Actaea (Cimicifuga) racemosa

Cimicifuga racemosa                Common name:  Black cohosh

Part Used:  Root and rhizome (dried)

Constituents:  Triterpene glycosides (actein, cimigoside, cimifugine, racmoside), isoflavones, isoferulic acid, volatile oil, tannin, alkaloids, saponins, salicylates, resin (cimicifugin).

Actions: Anti-spasmodic, Estrogenic, Sedative, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Uterine tonic, Anti-rheumatic

Medicinal use: Musculoskeletal, respiratory, and female reproductive systems. The anti-spasmodic and analgesic actions on the female reproductive system make it useful for treating spasmodic dysmenorrhea or any spasm or tension of the female organs. Has been researched and utilized extensively in the management of menopausal symptoms.


  • Triterpene glycosides (actein, cimicifugoside, cimigoside) have anti-cholesterol activity, are hypotensive, and cause peripheral vasodilation.
  • Isoflavones and acids possibly responsible for estrogenic effects.

Pharmacy: Decoction: 2-3 g/500ml water, 1 cup TID. Tincture (1:2), 2 ml TID. Fluid Extract (1:1, 90%) ,1 ml TID.

Contraindications: Early pregnancy. Use caution with estrogenic dependent tumors.

Toxicity: Minimal to none. Extreme overdose may rarely cause adverse effects (sedation, hypotension, nausea, dizziness, headaches).

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