Think Black Cohosh is just for women? Think again!
Black Cohosh is a native North American herb. It is best known as a normalizing herb for women’s hormones, but did you know that it is also one of the best herbs for nerves and nerve pain? Black Cohosh is a key ingredient in herbal protocols for neuralgia and sciatica. It helps to stabilize nervous system function, helping to heal damaged nerves and prevent “misfiring” and nerve pain. Black Cohosh can also be very helpful for arthritis and muscular pain.
Black Cohosh is a relaxing nervine and a mild antidepressant, especially when combined with other nervine and sedative herbs. As an anti-spasmodic, it can be employed in cases of whooping cough and cramp. Combined with other herbs, Black Cohosh can also help with asthma and bronchial spasms.
Of course, Black Cohosh has a reputation for being a women’s herb for a good reason! It helps bring balance to the female hormonal system, and it is especially helpful during the menopausal years. It helps relax and balance the female reproductive system, aiding in painful or irregular menstruation, cramping, and hormone imbalance.
To Grow: Black Cohosh can be found in the rich, moist soil of hardwood and mixed pine forests, so your soil should have good drainage and lots of organic material. Black Cohosh prefers the partial shade of forest living but can be grown in full sun if given enough water. It can easily be grown from seed, although it is even easier to start with rhizome cuttings. Plant rhizome cuttings 18-24 inches apart, tip-up, in holes deep enough to cover them with 2 inches of soil. Then cover with 3 inches of hardwood bark mulch or leaf mulch. Once you have an established plant, simply harvest the ripe seeds in the fall and sow them immediately, and they will germinate in the spring.
Part Used: Root and rhizome, dried not fresh.
Harvest: Plants should be 3-5 years old before harvest. After fruits ripen in the Fall, unearth root and rhizome. Cut lengthwise into thin pieces to dry.
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