Black cohosh

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(Redirected from Cimicifuga racemosa)
Black cohosh
Scientific classification
Species:C. racemosa

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a herbal medication included in dietary supplements designed for women which may help the symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause and other gynecological problems. It was thought that black cohosh contained estrogen-like chemicals, but recent research suggests that it works by binding to serotonin receptors.

Cimicifuga racemosa (also known as Actaea racemosa) is a perennial plant, native to North America. It is a member of the buttercup family, and grows 9 feet tall, with white, unpleasant smelling flowers.

Native Americans used black cohosh to treat other disorders as well, including sore throats and kidney problems.

There are few direct side-effects, except for occasional gastric discomfort, and rare hepatic dysfunction. Because of its oestrogen-like effects, it may promote metastasis of breast cancer tissue. (In an experiment done on mice, black cohosh increased metastasis of cancer to the lungs, but did not cause an increased incidence of breast cancer.)

Black cohosh should not be used during pregnancy or lactation; it was once thought to contain formononetin, a plant estrogen, yet recent studies of black cohosh and popular preparations based on it ("Remifemin")indicate it contains no detectable formononetin. Previous indications of formononetin could have been caused by unintentional contamination with other plant species. Black cohosh has been used as an abortifacient.

Garden uses: Cimicifuga racemosa in dependably moist, fairly heavy soil it can grow as much as 9 feet tall, though usually closer to 6 or 7. Cimicifuga bears tall tapering racemes of white midsummer flowers on wiry stems, whose mildly unpleasant, medicinal smell at close range gives it the common name 'Bugbane.' The drying seed heads stay handsome in the garden for many weeks. Its stylish deeply cut leaves have made it welcome in American gardens, wherever summer heat and drought do not make it die back. It is a good unusual perennial to fill gaps left by Narcissus.

A garden selection with black-purple stems, C. racemosa 'atropurpurea' ranks among the choicest garden perennials.

Cimicifuga ramosa , a somewhat smaller, later-flowering Cimicifuga, is also sometimes used in moist gardens, especially in its bronze-leaved selections.

External links

Section Eclectic herbal information

Section Herbal information

  • Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh) ( HerbMed
  • Black Cohosh ( (pdf) Longwood Herbal Task Force
  • Black Cohosh ( Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre

Section Homeopathic information


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