Major therapeutic interest

  • Alleviating hot flashes, sweating, and a number of other physical and emotional symptoms of menopause, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia;
  • Relieving premenstrual symptoms (PMS) and menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea).

Other therapeutic interest / Traditional Use

  • Treating urinary tract infections.


  • Breast cancer, particularly among survivors and women who have been diagnosed (black cohosh can theoretically increase the risk of metastases;
  • Ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus, endometriosis, or if close relatives have been diagnosed with hormone-sensitive cancers, the phytoestrogen in black cohosh can spur growth of estrogen-dependent tumors;
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Known animal interactions

  • Decrease cytotoxic effects, which reduces the efficacy of Cisplatin.

Suspected interactions

  • May increase cytotoxic effects, which increases the efficacy of doxorubicin (Doxorubicine, Adriamycin, Caelyx) and docetaxel (Taxotere);
  • May potentiate the toxic effects of particularly hepatotoxic drugs (Actos, Avandia, Prandase, Cordarone, Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Imuran, Norvir, Viramune, Tegretol, Tylenol, Voltaren, Lamisil, Sporanox, Nizoral, Tamofen, etc.)

Parts used

Root and rhizome

Main constituents

  • Substances with hormonal and estrogen-like properties: phytosterols, phytoestrogens, isoflavones (formononetin); a mix of resins (actein, deoxyactein) and triterpines (cimifugoside); organic acids (salicylic acid, isoferulic acid). 

Other names

Cimicifuga racemosa L., Actaea racemosa L., Bugbane, snakeroot, rattleroot