Name: Blue Cohosh
Biological Name: Caulophylum thalictroides
BerberidaceaeOther Names: Papoose Root, Squawroot, Blue Cohosh, Beechdrops, blueberry, blue ginseng, squaw root, yellow ginseng.
Parts Used: Root & Rhizome
Active Compounds: . Alkaloids, including the lupin-type alkaloids caulophylline (= methylcytisine), anagyrine, baptifoline; and magnoflorine. Saponins known as caulosaponin.
The Indians believed that
blue cohosh triggered labor and hastened childbirth. Blue Cohosh does contain a
very powerful ingredient that can induce labor. So, it should be done only under
the supervision of a medical professional. Indians also used this herb to treat
sore throat, hiccups, infant colic, epilepsy, and arthritis. Some Indian women
drank a strong decoction as a contraceptive. The herb was introduced in US
pharmacopoeia as a labor inducer from 1882 to 1905.
Uterine tonic, emmenagogue,
anti-spasmodic, anti-rheumatic, diuretic.
Animal studies in India have shown that this herb inhibits ovulation; thus, there may be something to the American Indians' using it as a contraceptive.
European researchers have identified some antibiotic and immune-stimulating properties in blue cohosh. It may have potential in treating bladder and kidney infections.Description: Blue cohosh is a perennial plant found in eastern North America, near running streams, around swamps, and in other moist places. The round, simple, erect stem grows from a knotty rootstock and bears a large, tri-pinnate leaf whose leaflets are oval, petioled, and irregularly lobed. The 6-petaled, yellow- green flowers are borne in a raceme or panicle. The fruit is a pea-sized, dark blue berry borne on a fleshy stalk.
Decoction: Put 1
teaspoonful of the dried root in a cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer
for 10 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Blue cohosh can be very
irritating to mucous surfaces and can cause dermatitis on contact. Do not inhale
or introduce it to your eyes. Children have been poisoned by the berries.
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