Caulophyllum thalictroides (Berberidaceae)
BLUE COHOSH, SQUAWROOT
Herbalists use blue cohosh for
womb problems such as painful periods today, as well as for rheumatism.
North American Indians have a long tradition of using blue cohosh to ease the pain of childbirth,
and it was one of the medicines brought to Europe during the
19th century. Native to North America, it grows wild in moist mountain valleys, and has a tortuous branching rootstock, lobed leaflets, and small,
flowers in early summer.
Steroidal saponins, including
caulosaponin; alkaloids, including caulophylline.
Anti-inflammatory; a strong expectorant; stimulates menstruation; reduces muscle tension and spasm;
increases womb muscle tone.
Prescribed mainly for womb conditions, including painful or absent periods,
and pain associated with pelvic inflammatory disease or fibroids. Also used for rheumatism.
Decoction, tincture, extract.
Avoid in pregnancy until labour has actually started.