Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) medicinal uses and images

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) medicinal uses and images

Black cohosh is also known as black bugbaneblack snakeroot, and fairy candle. It is a flowering plant that grows in woodland habitats. Its roots and rhizomes have been used medicinally from ancient times. It is a perennial plant that has large leaves growing from an underground rhizome up to 2 metres long. The plant grows anywhere between 4-6 feet high. The plant is herbaceous and belongs to the buttercup family. Flowers bloom early in spring and are white in colour. They do not have petals or sepals, but 55-110 stamens and stigma. They have a unique smell that attracts flies and beetles. The fruits are multi-seeded with one carpel.

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) medicinal uses and images

Common name

It is commonly known as Black cohosh.

Botanical name and family

Botanical name – Actaea racemosa

Family- Ranunculaceae

Geological area where Black cohosh grows

A plant that was grown in America, Black cohosh was used widely by the Native American Indians, for its medicinal purposes. Later the Red Indians introduced it to the European colonists. It became a rage in 1950s for treating women’s health issues. Today, it is grown in many countries including India.

Actaea racemosa flowers

Actaea racemosa flowers

Medicinal use of Black cohosh / Black cohosh benefits

Black cohosh has been used by Native Americans for healing purpose for many years. The roots of the Actaea racemosa is said to have many medicinal values. They used it to cure several gynaecological disorders. Actaea racemosa contains glycosides, isoferulic acids, and phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estrogens, along with several other substances. The plant is used both internally and externally to cure many ailments.

It is also used in the curing of many diseases such as –

  • It is used to cure a sore throat, cough, and cold treatment.
  • Black cohosh is also used to get rid of kidney problems.
  • It is used to avoid depression and other mid related issues.
  • John King, a famous physician, used Actaea racemosa to treat rheumatism and nervous disorders, and the world followed.
  • Black cohosh is used to treat several problems like endometritis, amenorrhea, menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, sterility, severe post-birth pain, and also increased production of breast milk.
  • In today’s world, Actaea racemosa is mainly used as adietary supplement for women to overcome premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and many more gynecological
  • It also has positive effects on age-related disorders such as osteoporosis.
  • Actaea racemosa paste can also be directly applied to the skin to improve its texture.
  • Black cohosh is believed to cure skin conditions such as acne, warts, and
  • Actaea racemosa was also used as an insect repellent.
Actaea racemosa fruits

Actaea racemosa fruits

black bugbane leaf


Actaea racemosa root


One must definitely consult a doctor before taking medicines and dietary supplements of Black cohosh. This is because some people may have side effects due to the components present. Actaea racemosa has similar effects on the body such as estrogens. Hence, it is better if pregnant, and lactating women avoid it. People with measles or breathing problems should stay away from the drugs made of Actaea racemosa. However, it is better if one takes the suggestions of an Ayurvedic expert before any consumption.