Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. (Ranunculaceae)
Actaea gyrostachya Wender, A. orthostachya Wender, A. monogyna Walt., A. racemosa
L., Bortrophis actaeoides Raf., B. serpentaria Raf., Christophoriana canadensisracemosa
Gouan, Cimicifuga racemosa (Torr) Bart., C. serpentaria Pursh, Macrotis racemosa
Sweet, M. serpentaria Raf., Macrotrys actaeiodes Raf.
Actée à grappes, black cohosh, black root, black snakeroot, bugbane,
bugwort, bugwort rattleroot, cimicifuga, cohosh bugbane, Frauen Wurzel, herbe
aux punaises, macrotnys, macrotys, macroty’s, natsushirogiku, Qatil el
baq, racine d’actée à grappes, rattle root, rattle snake
root, rattle top, rattleweed, rich weed, schwarze Schlangenwurzel, squaw root,
squawroot, Traubensilberkerze, Wanzenkraut, zilberkaars
A perennial herb, up to 1–2.5 m high; subterranean part consists of a
thick, knotted rhizome system. Leaves compound, pinnate, up to 7cm long; leaflets
serrate along the margin, subcordate to subcuneate at the base. Inflorescence
a long, wand-like raceme of white flowers with numerous stamens
Plant material of interest
dried rhizomes and roots
Qualitative assessments may be based on the triterpene and isoflavonoid content.
Concentration ranges and quantitative methods need to be established. A high-performance
liquid chromatography method is available for the quantitative analysis of flavones
Major chemical constituents
The major and characteristic constituents include the cycloartanol-based triterpenes
acteol, acetylacteol, 26-deoxyacteol, cimigenol, actein, 26-deoxyactein and
cimicifugoside. (E)-Isoferulic acid and the isoflavone formononetin are also
found. However, the latter compound could not be detected in alcohol extracts
of the root
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Uses supported by clinical data
Treatment of climacteric symptoms such as hot flushes, profuse sweating, sleeping
disorders and nervous irritability.
Treatment of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea.
Uses described in traditional medicine
Proven pharmacological activity
Treatment of coughs, dyspepsia, epilepsy, intercostal myalgia, rheumatoid arthritis,
sciatica, snake bites, tinnitus and whooping cough
Climacteric symptoms, General gynaecological disorders
Owing to its potential estrogenic effects and the lack of data on its safety,
Rhizoma Cimicifugae Racemosae should not be used during pregnancy or lactation,
or in children under the age of 12 years.
No information available.
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
A 40% isopropyl alcohol extract of the crude drug was not mutagenic in the Salmonella/microsome
assay using S. typhimurium strains TA98 or TA100.
Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
Intragastric administration of up to 2 g/kg body weight of the crude drug, as
a component of two traditional Chinese medicines, to pregnant rats daily on
days 7–17 of gestation was not teratogenic. (See also Contraindications.)
Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
No information available on general precautions or precautions concerning drug
interactions or drug and laboratory test interactions.
Minor gastrointestinal upset and headache.
Crude drug, and isopropyl alcohol or ethanol extracts. Store in a wellclosed
container, protected from light and moisture.
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dosage: 40–60% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol extracts of the crude
drug, corresponding to 40 mg drug