Black cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa, is a perennial herb native to North America. It belongs to the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family. It has many common names that vary by region, including black snake root, macrotys, squaw root, bugwort, rattleweed, and bugbane. Many of these names are related to the herb's traditional uses. Black cohosh was part of the US Pharmacopeia in the early 1900s and is still used as an herbal supplement today. However, the plant also poses various risks that anyone considering its use should take into account.


1. Medicinal Properties

Black cohosh has irregular roots with a rough texture. Cohosh means "rough" in some Native American languages. The rhizomes, or underground stems, and roots of black cohosh have some medicinal purposes thanks to their concentration of alkaloids, tannins, and terpenoids. Black cohosh is now cultivated in Europe and sold prepared in tablets, capsules, extracts, and as a dried root.

what is black cohosh Giorez / Getty Images


This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.