Blue Cohosh and Black Cohosh Herbs
Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh are interesting herbs to consider having on hand for homebirth or if you are an expecting mom. Here is a helpful resource of my personal experiences using Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh to aid the birthing process during two pregnancies and what I found on how to take these herbs. Hope you find it helpful!
First lets learn a little history.
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa or Cimicifuga racemosa), is a member of the buttercup family and a perennial plant native to North America with a long history of use. Other names for this herb include snakeroot, black bugbane, and rattleweed.
Native Americans used it to treat musculoskeletal pain, fever, cough, stalled labor, and menstrual troubles. European settlers used black cohosh as a tonic to support women’s reproductive health.
Blue Cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides, is a North American herb that grows in wooded areas along the east coast of the U.S. and Canada. It was popular among physicians and midwives
during the 19th century and was an official drug in the United States Pharmacopeia until 1890. Additionally, Blue Cohosh was also used by Native American women as an aid for childbirth.
Now My Personal Homebirth Stories
I have always found personal accounts of real people living and experiencing life firsthand to be just as useful and important as knowing the facts when making a plan and understanding how to navigate our world. When I was pregnant with my first son I was nervous and anxious as any new mom would be. How will it feel? Can I handle the pain? What can I expect? I planned for a homebirth and was adamant on learning everything I needed to prepare myself mentally and physically. Obviously this would take some reading.
One of the books I got was Spiritual Midwifery an amazing compilation of accounts of various births both good and bad. After reading so many people tell their stories I felt confidant I could make the right choices and have power at the right moments. This is what I want for people who read my story and experiences. If you are interested in homebirth read my Homebirth Story, an account of my first pregnancy and birth.
I have used Black and Blue Cohosh two different points in my life.
When I was 42+ weeks pregnant and counting with my first son I took Black and Blue Cohosh tinctures together under the supervision of my midwives. For three days I used these herbs and my labor started the day after the last dose. I also had one of my midwives give me some acupressure to encourage my first little man to come. If you are considering trying anything like this, definitely do so under the guidance of a midwife or physician. Last October I had my second son. It was a long labor with over 48 hours of contractions with no reward. The midwife had me pushing and every which way and I was becoming super exhausted after trying so hard for so long. We decided to use some herbs to help get my contractions going when they stalled and just weren't coming after going for so long. We used an alternation of blue cohosh with cottonroot bark to get my contractions to become more frequent and stronger. She told me we would only take so many doses and then stop. Shortly after my last dose my contractions were where they needed to be. Some pushing and positioning help, and a short fifteen minutes after my last taste of cohosh and cottonroot, I had my son.
Finally Some Guidance on How to Use Black and Blue Cohosh that I have found from doing my own research. This is meant to be a time saving resource to further aid anyone in understanding and learning about the use of these herbs (Always Consult a Medical Professional First). All of my sources are linked below for convenience so you can do your own research which I highly encourage.
Black and Blue Cohosh to Induce Labor These two herbs are most effective at inducing labor in a post term pregnancy when used together. This process will not normally begin labor if the uterus is not ready. You should not try to induce labor until beyond 40 weeks gestation. This is a precaution to ensure your baby is ready to be born. Using Black and Blue Cohosh to induce labor is especially effective if you are already having weak or irregular contractions. Inducing labor without the advice of your health care practitioner can be dangerous to both you and your baby and is not recommended. 1. Get a good night's sleep. 2. Early the next morning put 20 drops of Black and Blue Cohosh tincture in warm water and drink it. 3. Make the same mixture and drink it every hour for five hours. 4. Begin taking the mixture again every hour until dinnertime. If contractions have not begun, stop taking the tincture. Try again in three or four days. While taking the tincture, continue to be active. Walk around the house, go shopping at a nearby mall, or take a walk around the block. The more active you are, the better chance that the contractions will continue. Stimulating your nipples or having intercourse can also help start labor or strengthen contractions (The prostaglandins in semen help to soften the cervix.). If you are already a mom who is still breastfeeding nursing your child often can help too.
I hope this has helped whomever has read it. I have always found personal experiences to be super useful when deciding how to solve problems herbally and make decisions on how to go about things. Below are my sources. I highly recommend you puruse them for more information. Because these herbs have played such a pivotal role in my life I consider them powerful women's allies to natural birth. That is why I began growing and tincturing them myself so that other women could be aided by them as I was. Here is a link to Wildcrafts Organic Black & Blue Cohosh Tincture, Double Cohosh, which is Handcrafted on a New Moon, shaken lovingly daily, infused for 1 year for maximum potency, then gently filtered, bottled, & labeled one bottle at a time by myself, Kitchen Witch Renee. I hope my article has aided you and feel free to contact me here for more support!
- Kitchen Witch Renee, Mother of 3 Beautiful Boys & Wildcrafts Founder
My Research Sources: http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Black_and_Blue_Cohosh_to_Induce_Labor http://www.sisterzeus.com/BlueCoh.htm http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/blueCohosh.html http://www.sisterzeus.com/blackcohosh.htm http://www.sisterzeus.com/BlueCoh.htm https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh-HealthProfessional/
Black and Blue Cohosh have also been used to cause miscarriage and are well known abortifacients. I have no recommendation of how to use these herbs for that purpose, but here are some sources that may answer questions regarding this.