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Black Cohosh Herb

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S):Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. Family: Ranunculaceae. Plants associated with cohosh (although white cohosh and blue cohosh are quite distinct) include other Cimicifugaspecies, Macrotys actaeoides and Actaea racemosa L.

COMMON NAME(S):Black cohosh, baneberry, black snakeroot, bugbane,squawroot, rattle root.

Black cohosh is a shrub-like plant native to the eastern deciduous forests of North America, ranging from southern Ontario to Georgia, north to Wisconsin and west to Arkansas. Black Cohosh stimulates estrogen-like activity in the body, and should be taken in fairly high doses twice a day for best results. Women undergoing estrogen replacement therapy should consult their doctors prior to supplementing with Black Cohosh.

History

The roots and rhizomes of this herb are used medicinally. Traditional uses include the treatment of dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, and rheumatisms. A tea from the root has been recommended for sore throat. The Latin name cimicifuga means "bug-repellent" for which the plant has been used. American Indians used the plant to treat snakebites.

The old-time remedy "Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound" from the early 1900s contained many natural ingredients. one of which was black cohosh.

Botany :- Black cohosh grows in open woods at the edges of dense forests from Ontario to Tennessee and west to Missouri. This perennial grows to 240 cm and is topped by a long plume of white flowers that bloom from June to September. Its leaflets are shaped irregularly with toothed edges. The term "black" refers to the dark color of the rhizome. The name "cohosh" comes from an Algonquian word meaning "rough," referring to the feel of the rhizome.

Uses of Black Cohosh

Black cohosh has been used to help manage some symptoms of menopause and as an alternative to HRT therapy. It may be useful for hypercholesterolemia treatment or peripheral arterial disease.

Side Effects of Black Cohosh

  • Overdose causes nausea, dizziness, nervous system and visual disturbances, reduced pulse rate, and increased perspiration.
  • Breast-feeding or pregnant women should not take black cohosh.
  • If you suffer from heart disease, check with your doctor before trying black cohosh.

Dosage

Black Cohosh can be taken in the form of the fresh or dried root, or as a liquid extract. It is also available commercially in capsule and tablet form. Black Cohosh is taken orally. The usual daily dosage is 40 milligrams, but because the strength of commercial preparations may vary, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions whenever available.

Toxicology

Overdose of black cohosh may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, nervous system and visual disturbances, reduced pulse rate, and increased perspiration. The constituent actein does not possess toxicity in animal studies.

Large doses of the plant may induce miscarriage. Black cohosh is contraindicated in pregnancy and may cause premature birth in large doses.

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