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Blue Cohosh is a woodland plant in the same family as Barberry Root, Goldenseal and Oregon Grape, native to the eastern United States and Canada. The word Cohosh is from Algonquian and means rough, which refers to the root; and the stem is bluish, which is where the rest of the name comes from.
The scientific name, Caulophyllum thalictroides, describes the leaves of the plant that resemble Meadow Rue and the Root refers to the deeply coloured fruit produced by the plant at maturity. Other names used were Papoose Root and Squawroot by early settlers after seeing that Indigenous people employed the roots for a variety of medical purposes.
A root infused tea was used to treat a variety of medical ailments among many different tribes. The Meskwaki tribe used it for treating genitourinary disorders, the Omaha tribe used the tea to break a fever, and the Pioneers used the plant in treatment for rheumatism, epilepsy, colic and many other ailments.
The flower were used in a tea to facilitate childbirth as the tea was believed to induce rapid and painless labour. For a week or two before the expected date of delivery, pregnant women would drink a tea infused with powdered Blue Cohosh Root.
Blue Cohosh was also considered a powerful emmenagogue. Women of various tribes would use a root infused tea to suppress heavy menstrual flow, relieve cramps and promote dropsical discharges. Blue Cohosh is said to warm and dry the body and benefits women who experience amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) caused by being cold and damp.
The energetic and flavour of Blue Cohosh are arid, bitter, drying and warming. Blue Cohosh Root has an affinity toward the uterus, nervous system and musculoskeletal system.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Blue Cohosh Root to one cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Cautions and contraindications:
Do not use during pregnancy or if nursing or on any medication, except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner or Gaia Garden Herbalist.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.