Additional notes (click to expand)


In North American medicine, A. pachypoda, Baneberry: Decoction of roots for colds and coughs (Blackfoot). For itch, gargle and toothache (Cherokee). Revive terminally ill (Cherokee, Meskwaki). Male urinary problems (Iroquois). Headache caused by eye strain (Menomini). Root decoctions for convulsions (Ojibwa). Decoction of roots with spruce (Abies) for gastric problems (Cree?). Also as an emetic and purgative.
Austin, Daniel, F. (2004) Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press.

As Cimicifuga racemosa, Black Cohosh – which latter Maberley says is A. spicata and the Plant Finder says the former is A. simplex. Rheumatism, disorders of menstruation, slow labour, and snake bite (‘aborigines’. Chorea, rheumatism, dropsy, hysteria, affections of the lungs (England, 1860).
Milspaugh, C.E. (1974) American Medical Plants


Syn = Cimicifuga racemosa
The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database, available at

Other use

Used as an insect repellent
Plants of Kashmir


Toxic effects: chorea, epileptiform spasms, abortion, nausea, trembling, vertigo, bradycardia.
Milspaugh, C.E. (1974) American Medical Plants

Geographical distribution

  • Northern America

Actaea racemosa L.

Genus: Actaea
Species: racemosa L.
Common names: Black Cohosh
Distribution summary: E.N.America
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H5 - Hardy; cold winter
Habitat: Deciduous forests, damp, shady spots
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: North America (A)
Flowering months: July, August, September
Reason for growing: Medicinal, traditional herbal registration

Back to List