Black Cohosh - Actaea Racemosa
The Homeopathic Uses of Both Black and Blue Cohosh
Black cohosh plant has been used for women's health issues for many years. Some say that it was first discovered by Native Americans who used in for contraception, then passed on their knowledge of the plant to early Pilgrims that colonized early America. Cohosh is no longer recommended for contraception because it does not effectively prevent conception though. A fetus can still begin to develop, but the chances of miscarrying it increase. However, the plant can be used for women who are pregnant in some other ways though.The way that cohosh is used depends on its variety. One type is called black cohosh, and the other is called blue cohosh. Though they are two separate species, they work in conjunction with each other very well. Some herbalists also combine them with penny-royal, which is a type of highly aromatic mint. Blue cohosh is an herb best suited to women who have not yet reached menopause. It tones the uterus and eases menstrual cramps. It is also effective for endometriosis and cervical dysplasia that affect the ability of a woman to conceive a child. Black cohosh acts similarly to estrogen supplements, so it is recommended for women who are struggling with the symptoms of menopause. It alleviates hot flashes and mood swings very effectively. Sometimes, both kinds of cohosh are used simultaneously in the last week of pregnancy to strengthen the uterus, so giving birth to the baby will be less painful. With any herbal remedy, caution should be used when combining them with other types of herbs or medications. Cohosh should not be taken if a woman is already using prescription strength estrogen supplements because it could increase the estrogen in the body too much. Also, cohosh should not be taken if a woman is breastfeeding because it could affect her supply of milk. It is also not recommended for a woman who has not reached at least 40 weeks of pregnancy because it could cause premature labor.
The plant grows to about 2 feet in height and has leaves of a distinct shape. The leaves are green and come in a pointed oval shape. Therefore this provides a very attractive plant to see. The plant is usually found in forests and gardens and usually likes to grow in these environments. This plant usually benefits the most by growing in areas that have adequate rainfall, sunlight and quality soil.
Black Cohosh has a small flower an can grow from southern Ontario, Canada, all the way to Georgia. It can grow as far west as Missouri or Arkansas. Its scientific name is Actaea racemose and is known by many names such as blacksnake or black root. Black Cohosh grows from a tuber or rhizome. It will flower in late spring or early summer. It grows up to 23 inches and in some areas has been known to get as tall as four feet when mature. A flower is not a single flower, but made up of many smaller groups of whitish color pods. It also attracts such pest insects as gnats, beetles, etc. This plant is a very popular perennial with gardeners. Its flowers stay pretty for several weeks and it fairly low maintenance plant. It will grow from spring all the way to summer. It produces seeds that make a rattling sound when they are ready to harvest. Black Cohosh is not only popular with gardeners but has an abundance of medicinal uses as well. The Native Americans used it for several different things from a mild sedative to a pain reliever. They also used this plant for sore throats, arthritis, kidney trouble and many, many more. Native Americans even used this plant to treat snake bite. Today, you can find Black Cohosh in any nutritional store and many pharmacies as an herbal supplement to one’s diet. It is used most often in hormone replacement therapy, menstrual cramps and hot flashes. It has been medically proven to have an estrogen-like effect. If you are looking to find this herbal plant growing in the wild, you are most likely to find it growing in a shaded area along with other plants such as ginseng, trillium or bloodroot. This plant prefers rich, moist dirt and a shady area to grow. However, it will tolerate some sun, but the soil still needs to have good drainage and remain moist. This plant can grow from seed, and, however, it does better when started from the tuber or rhizome. It can grow in the garden, landscape area or natural area. When planting, cover the rhizome with about 2 inches of dirt, and you will need to plant them at least 24 inches apart to allow plenty of room for growth. It does help to add mulch over the dirt to hold the moisture in and keep the soil damp and moist. Planting Black Cohosh from seed can be a tedious process. The seed of this plant has to be treated before it will germinate. Most of the time when planted from seeds, the plant will not come up for about two years, so it is much easier to grow from the rhizome. Black Cohosh is a favorite of quite a few animals in the forest or woodlands. Deer, rabbits, even snails love to snack on this plant. It is also subject to insects such as beetles. This plant has been known to be one of the fastest growing and most popular herbal plant in several years. It is very popular and has had several successful clinical studies done. Black Cohosh is used in medications for acne, osteoporosis, anxiety and even sore throat. This plant was once used as an insect repellent and was called bugbane. There are several varieties of the cohosh plant. There is blue and white cohosh, but they do not produce the same desired results like the Black Cohosh. In the medical field, Black Cohosh roots that are used. Some say that this plant contains chemicals that work similar to serotonin, which could indicate that it could be used for depression, although this is still in the clinical trial stage. It has been clinical that although Black Cohosh is a popular herb, it can also cause gastric problems and headaches. Some medical professionals also think that taking this herbal medication for long periods of time can do damage to the uterus and the breasts. Some clinical studies have even reported some liver damage. Although there are many uses for this herbal remedy, such as relief from arthritis and muscle cramps to treating menopausal symptoms, it would be smart to do your homework before beginning to take this medication for a long term treatment. People who have asthma should consult their physician before taking this medication. And of course, it is not wise at to take this medication if you are pregnant as not enough is known about this herb affects pregnant women. It is not completely understood by medical professionals how Black Cohosh works. There are many clinical trials in progress now trying to understand this plant. Some of these trials are still in the early stages, and results do vary. It is recommended that people who have certain conditions, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and to help aid in fibroid tumors until more clinical studies have been completed. The Black Cohosh brings some side effects that might make one reconsider taking this herb as part of a daily supplement. It can cause gastric problems, such as heartburn, headache and nausea, low-blood pressure and profuse sweating. Do not ingest too much of this herb it can cause visual problems, heart problems, liver damage and even seizures. This plant can interfere with other medications since it does effect the hormones. Taking too much research needs to be done
on your part. Talk with your doctor before starting this and also consider the medications that you currently are taking and any allergies you may have. This herbal medicine may prove to be very valuable to the medical community, but there are many studies that need to be completed in order for physicians and pharmacists to be confident when recommending it as a supplement.
The black cohosh plant is great for any yard. Plus it is adaptable to different soil types. So it can survive and grow just about anywhere. It is a white plant with something that kind of looks like little white pearls. Then there is also little white things on it that look like little trees. It is a very attractive plant that I'm sure you will love. As far as landscaping for the plant, it can be used in a number of ways. The plant can be a great addition to any garden along with providing a nice decoration for a properties front yard as well.
Black Cohosh is a close relative to the buttercup and daffodil family.
This perennial has a small bloom which is white and look similar to a feather. The leaves are bushy and full. The blooming season is June and July. This perennial is quite tall and can reach heights up to 8 feet tall. The Black Cohosh is increasingly getting more popular because of its many herbal treatments. The Black Cohosh makes a great addition to any home or landscape.