Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh

Every woman’s botanical friend

By WENDY RICHARDS-LA CROIX

In the 19th century, herbs were utilized a lot more by the medical profession than they are at present. Sometimes by consulting a few of the old medical reference works published back then we are better able and understand, from a clinical perspective, that therapeutic benefits and limitations of particular plants.

One such authority now frequently consulted is John V. Shoemaker, M.D. His Practical Treatise on Materia Medica & Therapeutic (Rev. 7th Ed.) was a standard textbook for many medical students in the eastern United States from 1889 to 1910. For over 31 years, Dr. Shoemaker was a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Medico Chirurgical College in Philadelphia, where several thousand aspiring doctors benefited from his lecturers.

Dr. Shoemaker had many good things to say about black cohosh: “The menstrual flow is increased, and some aphrodisiac qualities have been ascribed to it.” Futhermore, “…it is beneficial in melancholia, especially when that condition is associated with functional or organic uterine or ovarian disorder.” It had also been “found useful in rheumatoid arthritis” in women, he asserted.

“The fluid extract is the best and most reliable preparation for this,” he wrote.

Between 10-15 drops under the tongue is suggested. But I’m inclined to think that Black Cohosh capsules (3-4 daily) would work just as well.

He also declared that it was excellent for difficult and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), excessively prolonged menstruation (menorrhagia), and irregular bleeding from the uterus between periods (metrorrhagia), but warned against pregnant women using it other than just before their actual delivery time. Black Cohosh is also excellent for Menopause.

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