Black Cohosh Health Benefits, Medicinal Uses and Side Effects

Are you looking for a natural way to reduce the symptoms of menopause? If so, then you may want to consider black cohosh. This herb has been used for centuries to help ease the transition during menopause and reduce hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and other symptoms. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of black cohosh and discuss how it can help you manage the symptoms of menopause. We’ll also provide tips on how to get the most out of the herb and offer advice on how to find the best quality products. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to manage your menopause symptoms, keep reading to learn more about black cohosh.

Origin and History

Black cohosh is native to North America and has been used as an herbal remedy by Native Americans for centuries. It was first described in 1825 by John Torrey, an American botanist. It occurs frequently on hillsides and in woods at higher elevations. Grown in the U.S. and Canada, the Native Americans used the rhizome or underground stem of this plant to cure rattlesnake bites, giving it one of its common names, rattleroot, and for rheumatism and gynecological problems. It became popular in Europe in the late 19th century, and has been used in traditional herbal remedies to treat a range of women’s health issues. Black cohosh can restore female hormonal balance. It is now widely available in supplement form. Brewed in a tea which was then sprinkled around a room, it was said to prevent the presence of evil spirits. Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is different black cohosh.

Black Cohosh Nutritional Value and Calories Chart

Black cohosh does not contain any significant amounts of vitamins or minerals. It does, however, contain a variety of compounds that may be beneficial for human health. These include triterpene glycosides, isoflavonoids, and flavonoids. These compounds may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and may also possess some hormone-balancing properties. Nutritional value per 100 g black cohosh:

  • Biotin: 0.25 mcg
  • Calcium: 73.5 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 9.1 g
  • Chloride: 21.2 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 0.5 mg
  • Chromium: 0.2 mcg
  • Copper: 0.3 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Energy (Calories): 34 kcal
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Iodine: 0.3 mcg
  • Iron: 0.7 mg
  • Magnesium: 21.7 mg
  • Manganese: 0.1 mg
  • Molybdenum: 0.2 mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.5 mg
  • Phosphorus: 38.7 mg
  • Potassium: 242.6 mg
  • Protein: 1.6 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Selenium: 0.2 mcg
  • Sodium: 9.8 mg
  • Sugars: 0.3 g
  • Vitamin A: 5.6 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 15.5 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 4.7 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.7 mg
  • Vitamin K: 0.4 mcg
  • Water: 7.1 g
  • Zinc: 0.2 mg

Black Cohosh vs Vitex

These are both herbs that are commonly used for the treatment of various medical conditions, such as menopause symptoms, PMS, and infertility. Black Cohosh is an herb native to North America and has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and depression. It has also been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation and improve mood. Vitex is an herb native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries to treat menstrual irregularities, PMS, and infertility. It is thought to work by influencing hormones in the body, such as estrogen and progesterone. The primary difference between Black Cohosh and Vitex is in their potential side effects and interactions with other medications. While Black Cohosh has been found to be generally safe and well-tolerated, Vitex has been known to cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue in some people. Additionally, Vitex may interact with certain medications, such as birth control pills, so it is important to speak with your doctor before taking either herb.

Black Cohosh vs Blue Cohosh

Thses are both plants that have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Black cohosh is a perennial herb native to North America, while blue cohosh is an annual herb native to Europe and Asia. Both herbs have been used to address issues related to women’s health. However, black cohosh is more commonly used for these purposes, as blue cohosh can have more side effects. Black cohosh is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-spasmodic properties, while blue cohosh has been used to stimulate labor and reduce pain during childbirth.

Black Cohosh for Female Health

It is a popular herb used to treat women’s health issues, such as menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, and premenstrual syndrome. It is also used to reduce the risk of certain cancers and osteoporosis. While research on black cohosh is limited, it is generally considered safe when used in recommended doses. However, it should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women without medical advice.

  1. Menopause Symptoms: Black cohosh is a herb that has been used historically to treat menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, headaches, vertigo, heart palpitations, nervousness, ringing in the ears, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. However, its efficacy has been disputed in several studies. Some studies suggest that it may be effective in relieving hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, while other studies have found no benefit. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of black cohosh for menopause symptoms. Black cohosh does not increase estrogen levels. It has been shown to act on hormones in the body in a way that can provide relief from symptoms associated with menopause, but it does not increase estrogen levels. It improves hormone balance for premenopausal and menopausal women affected by rosacea. To help control hot flashes and night sweats, take 1/2 to 1 milliliter of black cohosh in tincture form two to four times a day. To make it more palatable, add the tincture to half a glass of juice or water.
  2. PMS: Research suggests that it may help reduce some of the symptoms associated with PMS, such as cramps, irritability, and mood swings. It may also help reduce bloating and breast tenderness. While research is still ongoing, many women find it helpful in relieving their PMS symptoms.
  3. PCOS: In recent years, research has found evidence that black cohosh may be beneficial in treating PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Studies have shown that it can reduce levels of androgens, which are hormones that are associated with PCOS. It may also help to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, black cohosh has been found to improve menstrual regularity and reduce symptoms of PMS. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, black cohosh may be a beneficial treatment option for those with PCOS.
  4. Infertility: Black cohosh is an herb that has traditionally been used to treat a variety of female reproductive issues, including infertility. It is believed to help regulate hormones and promote ovulation, which can increase the chances of conception. However, there is not enough scientific evidence that proves its effectiveness for this purpose. As with any herbal remedy, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking black cohosh for infertility.
  5. Fibroids: While there is limited scientific evidence to support its efficacy in treating fibroids, some studies have suggested that it may help reduce symptoms associated with the condition, such as cramping and heavy menstrual bleeding. In one small study, black cohosh was found to reduce the size of fibroids in women who had not yet entered menopause. Some experts suggest taking the supplement in combination with other herbs, such as vitex and red clover, for optimal results. However, it is important to note that black cohosh is not a substitute for medical treatment and should only be used in combination with a doctor’s advice. As with any supplement, it is important to discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider before taking it.
  6. Skin Health: Black Cohosh has long been used as a natural remedy for skin health. It contains phytoestrogens which have been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It may help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin texture and elasticity, and reduce the effects of skin aging. It may also help to reduce redness and itching, and may even have anti-aging properties. Additionally, it may help to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of black cohosh on skin health.

