Black Cohosh



Named for its distinctive black roots, black cohosh is one of the most popular sources of relief for women who suffer from uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. It is highly versatile as well, treating most major menopause symptoms. There’s a lot to learn about black cohosh before beginning to supplement it yourself, starting with where it came from.


10 – Quick Facts

  1. Black Cohosh is a flowering plant that gets its name from its black roots.
  2. Native Americans are to thank for it, as they originally used it and later introduced it to settlers from Europe.
  3. Black Cohosh started to gain real popularity in the 1950’s.
  4. It was first used to treat menopause symptoms.
  5. In the past, it has been used to treat everything from sore throats to malaria.
  6. The roots must be dried in order for it to be used.
  7. Side effects are generally very mild.
  8. It is sold in pill or capsule form, as well as a dried root and an extract.
  9. It is often confused with Blue Cohosh but the two have very different effects.
  10. Black Cohosh is also occasionally called “Bugbane”. This is due to it being used as an insect repellent for a short time.


What is Black Cohosh?

Black Cohosh is a herb that originates from North America. It features small white flowers and black roots, which are where it gets its name. Historically the plant was used to treat many different types of illnesses and conditions. It was originally used by Native Americans who then, in turn, introduced it to the European settlers when they arrived to the United States. Some its traditional uses include:

  • Menopause relief
  • Sore throats
  • Snake Bites
  • Disorders of the nervous system
  • Malaria
  • Arthritis

Today it has a much more singular use, primarily being used to treat symptoms of menopause. It is thought to be most effective for easing hot flashes. The part of the plant that is used medicinally is the roots, which are dried and inserted into tablets and capsules. It can also be used in the form of an extract. While the name might sound a bit strange, or even completely made up, it is actually a very simple remedy for common symptoms of menopause.

Menopause symptoms

What are the benefits?

While Black Cohosh can be used to treat a variety of different conditions, almost all of these are symptoms of menopause. According to WebMD it can be useful to treat

It is widely reported by users that Black Cohosh can help to alleviate these conditions, however, research as of now is not completely conclusive. Some experts say additional studies must be done to prove this link conclusively, but for now, many women already use it to effectively treat their symptoms.


Health benefits beyond menopause symptoms

While it may be mainly used to treat menopause, there are some other conditions that black cohosh is reportedly beneficial for.


This is historically thought to be one condition that black cohosh is helpful for. Recent research has further proved this idea and has shown that there may be a link between the substance and lessening symptoms of anxiety.

Promotes Restful Sleep

One little-known fact about black cohosh is that it actually works as a sedative, which means that it can help to produce restful satisfying sleep. This is often helpful for women experiencing menopause, but it can be used by anyone who wants to get a better night’s sleep.

Benefits Digestion

For those suffering from constipation or other digestive issues black cohosh can help the body to remove waste.  


benefits of black cohosh


What are the sources?

There is only one way to get black cohosh; from the plant itself. As previously mentioned there are a few different ways that it can be ingested. Most commonly it is taken by pill or supplement, and many menopause pills today contain certain amounts of it. One example is Restore for Women, which uses the substance as its main ingredient to fight the symptoms of menopause.


Black cohosh pills

Easy Recipes

Black Cohosh is very rarely used in actual recipes. So, if you are looking for a way to get it other than through the extract or supplements, tea is your best bet. Many brands make teas that contain the substance, some even make teas simply called black cohosh tea. You can replicate these yourself though, thanks to this recipe found on Health and Natural World.

Black Cohosh Tea Recipe to Treat Hot Flashes

  • 2 parts black cohosh
  • 2 parts motherwort
  • 2 parts sage
  • 1 part blue vervain
  • 1 part chaste tree berry
  • Mint to taste
  • Honey or stevia to taste

After combining all of your ingredients combine the mixture with one cup of boiling water for every teaspoon of herbs. Then steep for 30 min and strain. You can drink ¼ cups of the tea throughout the day up to three times.


What is the recommended dose?

There is a standard dose of black cohosh. For most people, 20-40 milligrams taken twice per day is enough to alleviate their symptoms. This is when it is taken in standard pill form. Taking an excess of 900 milligrams is actually considered to be an overdose.


Black Cohosh Dosage

Concerns / Interactions

Black cohosh can be an effective way to alleviate symptoms of menopause, however, there are side effects that come with it. Check out this chart for a quick breakdown of who should take it without concern, who should have caution, and who should avoid it. For more information on concerns and side effects follow the link to WebMD

If you are a healthy adult with no known medical conditions it is considered generally safe to use black cohosh.

If you are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant. If you are under the age of 18, have endometriosis, or have had breast cancer, you would take caution when using black cohosh.

If you are currently taking birth control pills, are currently taking sedatives, or are currently going through hormone therapy, you should avoid using black cohosh.

Dong Quai

For those suffering from symptoms of menopause black cohosh can be an extremely effective way to alleviate symptoms and ease the discomfort.

Related: Menstruation Relief With Dong Quai 

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