Black cohosh has several common names such as; black snakeroot, black bugbane, battle weed, columbine-leaved leontice, tall bugbane, cordate rattle top, false cohosh, papoose root. It is native to the north-eastern woodlands of North America and grows in cool, well-drained, and moist soils.


Actaea racemose is a perennial herb with a smooth erect stem, can attain a height of 25–60 cm when in flower.

Part Used

Dried rhizome and roots are used for medicinal purposes.

Traditional Uses and Benefits Black Cohosh (Actaea racemose)

  • Black cohosh traditionally used for the treatment of rheumatism and disorders of menstruation, slow parturition, dropsy, and afflictions of the lungs.
  • Native Americans found this to be a beneficial herb in all manner of pain management and inflammation. Its decoction may cure sore throats (when used as a gargle) and rheumatism. This herb used as emergency medicine when treating snakebites, and at the same time, a little of the juice taken internally.
  • In Chinese medicine, the Black cohosh rhizome has been used to cure inflammation, headache, fever, sore throat, pain, and chills.
  • Black cohosh has sedative, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. In the present day, this herb is used to treat hot flashes, depression, insomnia, night sweats, anxiety, and vaginal dryness.
  • Black cohosh extracts can be combined with St John’s-wort for depression and neurovegetative disorders associated with menopause.

Dosage and Precautions

  • The average daily dose is 40-200m.g. of dried rhizome and root.
  • As a tincture: 1:10. 0.4-2.0 mL, three times daily
  • As an extract: 1:3. 1.0 mL, three times daily.


Black cohosh can cause side effects such as stomach upset, headache, cramping, a feeling of heaviness, rash, vaginal spotting, bleeding, and weight gain.



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