Caulophyllum thalictroides Common name: Blue Cohosh
Part Used: Rhizome and Root
Constituents: Alkaloids (methycytistine, anagyrine, bapitfoline, magnoflorine), steroidal saponins (caulosaponin, caulophyllosaponin)
Medicinal actions: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, vermifuge, uterine tonic, parturifacient (facilitates labour), emmenagogue, anti-rheumatic
Medicinal use: Is a plant that comes to us from the North American Indians. It is an excellent uterine tonic that may be used in any situation where there is weakness of loss of tone. It increases blood supply to the uterus via vasodilatation and is indicated in conditions of uterine weakness and loss of tone due to chronic inflammation (ie. cervicitis, chronic PID, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, ovarian pain and/or inflammation, dysmenorrhea, and irregular menses). Because of its antispasmodic action, it will ease false labour pains, however, when labour does ensure, the use of Blue Cohosh just before birth will help ensure an easy delivery. As an emmenagogue it can be used to bring on a delayed or suppressed menstruation while ensuring that the pain that sometimes accompanies it is relieved. It may be used in cases where an anti-spasmodic is needed such as in colic, asthma or nervous coughs. It has a reputation for easing rheumatic pain.
Pharmacy: Decoction: 1 tsp./cup; 1 cup TID. Tincture (1:5, 45%) 1-3 ml TID. Fluid Extract (1:1, 70%) 0.5-1 ml TID.
Toxicity: Nausea, headache, increased blood pressure at doses 3-4 x greater than those listed above. There are 2 cases in the literature of fetal harm (both associated with improper used including overdosing and use for too long a period of time); otherwise non-toxic.
Interactions: None known.
Contraindicated: Early pregnancy