Blue Cohosh

Botanical Name: Caulophyllus thalictroides Family: Berberidaceae

Common name(s): Blue Cohosh, Squawroot, Papoose Root


  • Perennial; herbaceous | Zone 3-8 | 1-3 feet tall | Leaves dark purple when they emerge then they turn green. Greenish-brown or yellow-brown flowers mid to late spring, turn into waxy yellow flowers that hang below the foliage.
  • Partial to full shade| Moist, hummus-rich, acidic soil | Grows in woods


Harvest the root/rhizome in Autumn


Decoction: Put 1 tsp of the dried root into 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: 1-2ml 3x/day


Constituents: Alkaloids, glycosides, gum, minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, silicon, phosphorus), salts, starch, steroidal saponins, resin

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, uterine tonic

Uses: Menstrual irregularities (including cramping), genito-urinary disorders, worms, colic, easing childbirth

Cautions: Do not take during the first two trimesters of pregnancy


Acrid, bitter, warm, mildly toxic


This herb may be growing down by my stream. I’ll be looking for it!

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