ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

All About Black Cohosh

Updated on September 1, 2013
Black Cohosh, or Actaea racemosa is also known as black bugbane, black snakeroot, and fairy candle.
Black Cohosh, or Actaea racemosa is also known as black bugbane, black snakeroot, and fairy candle. | Source

What is Black Cohosh good for?

Black cohosh is a herb used by some alternative health adherents to induce labor. It is also used to address issues associated with menopause such as hot flashes, PMS, osteoporosis, and acne.

Black Cohosh, also called bugbane, is a variety buttercup. Only the roots are typically used in medicinal preparations.

Research on the effectiveness and safety of black cohosh for treatment of menopausal symptoms is inconclusibe. While some studies show relief, others show no effect. All ofthe studies have only followed women for 6 months or less, so there is no data on the safety of black cohosh for long term treatment.

When is the best time to take Black Cohosh and how much should I take?

The FDA has not issued recommendations on Black Cohosh, so there is no official dosing schedule. The clinical studies on the safety and effectiveness of Black Cohosh, however, have typically used a dosing regimen of 8 mg a day, split into two doses twelve hours apart.

It's important to remember that Black Cohosh may stimulate uterine contractions, so it should not be used by women who are or may become pregnant, unless it is recommended by a doctor.

Have you ever taken Black Cohosh?

See results

Can you get breast cancer if you take Black Cohosh?

Black Cohosh is believed to have an estrogenic effect on the body. Since some breast cancers are believed to be related to the used of estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy, it is natural to be concerned that Black Cohosh might have a similar effects. Studies have neither proved or disproved this, however. The NIH has summarized the studies here.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • SusanMacD profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 

      8 years ago from Odessa, MO

      In any case, girls/women with menstrual problems generally can be fixed up by taking/eating seaweed.

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 

      8 years ago from Odessa, MO

      It's actually hard to find anything very detailed or specific about the Native American use of black cohosh. Some old books say it can be used to regularize the menses of young women whose cycles are irregular, but it seems to me that this would involve taking it beginning after menses and then stopping taking it at the time the next menses was desired. But I have never been able to find detailed directions for this anywhere.

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 

      8 years ago from Odessa, MO

      I've used black cohosh for menopause symptoms and found it very helpful. It relives joint pain related to osteoporosis, since osteoporosis is partly caused by declining estrogen production by the body. Black cohosh, being estrogenic, helps this situation. It also helps mood-related problems caused by low estrogen levels in the body, and I believe it reduces "hot flashes." Since I took black cohosh throughout menopause, I don't know what my menopause would have been like without it, but I suffered less from hot flashes than many other people I knew. (I still had them cccasionally.)

      Black cohosh, taken during menopause, seems to increase sex drive. Taken early in menopause, it will sometimes somewhat restore the menstrual cycle, even after it has stopped.

      During pregnancy, black cohosh is mainly used to prevent miscarriage. This is the stuff Iza gave to Ayla to prevent miscarriage. Native American women leading very vigorous lifestyles may sometimes found black cohosh useful to prevent miscarriage caused by physical demands during pregnancy. For example, a nomadic Native American woman may have spent many days riding horseback while following the buffalo with her tribe, so extra care might be needed to prevent miscarriage.

      I don't think it would be advisable to use black cohosh to induce labor. It seems to have the opposite effect, and would more likely slow labor. But I haven't done the research on this and I'm open to correction.

      If there are midwives among us (wrylilt is a doula), they may be able to tell us what herbs help labor to progress, and their experiences with them.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)