The knotty black rhizome and root of black cohosh contain substances that act like the female hormone estrogen. A leafy perennial, it is prescribed for several menstrual and menopausal conditions. In Germany, black cohosh is a key ingredient in the three drugs used most often to treat menopausal disorders. Black cohosh also acts as a sedative and is believed to promote urination, dry up discharges of fluid, aid in expelling mucus from the lungs and relieve spasmodic conditions such as the coughs that accompany whooping cough and tuberculosis. Laboratory tests on animals suggest that one of the components of black cohosh, actein, may help in the treatment of high blood pressure.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally for:
Over the counter:
Black cohosh is available as tinctures, syrup, capsules, fluidextract, and also as dried root and rhizome.
Decoction: 1/2 tsp. powdered rootstock per cup of water boiled for 30 minutes and cooled. Lemon and honey can be added to take away the bitter taste.
Combination: The dried herb mixed with skullcap, wood betony, passionflower,and valerian makes a mild tranquilizer.