Black cohosh grows in open woods at the edges of dense forests from Ontario, Canada to Tennessee and west to Missouri. This perennial grows to 2.5 m and is topped by a long plume of white flowers. The term “black” refers to the dark color of the rootstalk. The name “cohosh” comes from an Algonquian word meaning “rough,” referring to the feel of the rhizome.Relieves menstrual cramps and arthritic pain; commonly used to ease menopausal symptoms.
The roots and rhizomes of this herb are used medicinally. A tea from the root has been recommended for sore throat. The Latin name cimicifuga means “bug-repellent” and the plant has been used for this purpose. American Indians used the plant to treat general fatigue, kidney ailments, malaria, rheumatism, sore throat, and gynecological disorders (eg, menstrual cramps, ease of labor). North American colonists used the herb for treating menstrual disorders, bronchitis, nervous disorder with spasms, swelling, fever, hysteria, itch, back pain, nervous disorders, snakebite, yellow fever, and uterine disorders. In traditional Chinese medicine, the herb was valued for its ability to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and lower fevers.
Very rare case reports of liver damage (likely due to misidentified herb); purchase only from reputable supplier.