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Name: Blue Cohosh

Biological Name: Caulophylum thalictroides

Berberidaceae

Other 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.

History: 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.
Contemporary herbalists recommend the herb as a menstruation promoter, labor inducer, asthma, anxiety, cough, arthritis, and high blood pressure.

Remedies For: Uterine tonic, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, anti-rheumatic, diuretic.

Blue Cohosh is an excellent uterine tonic that may be used in any situation where there is a weakness or loss of tone. It may be used at any time during pregnancy if there is a threat of miscarriage. (Consult your physician.) Similarly, because of its anti-spasmodic action, it will ease false labor pains and dysmenorrhea. However, when labor does ensue, the use of Blue Cohosh just before birth will help ensure an easy delivery. In all these cases it is a safe herb to use. As an emmenagogue it can be used to bring on a delayed or suppressed menstruation whilst ensuring that the pain that sometimes accompanies it is relieved. Blue Cohosh may be used in cases where an anti-spasmodic is needed such as in colic, asthma or nervous coughs. It has a reputation for easing rheumatic pain.

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.

Dosage: 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.
Tincture: take 0.5-2ml of the tincture three times a day.

Combinations: To strengthen the uterus, blue cohosh may be used with False Unicorn, Motherwort and/or Yarrow. To increase its anti-spasmodic effects, combine with Scullcap and/or Black Cohosh.

Safety: 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.
No one with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or a history of stroke should use blue cohosh.


USE ONLY WITH THE SUPERVISION OF A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL. NOT RECOMMENDED.

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