Herbs for Blood Circulation Problems
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is also known as Black Snakeroot, Bugbane, Bugwort, and Squawroot. This plant is native to shady woodlands in the United States and Canada. It is easily recognized from its rich green leaves, and tall flowering stems, which are covered with white blossoms. It is also known for its unpleasant scent. Its root is almost black and thick and knotted.
Through the ages, the Native Americans and Aborigines were fond of using as a comforting brew for rheumatism, reducing inflammation of painful joints, improving circulation and relieving pain. Black cohosh contains vitamins A and B5, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, lipids and resin.
How Black Cohosh WorksStudies have led scientists to believe that Black cohosh works on two levels. Firstly, it comes from a family of plants well known for their ability to deaden pain, so Black Cohosh acts as a painkiller. Beyond this, Black cohosh contains a collection of steroid like compounds that are thought to be at the root of its anti-inflammatory activity. These compounds are believed to act locally (applied) and generally (taken internally) to reduce joint inflammation.
Black Cohosh has been found to contain chemicals that affect the female reproductive tract, two noted examples being formononetin and cimicifugoside. Formononetin, an isoflavonoid, has been shown to stimulate the production of estrogen and to have an anti-cancer activity. Formononetin has also been shown to be a fungicide. The presence of this anti-fungal agent can improve and prevent symptoms of Candid Albicans (thrush).
Black Cohosh and MenopauseBlack Cohosh can also help to ease the passage into menopause. This herb has some mild estrogenic effects. These help to reduce the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats. Many practitioners would recommend the short term use - up to six months- of black cohosh as a natural alternative to HRT.
A compound found in Black Cohosh, cimicifugin, has been found to reduce blood pressure. As well as this, cimicifugin has been shown to increase coronary circulation to the heart, which may make Black Cohosh of interest to women who have already developed heart disease.
Applications; the roots should be collected in the autumn once the fruit if growing.
Decoction: boil 2-tsp. of dried roots in 1 pint of water. Take 2 to 3 tbsp. of the cold decoction 4-5 times each day.
Fluid extract: a dose is from 5-30 drops in liquid daily.
Black cohosh can be purchased in capsule form and the recommended dosage is 1 capsule, 3 times daily.
Caution; excessive intake of Black cohosh can cause nausea, vomiting and vertigo.