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Black Cohosh – Cimicifuga Racemosa : how to grow, soil conditions and benefits.

Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family found in rich woods of the eastern deciduous forest from southern Ontario south to Georgia, west to Arkansas, north to Wisconsin.
Other Common Names: Actee A Grappes, American Baneberry, Amerikansk Slangerod, Black Snakeroot, Cimicaire, Rattle Root, Sauco, Slangenwortel, Tahta Bitiotu, Wanzenkraut, Cimicifuga racemosa.

Characteristics of Black Cohosh

– It will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet.
– It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be under-planted with lower-growing perennials.
– It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
– Black cohosh is a traditional remedy of the North American Indians where it was used mainly to treat women’s problems, especially painful periods and problems associated with the menopause.
– It is described as “Black,” because of its dark colored rhizome.
– Black Cohosh can also improve circulation and lower blood pressure by temporarily dilating blood vessels.
– A popular and widely used herbal remedy, it is effective in the treatment of a range of diseases.
– The root is alterative, antidote, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypnotic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator.
– Black Cohosh also relieves mucus production, thus easing persistent coughs caused by asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough.
– Black Cohosh has been used to relieve swelling and soreness typical of rheumatism, and it is also known as safe sedative to relieve both nervousness and anxiety.
– The tall white wands of the black cohosh shoot up in the shadowy woods of midsummer like so many ghosts.
– A curious-looking plant it is, bearing aloft the feathery flowers which have such an unpleasant odor that even the insects are supposed to avoid them.

Growing Conditions for Black Cohosh

– Plant Black Snakeroot in full sun to partial shade in moist fertile soil.
– Black Snakeroot grows to a large size and may need staking to prevent wind damage.
– Black Snakeroot features bold spikes of fragrant white flowers rising above the foliage from late summer to early fall.
– It is not particular as to soil type or pH.
– It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution.
– This plant can be propagated by division.
– The flowers are excellent for cutting. It’s attractive serrated compound leaves emerge burgundy in spring, turning dark green in color with prominent deep purple tips throughout the season.
– The brown fruits are carried on spikes from late summer right through to late winter.

NOTE : Black Cohosh is not recommended for nursing mothers, and it should not be used during pregnancy, as it may provoke miscarriage.

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