Actaea racemosa health benefits and side effects (Black cohosh)

Black cohosh or Actaea racemosa is a herbaceous perennial plant produces large compound leaves. The root is a rhizome, and plant reaches a height of 30-60 cm. The leaves at the base are 1 meter long and broad. They form repeated sets of three leaflets and has coarse tooth margin. Flowers bloom in late spring on a tall stem that is 75-220 cm in height. It forms racemes 50 cm long. The flowers have no petals or sepals. The tight clusters contain 50-100 flowers. They are white in colour. The stamens are 5-10 mm long. The roots and rhizomes are used medicinally.

Black cohosh Plant (Actaea racemosa): Information, uses and dosage

Actaea racemosa health benefits and side effects (Black cohosh)

Common name

The common names for this plant include Richweed, Rattleweed, Black Snakeroot, Bugbane, Chinese Black Cohosh, Squawroot, Fairy Candles, and Black cohosh among others.

Botanical name or family

The botanical name is Actaea racemosa. It belongs to the Ranunculales family.

Geographical places where Actaea racemosa plant grows

It is native to North America, and you find it south of Ontario and spreads to Central Georgia. In the west, it grows up to Missouri and Arkansas.

Black cohosh Medicinal uses

The medicinal value of the Black cohosh plant is due to the presence of chemicals such as phytoestrogens, glycosides, and isoferulic acids.

Treat PMS (menopausa): This serves as an alternate therapy for hormonal treatment for menopause symptoms. These symptoms include hot flashes, excessive sweating, mood disturbances, vaginal dryness, and palpitations. Reports suggest that the use of Black cohosh could improve the symptoms for up to one year, but this must be substantiated.

There are no oestrogen receptors, but the short-term use shows benefits. This is a safe substitute for women who will not or cannot take oestrogen replacement therapy for menopause. This was seen in a study where women were given Black cohosh, conjugated oestrogens, or placebo. The women who took Actaea racemosa reported improvement in symptoms after a three-month period of treatment. The number of occurrences of hot flashes dropped from the usual 5 to 3.5 daily occurrences.

Treat snakebite: For those who suffer snakebite, the poultice of Black cohosh makes an effective treatment option. This reduces the intensity of the snakebite and counteracts the poison. Alternately, one could make a decoction of the leaves of the plant and have it.

Actaea racemosa flower fruit leaves and root

Alleviate pains of pregnancy: Women, who are having a difficult childbirth, can get relief using Actaea racemosa.

Mild sedative: It shows a mild sedative action. So, you can use it to relieve mild depression and anxiety in patients. Mix a preparation of the Black cohosh with milk and have it. This should give you good relief.

Antibacterial nature: The Black cohosh shows a good antibacterial property. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it to the exposed parts of the skin to get good benefit. You can also make a decoction and spray it in the areas where you need protection.

Antifungal property: It demonstrates good action in restricting the growth of fungus. This is helpful for many applications where fungal growth is predominant as in hair, nails, and skin. People with athlete’s foot, candidiasis, and ringworm can use the preparations of Actaea racemosa. Find home remedies for athlete’s foot.

Shows antipyretic nature: Black cohosh tea have been used since the olden times for controlling fevers. Oral preparations along with other medication are used for curing fevers. One must not use older preparations but make a fresh batch every time as this could lead to an overdose.

Useful as a diaphoretic: In many situations, patients have problems with their sweating. The use of Black cohosh as a diaphoretic proves beneficial. You can have a tea made with the leaves of the plant and have it twice a day.

Relaxant property: The use of Actaea racemosa as a relaxant is widely known. It helps people who are overwrought and anxious to become calm and collected. You can use the freshly made tea made with good result. Those who are pregnant must exercise caution while using the Black cohosh tea.

Helps reduce inflammation due to osteoarthritis: It helps reduce inflammation in joint related diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Apply a freshly made paste of the leaves on the joints before going to bed and in the morning. You can have fresh tea made from the leaves and improve your condition significantly.

Helps alleviate anxiety: in a study, it was seen that the women with anxiety were in a better condition when they took Black cohosh as compared to those who took diazepam or oestrogens.

Help nervous disorder patients: Black cohosh produces a calming effect on the person. It removes the stress and anxious thoughts from the brain. In doing so, the patient becomes more stabilised, and their nervousness begins to disappear. One must use the preparations of Actaea racemosa for at least two months to see any positive benefits.

Treat endometritis: Endometritis is not a life-threatening condition, but it causes discomfort. Usually, this condition is caused by an infection, and the lining of the uterus gets inflamed. You can use Black cohosh to treat the condition.

Helps treat bleeding disorders: The primary dysmenorrhea occurs in women when they have their periods. The absence of periods is amenorrhea, and the excess bleeding is termed menorrhagia. These can be treated effectively with Black cohosh preparations.

Cure sterility: When there is low sperm count in the sperm, or the man is unable to cause pregnancy in a fertile female, it is known as sterility. You can induce better sperm production using Black cohosh preparations.

Also Read: Treat male infertility naturally

Increase breast milk production: Use the crushed leaves in the form of tea, to improve breast milk production during nursing.

Black cohosh Side effects

Long-term use could thicken the lining of the womb. This could increase the risk of womb cancer. There were reports of the liver damage and increased presence of lead when one used Black cohosh. It could cause slow heart beat and low blood pressure. Weight problems too were present. So, it must be taken with caution.

Large doses of Black cohosh could produce symptoms of poisoning, such as dizziness and nausea. It also promotes miscarriage. People with breathing trouble or measles should not use Actaea racemosa. Also, people with excess in upper regions and deficiencies in the lower regions of the body should not use this. Thus, it is important to consult an expert before taking it!


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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