Actaea racemosa

PCD3619_IMG0015

Brandsford, W. D. (1988). Actae racemosa var. racemosa. Retrieved from: http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=9316

Botanical Name: Actaea racemosa/Cimicifuga racemosa
Common name: Black Cohosh, black snakeroot (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
Family: Ranunculaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 428)
Parts used: root and rhizome (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)

History/Folklore: Traditionally used in North America to treat snakebites hence its common name (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)

Constituents: triterpene glycosides (incl. actein, 23-epi-26-deoxyacetin, cimiracemoside A and cimicifugoside); aromatic acids (incl. ferulic, isoferulic and aceryl caffeic acid); resins; tannins and fatty acids (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 428).

Actions

  • Hormone modulation (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 185)
    • Suppresses Luteinising hormone (LH) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Antirheumatic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Spasmolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 430)
  • Antioxidant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 430)

Indications

  • Conditions requiring a reducing of LH levels
    • Infertility
    • Miscarriage
    • Cyst formation
    • Ovarian tumorigenesis
    • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Menopausal symptoms (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 427, 430-433; Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 186; Beer & Neff, 2013)
  • Arthritis and rheumatism (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Neuralagia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Sciatica (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Menstrual disturbances (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427; Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 187)
  • Disorders or the respiratory tract (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Tinnitus (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Osteoperosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Dried root/rhizome decoction: 0.9-6g/day
  • Liquid extract (1:1): 0.9-6mL/day
  • Tincture (1:5): 3.0-7.5mL/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)

 

Cautions

  • High doses may cause frontal headache (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 427, 436)
  • Commission E suggests treatment should no exceed 6 months (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 427)
  • Caution to be taken in individuals with oestrogen-sensitive malignant tumors (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 435)
  • Long term use is associated with liver damage (low incidence) (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 435, 437; Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 187)

 

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy and lactation (despite traditional use for assisting childbirth) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 428)
  • Individuals with pre-existing liver disease (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 435)
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