In India

The herb is not native to India, but it is widely used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is used to treat a variety of ailments, including menstrual cramps, menopause symptoms, and joint pain. The herb is available in the form of supplements, tinctures, and teas. It should be noted that there have not been any clinical studies conducted on the use of black cohosh in India.

  • Scientific Binomial: Actaea racemosa / Cimicifuga racemosa
  • Common English: Black Snakeroot / Fairy Candle / Rattleroot / Bugbane / Richweed
  • Sanskrit
  • Hindi / Urdu
  • Bengali
  • Marathi: Osadi
  • Telugu
  • Tamil
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam: kammunista pachcha
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

Health Benefits

It is believed to have numerous health benefits, including the following:

  • Inflammation: This herb may help reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Heart Health: Studies suggest that it may help reduce total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, thereby potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It may also help reduce inflammation and improve arterial function. Additionally, it may also have a protective effect on the heart by reducing blood pressure and improving blood vessel health. While more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits, black cohosh may be a promising natural supplement for heart health.
  • Anxiety and Depression: Black cohosh is an herbal supplement that may be beneficial for treating symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is sometimes used as an alternative to prescription medications and is commonly used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Studies have found that black cohosh may help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, particularly in postmenopausal women. However, more research is needed to confirm its efficacy. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements, including black cohosh, as it may interact with other medications or have potential side effects.
  • Immune System: It is a herb that is sometimes used to boost the immune system. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and may help the body fight off infections. Some studies have shown that black cohosh may have potential benefits for the immune system, including reducing inflammation, stimulating immune cells, and increasing the production of immunity-boosting proteins. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects. Black cohosh should be used cautiously, as it may interact with certain medications and supplements. It should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • For Males: This herb is not generally recommended for use by men, as there is not enough research to suggest it offers any benefits. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, but there is not enough evidence to back up its efficacy. However, some men have reported positive results from using black cohosh. These include improved libido, better mood, and reduced muscle tension. It may also help to reduce inflammation and aid in the relief of arthritis pain.
  • To Treat Tinnitus: For tinnitus caused by blood congestion or pressure in the head, try black cohosh. Use 10 – 30 drops of tincture diluted in water, and drink it as often as necessary.

Grow at Home

Black cohosh grows best in moist, rich soils with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. The plant prefers partial to full shade and is not tolerant of extreme temperatures or drought. The ideal climate for black cohosh is a temperate one with temperatures ranging from 30°F to 90°F.

  1. Start with a good-quality seed: Buy black cohosh seeds from a reputable source to ensure that you get the best quality.
  2. Prepare the soil: Black cohosh prefers a soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and that is well-draining and high in organic matter.
  3. Plant the seeds: Plant the seeds approximately 1/4 inch deep in the soil.
  4. Water regularly: Water the soil around the herb regularly, making sure that it stays moist but not soggy.
  5. Fertilize: Fertilize the plant once every two weeks with a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous.
  6. Watch for pests: Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, slugs, and Japanese beetles. If you notice any of these pests, treat them with an appropriate insecticide.
  7. Harvest the flowers: When the flowers appear, it’s time to harvest. Cut the flower stems just below the flower heads and use them for medicinal purposes.

The optimal time to plant black cohosh is in early spring, after the last frost has passed. The United States is the largest producer of the herb, followed by Germany, China, India, and Canada.


Black cohosh can be propagated by seed, root division, and stem cuttings.

  • Seeds: Collect the seeds in the fall when the fruits turn yellow and begin to split open. Plant the seeds in a warm, well-drained soil.
  • Root Division: This can be done in the early spring or fall. Carefully dig up the clump and separate out the roots. Replant the divided roots in a warm, well-drained soil.
  • Stem Cuttings: Take 6-inch stem cuttings in the late spring or early summer. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant in a well-drained potting mix. Keep the soil moist and in a shady location. After a few weeks, new roots should form and you can transplant the cuttings into the garden.

Side Effects and Disadvantages

  • Common side effects include stomach upset, headache, rash, itching, nausea, sweating, dizziness, and joint pain. It may also cause vaginal spotting or bleeding.
  • People with liver disease should not take black cohosh. People with hormone-sensitive conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast or uterine cancer should also avoid taking this herb. The herb can also interact with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor before taking it.
  • Black cohosh should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, as it may cause adverse effects in the fetus or newborn. It should also not be taken by children under the age of 12.


Q. What is the folk remedy for depression with black cohosh?
Where nervous exhaustion or depression are present, black cohosh should be combined with St. John’s wort. Tincture made with black cohosh and other herbs is useful in stress or simple chew as a sedative to help with depression.

  • Take one pint of water and boil it.
  • Once started boiling add 1 ounce black cohosh along with herbs
    • 1 ounce lobelia seed
    • 1 ounce skullcap
    • 1 ounce skunk cabbage root
    • 1/2 ounce cayenne
  • Boil it for 1/2 hour.
  • Add 1 pint of apple cider vinegar and bottle for use. 
  • 8 to 15 drops in cup of hot water according to requirement. 

This is also useful for shock, epilepsy, hysteria, lock jaw, poisonous bites and stings. 

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