Cimicifuga racemosa. N.O. Ranunculaceae.
Synonym ► Known also as Black Snakeroot.
Habitat ► The dried rhizome and roots are imported from the U.S.A., to which country and Canada the plant is indigenous.
Features ► Thick, hard and knotty, the root is bitter and acrid in taste, and gives off a rather nauseating smell.
Part used ► Rhizome and roots.
Action ► Astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue and alterative.
The decoction of 1 ounce to 1 pint (reduced from 1 1/2 pints) of water, is administered in wineglassful doses. Its chief importance lies in the treatment of rheumatism, and the root figures frequently in herbal prescriptions for this complaint. In small doses it is useful in children’s diarrhoea, and is reputed to be a remedy for St. Vitus’ Dance (chorea), although its efficacy here is dubious.
Cimicifuga should be taken with care, as overdoses produce nausea and vomiting.