Blue Cohosh

Caulophyllum thalictroides, Berberidaceae. The root and rhizomes are used.

The roots and rhizomes are collected in the autumn, as at the end of the growing season they are richest is the needed chemicals.

Functions of blue cohosh

Like raspberry leaves and black cohosh, blue cohosh has both stimulating and relaxing properties which assist in childbirth.

  • During labour it produces contractions that are regular and effective interspersed with a good relaxation period. It is particularly effective when the delay in labour is due to weakness, fatigue or the lack of uterine power.
  • The relaxation properties are useful when tension produces uterine irritability with false labour pains (Braxton-Hicks contractions).
  • The antispasmodic action is also used for stomach and menstrual cramps. It is also used with colic, asthma and nervous coughs.
  • It also has a reputation for easing rheumatic pains.

Note on blue cohosh

  • Do not use blue cohosh in the early stages of pregnancy. It is best used when labour has commenced.
  • It works well in combination with black cohosh to help facilitate childbirth.
  • It is best used under the supervision of a health professional.


Decoction: place 1 teaspoonful of the dried root in a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 1-2ml of the tincture three times per day.



Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

Marcin, M. M. 1990, Herbal Teas: Growing Harvesting and Brewing. Collins.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.




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