propagated by division. Black Cohosh prefers humus rich soil, like
that found in the woods. It will self sow its seed and can grow into big
patches under the right conditions.
Black Cohosh Seed
Folklore and History
Black Cohosh root was used by Native
Americans to treat snake bite and as a ceremonial herb to bring visions.
The root was thought by some early American settlers to be the main
ingredient in witches brew, and any female caught with it in her
possession was burned as a witch.
Gather Black Cohosh rootstock in the fall
after the fruit has formed. Wash roots carefully, blot with paper towel or
absorbent cloth. Dry in a well ventilated area away from smoke, pets and
pests, preferably on wire racks.
Black Cohosh Decoction: Add 2 tsp. dried
rootstock to 1 pint of water, boil and let cool. Give 2 to 3 tbsp. up to
six times a day.
Black Cohosh Tincture: Soak 2 to 3 oz.
powdered rootstock in 8 to 12 oz. Vodka for 3 weeks shaking the jar 1 or 2
times a day. Strain, give 5 drops 3 to 4 times a day.
Article by Deb Jackson
& Karen Bergeron
and Tinctures with Black Cohosh,
Botanical.com : Black Cohosh
American Cancer Society Black Cohosh Fact Sheet
Cohosh: Nature's Versatile Healer
Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine : Black cohosh
Black Cohosh: A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research
Guide to Internet References
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