Black cohosh is an herb that was used in Native American medicine and was also used as a home remedy in the 19th century. Now it is used for hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause. It has also been used for menstrual irregularities and for the commencement of labor.
"The underground stems and roots of black cohosh are commonly used fresh or dried to make strong teas (infusions), capsules, solid extracts used in pills, or liquid extracts (tinctures)."
Black cohosh is also known as black snakeroot, macrotys, bugbane, bugwort, rattleroot and rattleweed. Its Latin names are Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa.
Black cohosh is very different from the herb blue cohosh which is also known as Caulophyllum thalictroides.
United States Pharmacoeia experts recommend that women not use black cohosh if they have liver problems or symptoms such as abdominal pain or jaundice. These situations are uncommon but some scientists are cautious about effects black cohosh may have on the liver.
Be sure to keep your doctors informed about any complementary and alternative practices so that they can provide treatment that is safe and effective.