Blue Cohosh Caulophyllum thalictroides

  • Common Names
  • Blue Cohosh Root , squaw root
  • Botanical Name
  • Caulophyllum thalictroides
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Blue Cohosh Root

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How to Use: Blue Cohosh

Blue cohosh is considered to be one of the best herbs to bring on menstruation, and is one of the traditional herbs used to induce labor in natural childbirth.2,3 It contains the phytochemical calulopsponin which actively stimulates uterine contractions and promotes blood flow to the pelvic region. 1 Blue cohosh is generally used in combination with other herbs, often black cohosh, to treat menstrual disorders. The herb's powerful antispasmodic properties are helpful in relieving the menstrual cramps of a painful period. 2

The Iroquois used it to treat arthritis - research also suggests the plant possesses some anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties. 1

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Blue cohosh can be prepared as a tea or a tincture. The brew is dark, bitter, but a powerful remedy for the woes of menopause, arthritis pain. Blue cohosh extract is widely available in capsule form.

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Blue Cohosh Remedies

Blue Cohosh Side Effects: Because of its strong uterine stimulant properties, blue cohosh should not be used at any time during pregnancy, except in the last week, under the supervision of a qualified herbal specialist. It can cause premature uterine contractions leading to miscarriage and/or abortion. The seeds are poisonous.

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Plant Description

  • Flowers:Inflorescence a loose raceme or panicle ; peduncle arising from the base of the upper leaf; flowers purplish' or yellowish-green.
  • Plant Class:erect, perennial herb, attains a growth of from 1 to 2 1/2 feet
  • Leaves:Leaves large, triternately decompound, the upper much smaller and biternate ; leaflets 2 to 3 lobed, obtusely wedge-shape at the base
  • Fruit: The berries are mawkish, insipid, and without special flavor. The seeds are said to resemble coffee when roasted.
  • Root: Root horizontal or contorted, wrinkled and branched, showing many up-right nodules, bearing at their summits the scars of previous stems, and giving off numerous cylindrical, branching rootlets from the older portions
  • Preferred Habitat:
  • Flowering Season:April to May, before the full development of the leaves
  • Distribution:The Blue Cohosh is indigenous to the United States, growing abundantly in moist, rich woods, from Canada southward to Kentucky and the Carolinas. 3

Regional Traditions :North America *

How to Grow Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh Snakeroot - - Caulophyllum thalictroides is on the United Plant Savers "At Risk" list. Wildcraft this plant responsibly and consider growing it if you have suitable garden space. Moist, shady, forest like soils.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook(2000)
  2. Gladstar, Rosemary Herbal Healing for Women (1993)
  3. Millspaugh, Charles F. "American Medicinal Plants" (1882)
    There is hardly an American remedy in our Materia medica that needs and probably merits a more thorough proving, upon females especially than Caulphyllum, and the sooner it is done, the better able will we be to cope with many of our most obstinate uterine cases.