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Blue Cohosh Root

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Blue Cohosh Root (Caulophyllum thalictroides)


Blue cohosh is also called squaw root or papoose root; it is a flowering plant that also bears berry-like fruits that are colored blue. It is native in the United States and in Canada. This plant is often found in wetlands and in swamps. The blue cohosh has distinctive blue green leaves.

The Blue cohosh root is often used for medicinal uses and as a dietary supplement. The blue cohosh root is known to be effective to induce contraception and abortion.

History and Origin

Blue cohosh got its name from the bluish green leaflets that it has. Although the entire plant was used in medicinal treatments. Native American tribes first used this herb for abortion. European herbologists studied the blue cohosh root regarding its effectiveness in the treatment of illnesses and have noted that the high anti inflammatory properties of this herb makes it a powerful anti rheumatic medication as well.

Ancient Uses

The Blue cohosh root was first used by Native American tribes in the treatment of uterine inflammation and in abortion. Although there are more therapeutic uses of this herb, its contraceptive property seems to be the most impacting use of all during the ancient times.

Modern Uses
The Blue cohosh root has anti inflammatory properties that are useful in the treatment of the symptoms of rheumatism. This herb can significantly reduce the pain and swelling of affected joints. Blue cohosh is also a treatment option for worms and parasites within the human gastrointestinal system.

Blue cohosh is still used as a contraceptive treatment causing planned abortion by inducing childbirth in various cultures throughout the world today. The blue cohosh root also has the ability to cure uterine inflammation and is also an effective diuretic as well. This herb is also used to regulate menstrual flow and ease the pain of delivery during child birth.

The Blue cohosh root can also be used for gastrointestinal problems because of its antispasmodic properties treating stomach pain, stomach upset and cramps. It also contains saponins that are great in wound healing and anti- scaring medications.

The Blue cohosh root comes in teas, decoctions, pills and in tablet form as a dietary supplement.

Side Effects

Blue cohosh roots are contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation. It is also not recommended to be used unless supervised by a medical professional or qualified herbalist. If you want to use blue cohosh roots for your illness, it is best to consult your doctor regarding the dosage and adverse effects of blue cohosh roots with your other medications.

Overdose of blue cohosh roots may cause severe gastric upset such as nausea, vomiting and even severe stomach pain. It is encouraged to seek medical help for your illness before using blue cohosh roots as a dietary supplement. Always follow package instructions when using blue cohosh supplements and never self medicate. It is important to stick to your dose, like other herbal remedies, to get the optimum benefit of this herb as well as to prevent the possibility of over dosing. Call your local poison control service or bring a patient to a medical facility at once when and if an over dosage occurs.

Read also: Lanolin Oil

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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