Blue Cohosh is a perennial herb with yellowish-green flowers that mature into bitter, bright-blue seeds. It grows in woodlands of the eastern and midwestern United States. Its roots are collected in the autumn and used for medicinal purposes.
Blue Cohosh has the scientific name Caulophyllum thalictroides and is also known by the names squaw root, papoose root, blue ginseng and yellow ginseng. It contains a number of substances known to have effects on various parts of the body. These substances include quinolizidine alkaloids, N-methylcytisine and lupine alkaloids.
Herbal supplements can alter the effects of certain drugs, including prescription medications. Always tell your Doctor about any prescription medications, non-prescription medications, herbs or other dietary supplements you are taking. There were no major drug interactions reported for Blue Cohosh at the time of writing.
Blue Cohosh contains several chemicals that can have powerful effects on the body and it should not be taken without prior consultation with a Medical Practitioner. Always consult your Health Care Professional for advice on dosages and any possible medical interactions.
Blue Cohosh is used to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps and to suppress profuse menstrual bleeding caused by endometriosis.
Blue Cohosh is used by some herbalists to induce menstruation in women suffering irregular or absent periods or amenorrhoea.
Blue Cohosh is used to induce and strenghten uterine contractions to initiate labour.
Blue Cohosh is promoted as being able to treat menopausal hormone imbalances and the consequent side effects of these imbalances.
Blue Cohosh has been used as a diuretic to eliminate excess fluids, as an expectorant to treat congestion, and to promote sweating in order to eliminate toxins from the body.
Pregnant women and women attempting to fall pregnant should avoid Blue Cohosh because it has been found to have a very toxic effect on the unborn baby.
There are reports that the use of Blue Cohosh during childbirth may have toxic effects on the baby. It contains chemicals that can severely interfere with the baby's heart.
Excessive consumption of Blue Cohosh can cause nausea, headaches and high blood pressure.- In Ireland, products containing Blue Cohosh are only available on medical prescription.