Blue Cohosh

Common name Blue Cohosh

Latin name Caulophyllum thalictroides

Parts used Root

System affinities

Blue cohosh is most sympathetic to the female reproductive system.  

Energetics/characteristics/flower essence/dosha

Blue cohosh is considered both a stimulant and a relaxant.  It is a yin tonic in TCM.  In ayurvedic medicine it is indicated for the kapha dosha.  It is an emmenagogue and laxative.  Additionally it is an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.

Taste and quality

Blue cohosh is acrid, bitter, and slightly sweet.


Blue cohosh is used for stimulating the uterus and starting labor, starting menstruation, and stopping muscle spasms. It can be used to treat sore throat and colds.  Its relaxing and antispasmodic nature makes it useful in combatting cramps, hiccups, and epilepsy. Its anti-inflammatory action is functional in inflammation of the uterus and joint conditions.

History and lore

Blue cohosh was used by American Indians as a sedative; the name "cohosh" comes from the Algonquin name of the plant. It was used by Menomini, Meskawi, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi tribes for menstrual cramps, suppression of profuse menstruation, and induction of contractions in labor.  Blue cohosh is associated with the planetary energies of Jupiter and Mars. It can be used to protect objects and places from evil. 


It is found throughout the woodlands of the eastern and midwestern United States, especially in the Allegheny Mountains.

Dosing and formulas