Product No. P02100

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), a species of Caulophyllum and family Berberidaceae, also called squaw root or papoose root, is a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage. 

From the single stalk, there is a single, large, three-branched leaf plus a fruiting stalk. The bluish-green leaflets are tulip-shaped. Its species name, thalictroides, comes from the similarity between the large highly divided, multiple-compound leaves of Meadow-rue (Thalictrum).

It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern and northern United States, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean. It favours moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil.

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa), although similarly named, is actually a plant in a separate genus.

Blue cohosh was used as a medicinal herb by American Indians, and can also be used as a dietary supplement that can induce labor, regulate menstrual flow, suppress menstruation, and ease the pain and difficulty that accompany childbirth. Many Native American tribes and later European herbologists and mid-wives would use this herb in conjunction with other herbs and fluids for abortive and contraceptive purposes. As such, this herb should not be taken during pregnancy.

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