Black Cohosh
Botanical name: Actaea racemosa

Established 1996.

We are proud to be not just for profit and activists for plant freedom.


Status message

Active context: herbpage

Black Cohosh

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Happy Herb Company does not invite reliance upon, nor accept responsibility for, the information provided here. The Happy Herb Company makes every effort to provide a high quality information for educational and entertainment purposes however neither The Happy Herb Company nor any of its affiliates give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided. Users should confirm information and seek medical advice. 

Black Cohosh hails from North America, and was introduced to Western herbalism by the Native North American tribes who have been using it for centuries. It is a powerful relaxant and helps to normalise the female reproductive system.

It is used for painful and delayed menstruation, and cramping. It also has a balancing action on female sex hormones and can be used to normalise hormonal activity. It is used to facilitate childbirth to aid contractions while easing tension.

Black Cohosh is also used in the treatment of rheumatic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis as well as for muscular and neurological pain and sciatica. It improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure and body temperature by dilating blood vessels.

It is a relaxing nervine, and can be useful for anxiety & tension. As a central nervous system depressant it inhibits vasomotor centres that are involved with inner ear balance and hearing, and is used (even by allopathic doctors) for tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

As an antispasmodic, it is used for respiratory conditions such as whooping cough.

Precautions / Contraindications: 

Black cohosh contains small amounts of salicylic acid, so people with allergies to aspirin or salicylates should avoid black cohosh. People with a history of blood clots or stroke, seizures, liver disease and those who are taking medications for high blood pressure should not use black cohosh

David Hoffman (1990), The New Holistic Herbal, p.181
Kathy Keville (1991), The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia, pp.66-67