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The Healing Properties of Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh

Updated on March 26, 2019
LoisRyan1965 profile image

Lois has over ten years' experience in the home/herbal remedy field. She seeks to inform her readers and help them to save money.

Black cohosh is scientifically known as actaea racemosa. Belonging to the buttercup family, this plant grows mostly in the eastern parts of North America. Found in wooded areas, It is a popular plant, along with blue cohosh , with the Native Americans, where they use the roots and rhizomes to treat a number of health ailments. Since this plant contains many healing properties, all of us can benefit by keeping black cohosh in our medicine cabinets. I have been studying home remedies for over ten years. It not only safer and cheaper than prescription medications, I save money with fewer trips to the doctor's office.


Black Cohosh has many healing properties.
Black Cohosh has many healing properties. | Source

The Health Benefits of Black Cohosh

Black cohosh contains decongestant and expectorant properties. If you have allergies to mold, animal fur, pollen and dust, a tea containing this herb is effective in relieving post nasal drip, sneezing and watery eyes. This herb also helps relieve the symptoms of:

  • Bronchitis
  • Sore Throat
  • Asthma
  • Tonsillitis
  • Coughs
  • Sinus Congestion

Black cohosh contains anti-inflammatory properties. It is an excellent natural pain reliever if you suffer from:

  • Arthritis (including rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Head Aches
  • Back Aches
  • Joint Pain
  • Painful Menstruation

When woman go through menopause they go through a hormonal imbalance because their levels of estrogen are lowered. That is why females experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Even when a female is not going through menopause, they still can get this hormonal imbalance. That is the main reason why some woman go through premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Since black cohosh contains isoflavones, this is an excellent supplement for women to take to help raise their estrogen levels.

Black cohosh is an excellent help in boosting the immune system. If you have a cold or the flu, this herb helps fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including black cohosh in your daily diet. It also contains antiviral properties. If you are suffering from the stomach flu, drinking a tea that contains this herb helps relieve you of vomiting and diarrhea. If you include black cohosh in your daily diet, the antiviral properties of this herb may protect you from catching the stomach flu and other viral infections.

Black cohosh is good for your heart in that it lowers blood pressure. It also reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in your body. By including black cohosh in your daily diet, you will reduce the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke because your arteries will not get clogged up with fatty buildup.


Black Cohosh and PMS

Eight out of ten women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The symptoms contist of both emotional and behavioral and physical symptoms. The emotional symptoms include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in Appetite
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Withdrawal
  • The physical symptoms include:
  • Headache
  • Joint Pian
  • Muscle Pain
  • Water Retention
  • Fatigue
  • Acne Flareups

A female suffering from PMS may not display all these symptoms. For example, one may experience some of the physical signs but none of the emotional ones while another may experience more of the emotional symptoms. It is said that at least 90% of females will suffer at least one of the symptoms of PMS at least once during their reproductive cycles.

For some females suffering from PMS, the symptoms are mild. However, for others the symptoms are so severe that they are so disruptive that they affect the female’s daily life. Whether you suffer from mild or severe symptoms, you want to al least find something to get rid of the symptoms. Since doctors within the medical field are unable to find out what causes PMS, you may way to try another avenue of approach-the natural remedy approach.

The Native Americans did not turn to modern medicine to treat their health ailments and conditions. They turned to plants. Black cohosh was well known for its uses when it came to disorders of the female reproductive system. Even today, this herb is one of the more popular herbs.

It is said that the emotional symptoms of PMS are caused by a drop in estrogen levels. Taking black cohosh helps raise the amount of estrogen in the female’s body and helps elleviate these symptoms.


Have you heard of black cohosh or blue cohosh?

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Black cohosh is an excellent mood elevator. The reason why some females may feel depressed is because of a drop of dopamine and serotonin. Black cohosh mimics the activity of both these hormones and acts as a powerful antidepressant.

Black cohosh contains salicylic acid which is an excellent pain reliever. If you suffer from joint pain and headaches that are brought about by PMS, taking this herb will give you pain relief.

