Header Header








Tell me about...

Black cohosh

What is black cohosh?

Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family. It is a tall, flowering plant that grows in the U.S. and Canada, with a black stem and small white flowers. Black cohosh gets its name in part from an Algonquin word meaning "rough" in reference to the plant's root structure. It is also called black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort and squawroot.

Why do we need black cohosh? What is it used for?

Black cohosh's roots and rhizome are used medicinally. Black cohosh contains several ingredients, including glycosides (such as acetin and cimicifugoside) and isoflavones (such as formononetin). Other items found in black cohosh include aromatic acids, tannins, resins, fatty acids, starches, and sugars.

Native Americans used black cohosh for a wide range of conditions, from gynecological problems to rattlesnake bites. Studies conducted in Europe suggest that black cohosh may combat the effects of hot flashes associated with menopause; however, it is not thought to be a substitute for hormone replacement therapy in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Another recent study suggests black cohosh may protect animals from osteoporosis. This effect has not been duplicated in human studies.

How much black cohosh should I take?

The recommended dose is 40mg of black cohosh per day. Make sure to consult with your health provider for the proper dosages and types of black cohosh available.

What forms of black cohosh are available?

Powdered black cohosh root is widely available at most health food stores. It can also be found in teas, extracts (both solid and liquid) and tinctures.

What can happen if I take too much black cohosh? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

The German Commission E has recommended that patients should not take black cohosh longer than six months at a time. Some patients taking high doses of black cohosh have reported mild side effects, including abdominal pain; diarrhea; dizziness; headaches; nausea; tremors; and a slowed heart rate.

Pregnant women should not take black cohosh, especially during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, because an overdose of the herb may stimulate contractions and lead to premature birth. Patients taking birth control pills or on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should also avoid black cohosh.

Other Resources :

The More You Know About Nutrition

Subscribe to "To Your Health" our free e-mail health newsletter.

Ask a DC

Find a Chiropractor Near You


  • Beuscher N. Cimicifuga racemosa L.– black cohosh. Z Phytotherapie 1995;16:301—310.
  • Blumenthal M (ed.) The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998.
  • Gruenwald J. Standardized black cohosh (cimicifuga) extract clinical monograph. Quart Rev Nat Med Summer 1998;117—25.
  • Liske E, Wüstenberg P. Therapy of climacteric complaints with cimicifuga racemosa: a herbal medicine with clinically proven evidence [abstract #98.0020]. Poster presentation. Ninth Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society, Toronto, Canada, September 16—9,1998.
  • Stoll W. Phytopharmaceutical influences atrophic vaginal epithelium. Double-blind study on cimicifuga versus an estrogen preparation. Therapeutikon 1987;1:23—32.


Designed by Dynamic Chiropractic

To report inappropriate ads,click here

Advertising Information | About Us | DC Deals & Events Newsletter | ChiroFind | ChiroPoll | Chiropractic Directory
Chiropractic Mailing Lists | Chiropractic Product Showcase | Classified Advertising | DC News Update Newsletter
Discussion Forums | Event Calendar | For Chiropractic Students | Link to Us | Meet the Staff
Other Sources | Previous Issues | Research Review Newsletter | Site Map | Webcasts

[ Home ] [ Contact Us ]

Other MPA Media Sites:
DynamicChiropractic | DynamicChiropractic Canada | ChiroFind | ToYourHealth | AcupunctureToday
MassageToday | ChiropracticResearchReview | SpaTherapy | NutritionalWellness | NaturopathyDigest

Privacy Policy | User Agreement

All Rights Reserved, Dynamic Chiropractic, 2011.