Black Cohosh, Reveal Date: 6/20

Article published at: Jun 13, 2024 Article author: Lily Michaud
Plant Meditation Club, Brown Bear Herbs, Reveal date 6/20 on top of a picture of a cloth tea bag, pink roses, and evergreen needles on a green background.
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This week we meditated on Black Cohosh, or Actaea racemosa.


Black cohosh is well established as a support for women experiencing intense emotions and intense relationships. This herb did bring up depression in men, and I wonder if it has an application for them as well.  


Sweet, pungent, deep flavor, warming. Back of throat to top of mouth to tip of top lip activated. Bitter/acrid aftertaste. Much more bitter and heavy in quality the second tasting.


Meditation 1: 

Black energy at inner thighs (kidney channel in Chinese medicine) and energetic focus on the root chakra. When we are depressed or brooding we hold our pain and look at it. We can send it into the earth. We can learn to "tuck and roll". When life hits up we roll with the punches. 

This plant has strong energy. Emphasizing the power and drive I exhibit. Emphasizing my strength and adaptability. This plant is grounded and able to respond to threats and fears (realistic ones and others) pragmatically. 


Meditation 2: 

This plant stressed the importance of assessing what people are doing on earth, on the ground level of life. The first chakra relates to the stability, security, and basic needs. Movement, nature, interconnection (family and loved ones), and healthy routines for keeping your body well are supportive. It is wounded by birth and very early childhood traumas, housing insecurity, physical illness or instability. When strong we feel supported and a bit fearless--we have faith we will make it through. If it is out of balance we may have trouble being centered in daily life, we might work busily rushing from task to task, have trouble focusing, and have trouble putting ideas into action (see partner plant: blackberry). The herb we are meditating with proceeded to analyze multiple people in my life to see how they were acting on the physical level, posing a question to me about who they could be to me. The plant also pointed out the sadness in men in my life in regards to their ability to command the material world (through possessions and money). The plant pointed out their sorrow and how they expressed behaviorally. 

Black Cohosh from New York State Museum publication c 1920
Summary and Traditional Use: 

Black cohosh has many applications for women's health including menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, etc), uterine pain, pms (including cramps and back pain), said to help prepare for delivery (when used in very small doses the last month of pregnancy--always consult an experienced and knowlegable provider!). 

Emotionally this herb is helpful for (to paraphrase) magnetic and brooding women with sexually and/or financially manipulative partners. This herb can help recovery after such intense relationships end. (Matthew Wood, Earthwise Herbal: New World). 

This herb is good for front to back whiplash--which may be metaphorically how these manipulative relatioships feel. This herb is good for intense, brooding women, for depression. I think of this herb as a warrior herb for women. It does help you stay strong and navigate the sudden upheavals that can come from manipulative hurtful people, such as partners or exes--people who know you so well that they can hurt you the most, and want to. I feel this herb encouraged thinking objectively and critically.

This plant is also known as black snake root. It is used for snake bites.



Do you have experience with black cohosh either personally or clinically? Please share them in the comments below. 


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