Black Cohosh – Used to Induce Labor and Other Benefits

Black cohosh or Actaea racemosa, a perennial plant found in North America, is used for several ailments.  It belongs to the buttercup family and is also known as snakeroot. Black cohosh is available in the form of capsule, tea and tincture. Although not supported by the theory, but black cohosh is said to work in the same way as does the estrogen.

What ailments does black cohosh treat?

It is most popular as a medication to control the symptoms of menopause including headache, mood swings, night sweats, hot flash, heart palpitations, sleeplessness and dryness of vagina.

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Black cohosh is also used for regularization of periods, induce labor and relieve PMS symptoms. Other conditions for which black cohosh is used include lowering down the blood pressure and to ease arthritis pain. Some studies show that black cohosh also helps prevent or treat prostate cancer.

Quantities of black cohosh to be taken

Black cohosh medication is prepared from roots and underground stems. Commercially black cohosh is available with the name Remifemin which is the extract containing 20 mg of root per tablet. These tablets which are the made from root extracted with isopropyl are prepared from solution of black cohosh roots with ethanol.

The standard black cohosh extract is 26-deoxyactein which belongs to a group of chemicals named saponins. The black cohosh preparation that is commercially available contains 1 milligram of triterpene saponins in every 20 milligram of dose. To treat symptoms of menopause, 20 to 40 mg tablets of standard black cohosh extract should be taken two times a day.

Black cohosh dose varies from person to person depending upon the symptoms. In any case, not more than 900mg of black cohosh should be taken as it is considered as an overdose.

How does black cohosh work?

The roots of black cohosh contain various chemicals which are useful for medicinal purpose. These chemicals interact with the immune system to fight against the diseases such as to reduce inflammation, problems with nerves and brain. These chemicals work much similar to a chemical in brain known as serotonin. The work of this chemical is to help brain in transmitting messages to different parts of the body.

The roots of black cohosh also work similar to estrogen, a female hormone. Where in some parts of the body, it increases the estrogen effects; it decreases the effects in other parts. However it should not be assumed that black cohosh is a replacement to estrogen. It would be better to think of it as an herb that works similar to estrogen.

Precautions and side effects

•             Pregnant and breast-feeding women should refrain from taking black cohosh as black cohosh is assumed to be unsafe for them. Because black cohosh works as estrogen, it multiplies the risk of miscarriage.

•             Women having breast cancer or have a history of breast cancer or are at a threat of breast cancer should avoid taking black cohosh as it may worsen the cancer.

•             Black cohosh is said to worsen conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and other similar hormone related conditions that are associated with female hormones. This is also because black cohosh works like the female hormone estrogen.

•             People having protein S deficiency are at a risk of increased blood clot. Black cohosh has hormone like effects so it increases a risk of blood clots.

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•             It is reported that taking black cohosh in conjunction with alfalfa results in kidney transplant rejection. Although it is not yet proven but people who have had kidney transplant in the past should avoid taking black cohosh.

Black cohosh to induce labor

Black cohosh is a powerful herb that is used to induce labor particularly when the cervix is ripe. Black cohosh is available is available in a tincture form both and can be taken as water-based or alcohol-based. Black cohosh regulates the contractions and works to make it more effective.

6 to 10 Black cohosh should be taken every ½ an hour and should be continued for at least one day or until when the labor starts. If you take black cohosh for one day, skip taking it the next day and repeat it the third day. It is easily available for around $10 at herbal store.

Instructions on taking black cohosh for labor:

It could be dangerous to take black cohosh without taking advice from your physician. Following are the steps you need to follow for proper intake of black cohosh to induce labor:

•             Take sound sleep at night

•             Next early morning, add 15 to 20 drops of B and B tincture in Luke warm water and have it.

•             Prepare this mixture and drink it every hour for next five hours

•             Eat good food in lunch

•             Start taking the same mixture again every hour until your dinner time

•             If you do not get contractions, stop taking the mixture

•             Repeat the same procedure every third or fourth day

Black Cohosh Pictures


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