Black Cohosh Root is also known as Black Snakeroot, Black Bugbane, Fairy Candle.
It is a native North America and grows in a variety of habitats but mainly in woodland and forested areas. It is often found in small woodland openings. Both the rhizomes and the extended roots have been used by First Nationals (Native American Indians by any other name) for their medicinal qualities Extracts from these plant materials are thought to possess analgesic anti inflammatory and sedative properties.
The root is reported to be a highly effective herb for treating menopausal hot flashes. Black Cohosh Root stimulates oestrogen-like activity in the body, and should be taken in fairly high doses twice a day for best results. Women undergoing oestrogen replacement therapy should consult their doctors prior to supplementing with Black Cohosh Root.
The plant used to be classified as a Cicimifuga but recent studies have shown that Carl Linnaeus was absolutely right when he originally classified the plant within the Actaea genus. Blue Cohosh belongs to an entirely different species – Caulophyllum thalicroides
Constituents and Uses of Black Cohosh Root:-
The active constituents in black cohosh, that are reported to provide its medicinal value, include triterpene glycosides (e.g. acetin and deoxyactein) and isoflavones. Additional ingredients that may lend to its medicinal value include aromatic acids, resins, fatty acids, tannins, starches and sugars.
As a woman reaches menopause, oestrogen production decreases while luteinizing hormone (LH) secretions start to increase. The result is often that the woman suffers intense hot flashes. Studies suggest that black cohosh has some oestrogen regulating ability and may also decrease LH secretions whereby dampening the severity of hot flashes associated with menopause.
Black Cohosh can be taken in the form of the fresh or dried root, in tea form or as a liquid extract or tincture. It is also available commercially in capsule and tablet form.