(Actaea racemosa root)
extracted by tincture in distilled water and food grade alcohol
Astringent / Emmenagogue / Diuretic / Alterative / Expectorant
Actaea racemosa is the botanical named used synonymously with the name Cimicifuga racemosa, a plant from the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. Black Cohosh grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and is often found in small woodland openings. The roots and rhizomes of black cohosh have long been used medicinally by Native Americans.
Constituents-Chemicals & Nutrients:
Black Cohosh contains lignans (e.g., actaealactone), phenylpropanoid ester derivatives (e.g., cimicifugic acid), polyphenols (root & rhisome), protocatechuic acid, protocatechualdehyde, p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, methyl caffeate, ferulic acid, ferulate-1-methyl ester, isoferulic acid, 1-isoferuloyl-beta-d-glucopyranoside, fukinolic acid, and cimicifugic acids A, B, and D-F.
Taken internally for menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, and vaginal dryness.
Menopausal Aid –
Studies found that Black Cohosh significantly reduced frequency or severity of hot flashes. [Kanadys 2008 article in Polish] Another study showed that the efficacy of isopropanolic extract of Actaea racemosa was found to be as good as Tibolone® for the treatment of climacteric complaints, even for moderate to severe symptoms, and found to have a better safety profile. [Bai 2007] The usage pattern, effectiveness & safety of Black Cohosh alone or in fixed combination with St. John's Wort on menopausal symptoms in general clinical practice was evaluated and showed the fixed combination was superior to Black Cohosh alone in alleviating climacteric mood symptoms. [Briese 2007] One study showed the use of Black Cohosh appears to be safe in breast cancer patients without risk for liver disease. [Walji 2007] An increase in the risk of breast cancer recurrence for women having had treatment of Black Cohosh, compared to women not treated is unlikely. [Zepelin 2007]
These studies show good therapeutic efficacy and tolerability profiles for Cimicifugae racemosa. In addition, clinical and experimental investigations indicate that the rootstock of C. racemosa does not show hormone-like activity, as was originally postulated. [Liske 1998] Another clinical study by Liske  suggests that Cimicifugae racemosae rhizoma extract is associated with improvement in menopause symptoms without evidence of estrogen-like effects. Unlike estrogen, Black Cohosh does not stimulate breast-cancer cells growing in a test tube. In a clinical study of 120 women with the menopausal symptoms, Black Cohosh was more effective in relieving hot flashes and night sweats than the antidepressant fluxetine (Prozac). Reference: www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/black-cohosh-000226.htm#ixzzlicbSJq37
Dosage for Adults:
2 ml twice a day which is equal to approx 40 drops twice a day.
According to Yale researchers, if you are taking cisplatin, radiation or other cancer therapy drugs, Black Cohosh might reduce its effectiveness. Black Cohosh should not be confused with Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), which has different properties, treatment uses, and side effects than Black Cohosh.
More Clinical Studies
Laboratory & Clinical Studies 2000--2208, reported by Sigma Aldrich
According to in vitro study, black cohosh was found to be consistent with a human mu opiate receptor (hMOR) agonist, with an EC50 of 68.8 ± 7.7mcg/mL, which may explain its purported beneficial role in alleviating menopausal symptoms.
Serum glucose, insulin, and lipid level altering effects:
In a randomized trial in 351 peri- or post-menopausal women, black cohosh had no demonstrable effects on lipids, glucose, insulin, or fibrinogen. In a double-blind randomized, placebo controlled, study in 89 peri- or postmenopausal women experiencing climacteric symptoms, a combination of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) significantly increased HDL levels (from 58.32 ± 11.64 to 59.74 ± 10.54; p=0.04) compared to the control (from 60.20 ± 16.37 to 56.63 ± 12.67).
It is not clear what constituent(s) of black cohosh, if any, possesses estrogenic properties. In animals and in vitro, initial reports of estrogen receptor binding activity stand in contrast with more recent data suggesting no significant estrogen receptor binding activity or estrogenic activities. Two in vitro studies found no effects of black cohosh alone on estrogen receptors, but reported that black cohosh antagonized proliferative effects on cells induced by estradiol. A similar in vitro study on estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells (MCF-7) reported isopropanolic black cohosh extract did not stimulate MCF-7 growth and exerted inhibitory effects on cellular proliferation, indicating strong estrogen-antagonist effects. The proliferation-inhibiting effect of tamoxifen has been enhanced by black cohosh extract. Several studies have aimed to assess estrogen activity by measuring luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), or prolactin levels. One study reported lower FSH levels (but not LH) in patients treated with black cohosh vs. placebo (N=110), although baseline hormone levels were not known in either group. Results from other trials have found no effects on these hormone levels after up to six months of black cohosh therapy. Cimicifuga racemosa ethanolic extract, Ze 450, may inhibit cell proliferation and show antiestrogenic activity. The Cimicifuga racemosa extract bound to the progesterone receptor B1 but did not show progestin-like activity in the T-47D cell line. In an in vitro study using healthy breast tissue of pre- and postmenopausal women, incubation in vitro with black cohosh extract decreased local estrogen formation.
Anti-coagulation & Anti-inflammatory effects:
Native black cohosh contains small amounts of salicylic acid, but it is not clear how much (if any) is present in commercially available or standardized extracts.
Based on a systematic review, there is laboratory evidence of antiproliferative properties of black cohosh but a lack of confirmation from clinical studies for a protective role in cancer prevention. In vitro studies have reported black cohosh to possess inhibitory effects on estrogen responsive cancer cell lines/breast cancer cells. Furthermore, in a cell line study, relatively low concentrations of actein or the methanol/water fraction of black cohosh may cause synergistic inhibition of human breast cancer cell proliferation when combined with different classes of chemotherapy agents. Acetein may activate genes that respond to DNA damage and unfolded protein responses, and enhance apoptosis and repressed cell cycle genes. Actaealactone and cimicifugic acid may also have a small stimulating effect on the growth of breast cancer cell proliferation.
Bone metabolism effects:
An isopropanolic extract of black cohosh has been shown to significantly diminish the urinary content of pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline, specific markers for bone loss, and the morphometric correlates of bone loss associated with ovariectomy in rats.
Recent studies suggest that the mechanism of action of black cohosh may be centrally mediated, with possible action at the level of serotonin or dopamine receptors. A study in ovariectomized rats demonstrated strong binding to serotonin receptors 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(1D), and 5-HT(7) subtypes.
Cimicifugoside contained in black cohosh is believed to affect hypothalamus-pituitary function.
Black cohosh has been shown to exhibit an action on the central endogenous opioid system in postmenopausal women as evidenced by suppression of mean luteinizing hormone pulse frequency following opioid receptor blockade.
In vivo oral administration of black cohosh extract inhibited the anti-IgE-induced passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction. Black cohosh extract also showed inhibitory potential on histamine release.
Note: This information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare provider. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of this extract is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this tincture.