Black cohosh (also known as black snakeroot, bugbane, or rattleroot) has a sweet, pungent, and slightly bitter flavor. Various glycosides including actaeine and cimicifuga racemosum, estrogenic substances, triterpenes, isoferulic acid, and tannin in ... *
Black cohosh (also known as black snakeroot, bugbane, or rattleroot) has a sweet, pungent, and slightly bitter flavor. Various glycosides including actaeine and cimicifuga racemosum, estrogenic substances, triterpenes, isoferulic acid, and tannin in the root all effect the systems of the body that include the liver, spleen, stomach, large intestine, and nervous system. The root exhibits antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, and alterative properties that can be useful in supporting complaints such as nervousness, spasms, neuralgia, menstrual pains (just before or during labor), asthma, and coughs.
Black cohosh can be used to help support many nervous complaints. It can be used to help support nerve pains, heaviness, numbness and neuralgia generally. It is also commonly used as an emmenagogue to help support menstrual pains and the pangs of childbirth. Ideally, it should be given in combination with other similar herbs.
For nervousness and insomnia combine equal parts black cohosh root, skullcap, wood betony, passion flower and half part cayenne pepper. For menstrual pains and the pangs of childbirth, combine it with blue cohosh, raspberry leaf, camomile and ginger. To regulate joint pain it can be combined with equal parts angelica root, prickly ash and guaiacum. For asthma and bronchial spasms, it is combined with wild cherry bark, elecampane root and mullein.
Since it has a reputation of facilitating delivery, 10 to 15 drops of the extract can be taken three times daily a week before delivery due date or during the actual time of delivery itself.
Black cohosh was one of the primary ingredients in the once famous proprietary product called Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, commonly used for the potential to help support symptoms of "female complaints." Clinical research from Germany and corroborated by herbalists worldwide has shown its estrogen-like activity. In fact, one study by Lehmann-Willenbrock and Riedel, of women who had had a complete hysterectomy with accompanying menopausal symptoms, found that extract of black cohosh was as effective as various estrogenic drugs in supporting symptoms. Black cohosh is highly effective at supporting menopausal hot flashes in women. It is especially effective when combined with various synergistic herbs, such as vitex and dang gui in formulas.
Common names are black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort, rattleroot, rattleweed, richweed, and squawroot. This herb is antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, and sedative. It supports sinus and asthma symptoms by reducing congestion and mucus buildup and eases cough. Black cohosh is used to bring down cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, help support joint pain. Natives used it to help support symptoms of women's ailments, and it is considered a potential way to help support symptoms of hot flashes and menstrual cramps.
Plant Facts and Growing Tips
Plant: This is a native North perennial found on hillsides and woods at higher elevations. A close relative to the buttercup, it's a large, creeping plant with a knotty rootstock. Black cohosh produces clusters of strong-smelling white flowers from May to August.
Height: 3 to 8 feet.
Soil: Well drained, rich, moist.
Exposure: Partial to fill sun.
Propagation: Division in fall; in cold areas, in early spring before growth starts.
Care: Needs ample water.
Part Used for Tea: Root, collected in fall after leaves have fallen and fruit has appeared.
Taste: Bitter, pungent, and astringent.
How to Brew
By Decoction: Simmer 2 teaspoons root in 1 pint water. Drink one cup twice daily to help support pain and swelling of joints, or to provide support to menopausal women.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the flavor character on this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea "straight-up."
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or "milky" when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!
Black cohosh should not be used during pregnancy. It is a uterine relaxant that is often used to induce labor at the end of term.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."