Black Cohosh

Actaea racemosa


Black cohosh is an indigenous North American woodland plant used by First Nations women as a menopausal aid, an emmenagogue and menstrual regulator. Phytosterol-rich roots are as effective at relieving menopausal symptoms as estrogen. Cherokee use the root tincture to treat chronic rheumatism and infusions to relieve pain, ease tension, reverse fatigue, and treat insomnia. Malecite drink it to remedy kidney disorders. The Penobscot, Winnebago and Dakota use it to relieve lung congestion, bronchial spasms, menstrual disorders, snakebite and diarrhea. In the Appalachians, infusion of black cohosh root eases sore throats.

A cup of dried root infusion or 20-40 drops of fresh root tincture daily, promotes estrogen production, eases hot flashes, tones and strengthens pelvic muscles, helps relieve pain (headaches, stiff neck, back pain, stiff, swollen joints), quiets nervous irritability, is grounding, relieves tension, protects the heart, thins the blood, nourishes the adrenals, supports kidney function, treats incontinence and alleviates fluid retention. Indicated for one in a dark, fearful or brooding mood, perhaps with difficulty concentrating and/or a history of sexual abuse and alcoholism. The flowering plants are attractive to pollinators, most especially honey bees.

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