Black Cohosh

Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD.
Black Cohosh

Scientific Name:

Cimifuga racemosa

Other Common Names:

Bugbane, Cohosh Negro, Raíz de culebra negra.

Parts of the plant used:

The root and rhizomes (underground stems).

How is it used?

Black Cohosh root is mainly used as an extract, tablet, tincture or decoction (boiling parts of the root in water).

What is it used for?

The root of this plant is used to treat various gynecological conditions such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain and symptoms related to menopause, such as hot flashes, increased perspiration, headache, nervousness, irritability and sleep disturbances. Black Cohosh apparently does not possess estrogenic action.


•Avoid in pregnancy and lactation. •Avoid use in patients with estrogen receptor – positive (ER+) tumors. •Continuous treatments should be limited to a maximum of 6 months. •Patients with high blood pressure, kidney or liver ailments should consult with a health professional before taking this herb. •Occasional gastrointestinal discomfort has been reported as a possible side effect. •High doses may cause dizziness, impaired vision, vomiting and circulatory problems. •Do not confuse with Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), which is an entirely different plant.


Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-medication and self-diagnosis: Always be on the safe side!