Blue Cohosh

Latin: Caulophyllum thalictroides 

Family:  Berberidaceae

Parts Used:   Roots

Taste/Energetics:  Acrid, bitter, warming

Properties:  Uterine tonic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, diuretic, diaphoretic

Actions:  Like Black cohosh, this plant is often used in women’s health, and this one is recommended for helping pregnant women who are challenged by a stalled labor and to ease the birthing pains.  Blue cohosh is also useful for painful menstrual cramping as well as relieving the tension associated with PMS.  It has also been used for those with bronchitis that is prolonged with wheezing, hacking spasmodic coughs.  Also for arthritis and rheumatic conditions.

For mental health concerns I think of this herb for women who are experiencing strong mood disturbance around menstrual cycles.  They may feel anxious, moody, intermittently angry and menstruation may be choppy, irregular or with scanty flow.  It acts as a general relaxant while also promoting more easy flow of blood and qi.  This herb can be good for anyone with a nervous condition who appears cold, deficient, tight and wound up.

Dosage:  1-2 tbsp decoction to pint of water for 40 mins. Most commonly in tincture form 10 drops to 2 ml to 3 x/day.

Contraindications:  Never take when pregnant except funder expert supervision to promote labor at time of birth.  Avoid with other sedative drugs.  Avoid taking for more than a few days in a row.