Scientific Name: Caulophylum thalictroides, Berberidaceae
AKA: Papoose Root, Squaw root, Beechdrops, Blueberry Root, Blue Ginseng, Yellow Ginseng.
Parts Used: Root and rhizome
Active Compounds: Alkaloids, including the Llupin-type alkaloids Caulophylline, Methylcytisine, Anagyrine, Baptifoline and Magnoflorine. Saponins such as Caulosaponi, and resin.
Background: Native American Indians believed that Blue Cohosh could induce labor and ease childbirth. They also used it as a treatment for sore throat, colic, epilepsy and arthritis. Victorian era physicians discovered that Blue Cohosh does indeed contain a strong labor inducer and prescribed it as such. More recently, it has been used to treat asthma, anxiety, cough, high blood pressure and to promote healthy menstruation. European researchers have found antibiotic and immune stimulating properties and consider that it may have potential for treating bladder and kidney infections. It was also used by Indians as a contraceptive.
Applications: Uterine tonic, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-rheumatic, Diuretic.
Uterine tonic – Blue Cohosh can be used during pregnancy, under the supervision of a physician, at the threat of miscarriage due to weakness or loss of tone in the uterus.
Anti-spasmodic – Blue Cohosh can ease false labor pains, and at the onset of actual labor can aid in an easier delivery. Can also be used to treat bronchial spasms in asthma and to sooth colic. Blue Cohosh is also known to lessen rheumatic pain.
Blue Cohosh is a perennial plant native to Eastern North America and found near streams and swamps. It features yellow-green flowers with six petals, a fleshy stalk and pea-sized dark blue berries.
Decoction – Place 1 tsp. of dried root in a cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.
Tincture – Take ½ - 2 ml of tincture 3 times per day.
Blue Cohosh should only be used under medical supervision. It can be irritating to the mucous membranes and can cause contact dermatitis. Blue Cohosh should be avoided by anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma or a history of stroke. Do not take Blue Cohosh if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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