Click on a letter to see pictures and individual herb information with folklore usages.
Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.
Richweed (Black Cohosh) Cimicifuga racemosa, Cimicifuga heracleifolia, Cimicifuga dahurica, Cimicifuga foetida
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)
---Synonyms---Black snakeroot, bugbane, squawroot, bugwort, rattleroot, rattleweed, rattlesnale's root, richweed, Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga
Black cohosh contains several important ingredients, including triterpene glycosides (e.g., acetin and cimicifugoside) and isoflavones (e.g., formononetin). Other constituents include aromatic acids, tannins, resins, fatty acids, starches, and sugars. Formononetin is the active element in the herb that binds to estrogen receptor sites, inducing an estrogen-like activity in the body. As a woman approaches menopause, the signals between the ovaries and pituitary gland diminish, slowing down estrogen production and increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) secretions. Hot flashes can result from these hormonal changes.
The primary traditional use of black cohosh has been as a relaxant, sedative, and antispasmodic. Its effectiveness as a remedy for dysmenorrhea has not been successfully proven, but research suggests a pharmacological basis for its use in treating rheumatism and neuralgia.