HomeSpun - A Women's Networking Newsletter

Featured Herb If anyone has additional information, and/or experiences with the featured Herb, or has an herb that they would like to share with us, you are welcome to do so.

Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh is a powerful women's ally, who's main action is on the uterus. It has a wide variety of uses, dating from when Native American Chippewa wise-women used a strong decoction for contraceptive purposes.

As a uterine tonic, it nourishes and revitalizes the uterine tissue in a variety of circumstances, including after pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion or coming off the Pill.

It is commonly used during the last 2-4 weeks of pregnancy to give the uterus a final toning, thus making the birthing process quicker.

It can be used during birth to ease labor pains, jump-start a stalled labor. And after birth to deliver a retained placenta and stop bleeding by helping the uterus clamp down without causing the cervix to close as well.

For these purposes, midwives usually use a combination of Blue and Black Cohosh, in equal amounts. Tinctures are used, because the herbs active ingredients are not water soluble. 40-60 drops of the combined tinctures are usually given every hour until contractions are even and strong.

Blue and Black Cohosh are not recommended during early pregnancy for women who wish to remain pregnant. These herbs have a reputation for their tendency to cause miscarriage.

However, the attempts to consciously end pregnancy with Blue Cohosh and other herbs, that I know of have not been successful. But every woman is an individual, what does not work for some, may work for others.

If a woman wishes to terminate a pregnancy, she could use the dosages listed above to stimulate her uterus, and also drink a tea of the pennyroyal herb, or other abortifacient plant. If pregnancy is suspected it is often easiest to stimulate menstruation before it is due, such as beginning treatment 5 days before menstruation is due.

Blue Cohosh is often used alone or in combination with other herbs for regulation the menstrual cycle and to ease painful cramps. It is also used in formulas to treat endometriosis, chlamydia and cervical dysplasia.

A word to the wise: As with any herb, don't over use. Blue Cohosh has a tendency to stress the kidneys if used in excess. It is not recommended for use by those who have kidney or heart problems of any kind, including high blood pressure. Or by those who are sensitive to estrogenic substances, such as estrogen-dependent tumors, or your physician has advised against the Pill.

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