Black Cohosh

Title: Black Cohosh
Additional Names: Black snake root; bugbane; bugwort; cimicifuga; rattle weed
Literature References: Flowering perennial plant, Actaea racemosa L., also known as Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt., Ranunculaceae. Traditionally used in Native American medicine for gynecological disorders, rheumatism and snake bite. Medicinal formulations are prepared from the dried rhizome and roots. Habit. Eastern North America; cultivated in Europe. Constit. Triterpene glycosides such as actein, 27-deoxyactein, cimicifugosides; isoferulic and salicylic acids; 15-20% cimicifugin; tannin, volatile oils, resin. Description of botany, constituents and medical uses: D. J. McKenna et al., Altern. Ther. Health Med. 7, 93 (2001). LC/MS determn of active triterpene glycosides in commercial formulations: K. He et al., Planta Med. 66, 635 (2000). Review: J. Barnes et al., Herbal Medicines (Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2nd Ed., 2002) pp 141-146.
Derivative Type: Alcoholic aqueous extract
Trademarks: Remifemin (Schaper & Brmer)
Literature References: Review of clinical experience: E. Liske, Adv. Ther., 15, 45-53 (1998).
NOTE: Should not be confused with blue cohosh, q.v.
Therap-Cat: In treatment of menopausal symptons.
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Actaea racemosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Actaea
Species: A. racemosa
Binomial name
Actaea racemosa

Actaea racemosa (black cohosh, black bugbane, black snakeroot, fairy candle; syn. Cimicifuga racemosa) is a species of flowering plant of the family Ranunculaceae. It is native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. It grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and is often found in small woodland openings. The roots and rhizomes have long been used medicinally by Native Americans. Extracts from these plant materials are thought to possess analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Today, black cohosh extracts are being studied as effective treatments for symptoms associated with menopause.[1]