Names: battle weed, big snakeroot, Bugbane; black snakeroot, blueberry, blue ginseng, bugwort, cohosh, columbine leaved leontice, cordate rattletop, fairy candles, false cohosh, heart-leaved rattle-top, hearth-leaved snakeroot, meadow rue leontice, papoose root, rattle root, rattlesnake root, rattle root, rattletop, rattleweed, richweed, squaw root, squaw weed, star lance, tall snakeroot, yellow ginseng
Properties: diuretic, antirheumatic, antiinflammatory, sedative, anti-tusive, uterine stimulant
History: The botanical name for Black Cohosh cimicifuga is Latin for “bug repellent”. The herb was named black because of its dark medicinal roots. The name cohosh comes from an Algonquian word meaning “rough,” a reference to the feel of the rhizome when handled. The species name is from the Latin meaning full of flowers. Because of the hard, knotty, twisted shape of the root comes the name of “black snakeroot”. Originally used by the Native Americans for fatigue, sore throat, arthritis, rattlesnake bite and primarily for gynecological problems and childbirth, it was introduced to the medical world in 1944 by Dr. John King for rheumatism and nervous disorders and it became a favorite herb with the Eclectics medical practitioners. It was widely used to treat scarlet fever, whooping cough, smallpox and all “hysterical” (gynecological) ailments.