Herbs Guide

Black Cohosh

Family Name: Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name(s): Cimicifuga Racemosa

Popular Name(s): Black snakeroot, bugbane, squawroot, bugwort, rattleroot, rattleweed, rattlesnale's root, richweed, Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga, Sheng Ma, Chinese black Cohosh

Parts Used: Root

Habitat: Black Cohosh is a shrub-like plant native to the eastern deciduous forests of North America, ranging from southern Ontario to Georgia, north to Wisconsin and West to Arkansas.

Description: Black Cohosh is a stately perennial, 3-8 feet tall, topped by a long plume of white flowers (June-September). The leaves are large and pinnate compound; the leaflets are irregularly shaped with toothed edges.

Uses: Black Cohosh is also used to relieve menstrual cramps and the mood swings of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The primary traditional use of black cohosh has been as a relaxant, sedative and antispasmodic.