Black cohosh, a member of the buttercup family, is a hearty, herbaceous perennial of up to 8 feet tall, with a long plume of white flowers at the top and leaves that are irregular and serrated on the edges. The root is black when harvested in the fall. Black cohosh has for centuries been used medicinally by Native Americans. Today, it is used to treat menopause.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Quebec, Canada; Ontario, Canada; Iowa; Missouri; Arkansas; and east of the Mississippi, excluding Wisconsin, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Emmenagogue, nervine, tonic, febrifuge, diuretic, and used to treat headache, colds, cough, constipation, backache, gynecological conditions, kidney disorders, poor lactation, hormonal depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, symptoms of menopause
For all conditions, boil a small handful of chopped root in 1 gallon water for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep an additional 30 minutes. Strain, and sip a cup per day. You may wish to add a small amount of ginger to improve the infusion's strong flavor.