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Black Cohosh

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 30, 2022.

What are other common names?

  • Actaea macrotys
  • Actaea racemosa
  • Cimicifuga racemosa
  • Baneberry
  • Black Aristolochiaceae
  • Black Bugbane
  • Black Snakeroot
  • Bugbane
  • Bugwort
  • Cimicifuga
  • Cimicifuge
  • Cohosh Negro
  • Cohosh Noir
  • Cytise
  • Fairy Candle
  • Macrotys
  • Phytoestrogen
  • Rattle Root
  • Rattle Top
  • Rattleroot
  • Rattlesnake Root
  • Rattletop
  • Rattleweed
  • Remifemin
  • Rhizoma Cimicifugae
  • Sheng Ma
  • Snakeroot
  • Squaw Root
  • Squawroot
  • Traubensilberberze
  • Wanzenkraut

What is this product used for?

Black cohosh is taken by some people to help with signs of menopause, like hot flashes.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Do not use this product if you are breastfeeding.

  • Do not use this product if you are taking drugs for heart failure. These are drugs like captopril, metoprolol, amiodarone, or losartan.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs for high blood pressure.

  • Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Cancer

    • Liver problems

    • Heart problems

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach or cramps

  • Rash

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away or call for emergency help.

  • Signs of liver problems. These include upset stomach or throwing up, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, not hungry.

  • Changes in menstrual cycle

  • Change in heart rate or pulse

  • Very bad dizziness

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

  • Vision problems

  • Very bad sweating

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements

Last Reviewed Date


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