• Not to be used during pregnancy.
  • Not to be used while nursing.

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(Actaea racemosa, syn. Cimicifuga racemosa)
Common names: Black Snakeroot, Bugbane, Bugwort, Cimicifuga, Rattleroot, Rattleweed, Richweed, Snakeroot, Squawroot.

Black Cohosh

© 2003 Karen Shelton     
Parts Used: Root. Methods Used: Water extraction, Alcohol extraction.
Spiritual Uses: None identified to date.

Physical Uses: Black Cohosh is a member of the Crowfoot family of plants which grows on upland hillsides and woods.

Used to repel insects. Snakebite has been treated by applying the fresh bruised root directly to the bite.

Native American women used the root to relieve the pain of childbirth and menstrual cramps.

It has also been used to treat chronic bronchitis, measles, whooping cough, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and rheumatism.

Small doses are effective when treating children for diarrhea.



Tea: (The decoction should be made with recently dried root, if at all possible.)

  1. Add 1 teaspoonful of chopped root to 1 pint of simmering water.
  2. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain out herb and discard.
  4. Dosage is 3 cups per day.

Tincture: (The tincture should be made from fresh or recently dried root, if at all possible.)

  1. Sprinkle 2 ounces of chopped root into cup of 96-proof alcohol. DO NOT USE ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL (rubbing alcohol) or METHYL ALCOHOL (wood alcohol)!
  2. Place in a container with a lid. Cover. Shake thoroughly.
  3. Shake 3 times a day for 2 weeks.
  4. Strain root and discard.
  5. Store in glass in a cool dark place.
  6. For tea, use 15-30 drops of tincture to one cup of water.
  7. Dosage is 3 cups per day.
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