Since it is recommended not to take black cohosh for an extended period of time-it is recommended to use it for no more than three months and to take a three month break from it-there are other herbs you can use to treat the symptoms of PMS.

Chaste berry plays a role in raising the hormones in your body. For an excellent tea, add a teaspoon of dried herbs to a cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for twenty minutes. Drink up to three cups of tea per day.

Yarrow root helps with bloating. This herb contains diuretic properties and helps clean out your kidneys.

If your symptoms include anxiety and irritability try essential oils that contain calming and relaxing properties. Place three drops of sandalwood or orange blossom essential oil in a burner and inhale the aromas.

If you have stomach cramps or spasms many herbs helps relieve this pain. The best ones include:

  • Black Haw
  • Chamomile
  • Kava Kava

Since the symptoms of PMS are similar to those of females who are going through menopause, black cohosh comes in handy if you are going through “The Change.”


Blue cohosh is not as well known as black cohosh, except maybe with the Native Americans.  It still would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the healing properties.
Blue cohosh is not as well known as black cohosh, except maybe with the Native Americans. It still would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the healing properties. | Source

Blue Cohosh

Caulophyllum thalictroides is also known as blue cohosh. "It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern United States, and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil" (Wikipedia). It is a popular herb that is used by Native Americans. One of the main uses was to induce labor in pregnant females, where the herb stimulates the uterus and starts contractions. While this herb is popular with the Native Americans, it is something we should keep in the medicine cabinet because of its healing properties.


The Health Benefits of Blue Cohosh

Blue cohosh is a herb that many females can use. While the main use is to induce labor, it is also beneficial towards females who experience menstrual problems. Some females will have a skipped period, or amenorrhea. Sometimes they experience this because they are either under a lot of stress or suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa. After giving birth, a female may not start her period right away. Other times females have a skipped period for no reason. Blue cohosh plays a role in regulating their monthly cycles.

Blue cohosh contains antispasmodic properties. It is very effective in relieving menstrual cramps. These properties are also effective in treating muscle spasms.

Blue cohosh is a natural pain killer because of its anti-inflammatory properties. This herb is beneficial if you are suffering from arthritis. It is also an excellent pain reliever. It helps get rid of the pain from a headache or sore throat.

Blue cohosh contains expectorant properties. This herb helps with respiratory problems such as

  • Bronchitis
  • Sore Throat
  • Asthma
  • Tonsillitis
  • Coughs
  • Fevers

Blue cohosh is a natural diuretic. While it is effective in treating and preventing kidney infections and stones, it also is an effective aid in reducing water retention.

Blue cohosh contains laxative properties, It is more effective and safer to use this herb rather than the over-the-counter laxatives when you are suffering from constipation.

Blue cohosh contains diaphoretic properties. These properties help promote sweating, which is an excellent way from the body to get rid of toxins.

The berries of the blue cohosh plant
The berries of the blue cohosh plant | Source

Where to Purchase Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh Products

You can find a wide variety of cohosh products at your local health food store and in the natural living section at your local Wegmans. The products include:

  • Supplements
  • Liquid Extracts
  • Herbs
  • Teas

You can also purchase products containing cohosh online at sites such as Amazon and EBay.


Precautions

Some people may be allergic to cohosh. Before using it, test a small area of the skin. If your skin gets red or breaks out, do not use this herb.

Make sure you follow the correct dosage.

Some side effects may include upset stomachs, headaches and weight gain.

Do not take cohosh if you are pregnant or nursing.

If you are planning to gather blue cohosh from the wild, it is best to talk to a qualified herbalist since poisonous plants can easily be confused for this plant.

Before you use black cohosh to treat any health ailment, talk to your doctor. Even though it is safe to take, it may interact with medications, supplements and vitamins you are already taking.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Lois Ryan

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      23 months ago from The Caribbean

      Until now, I had only heard of black cohosh and mainly with reference to its relief for menstrual discomfort. Thanks for all this additional information. Very helpful. Will save to read again.

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