Cimicifuga racemosa (Actaea racemosa)
Black bugbane, black snakeroot, fairy candle
A perennial plant used nowadays to help women through the menopause.
The chopped root.
Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.
Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.
The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.
Key actions: Uterine tonic, oestrogen modulating, antirheumatic, spasmolytic.
In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat menopausal symptoms, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, rheumatic pain and myalgia.
If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.
Decoction: 1 teaspoon of root (0.3 to 2 g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Tincture: Take 2 to 4 ml (1:10 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 0.3 to 2 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Dried Herb: Maximum of 6 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.
Contradicted in those with oestrogen-dependant tumours.
This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Ranunculaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.
Do not use whilst breastfeeding, without consulting professional advice.
The most common side effects are minor gastrointestinal complaints. Other complaints included headaches, heavy legs, vertigo, weight gain, vaginal bleeding and breast pain, but only in mild forms. Due to the tannin content of this herb, irritation of the mucous membrane within the gastrointestinal tract may occur, as well as reflux. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.
Interactions with drugs
Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.
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