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Black Cohosh

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 7, 2021.

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 (Capoten), metoprolol (Lopressor), amiodarone (Cordarone), or losartan (Cozaar).

  • Take extra care 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

  • 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

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.