back Cimicifuga

Synonyms.- Actea Kacemosa. Macrotys.

Natural order. - Ranuneulacae.

Common name. - Black Cohosh. Black Snake Boot. Squaw Root. Rattleweed.

Habitat.- A perennial plant indigenous to the United-States.

Preparation.- Tincture from the fresh root.


Through the brain and spinal cord Cimicifuga affects directly the entire nervous system, disturbing the nerve centers  and producing a universal depressing irritant condition, which indirectly extends to the muscular system, and to the female generative organs, giving rise to various disorders indicating rheumatic and neuralgic disturbances of those parts.  Cimicifuga is supposed to increase the contractility of unstriped muscular fiber, but to a less degree than by Ergot.  The heartbeats are slower and stronger, and the arterial tension increased.  In the brain, the primary action is to cause congestion, giving rise to vertigo, dilated pupils, and other symptoms resembling those of Belladonna, though less intense in their manifestations.


Mind.-- oThinks she is going crazy (Calc. c).  Miserable, dejected feeling.  Feels grieved and troubled, with sighing (Ign.). oMania following disappearance of neuralgia, incessant talking, changing from one subject to another (Lach.).  Fear of death (Acon., Ars., Agn., Nitr. ac).  Not disposed to fix the attention on anything (Aethus., Gels., Nux v., Phos. ac).

Head. - Vertigo, fullness, and dull aching in vertex and impaired vision.  Rush of blood to the head (Bell.); brain feels too large for the cranium (Arg. nit., Glon.).  Dull aching, particularly in occiput, during afternoon and evening; worse indoors, better in the open air.  Headache through the whole brain, zuith distinct sense of soreness in occipital region, worse on motion.  Pain in vertex in afternoon; paroxysmal, worse mornings. Severe pain in head and eyeballs, increased on slightest motion (Bell., Bry.).  Excruciating pain in right side of head, back of orbit.  Top of head feels as if it would fly off (Bapt.).  Headache better in the open air.

Eyes.- Intense aching pain in the eyeballs (Aloe, Spig.).  Dilated pupils, with dark spots before the eyes.  Eyes congested during headache.  Black specks before the eyes.

Face -Pale, eyes large, sunken, surrounded by dark rings.  Neuralgia affecting malar bone; pain goes off at night and reappears next day.  Frequent flushes of heat; wants to be in the open air.

Mouth.- Breath offensive.  Mouth and tongue hot and dry.

Throat- Soreness of throat.

Stomach. - Nausea, eructations, headache and tremor (more in women).  Sharp pains across the hypogastrium.  Sinking or goneness in the epigastrium (Bapt., Hydras., Ign., Petrol., Sep., Sulph., Viburn.).

Abdomen. - Periodical collicky pains, better bending double and after stool (Coloc).  Excruciating pains in the bowels, small of back and limbs.  Abdominal muscles sore.

Stool. - Alternate diarrhoea and constipation (Ant. crud., Iodi., Nux v.).  Frequent, thin, dark, offensive stools (Ars.).

Urinary Organs. - Incessant flow of urine.  Pressing in region of kidneys and small of back.

Female Organs. - Menses irregular, delayed or suppressed (Puls., Senecio, Sep.).  oHysterical or epileptical spasms at time of menses.  Pain in uterine region shoot from side to side.  Pains in ovarian region shoot upward. Bearing down in uterine region and small of back; limbs feel heavy, torpid (Aloe, Puls., Sep.). Severe pain in lower part of abdomen.  oRheumatic dismenorrhoea.  oLeucorrhoea with sensation of weight in the uterus (Sep.).  oDuring pregnancy; nausea; false labor-like pains (Gels., Sec.); sharp pains across abdomen; sleeplessness (Coff. c).  oDuring parturition "shivers," first stage (Acon.); pains too strong, spasmodic cardiac neuralgia; lochia suppressed (Acon.); rigid os (Bell., Gels.); puerperal mania (Hyos.).  Infra-mammary pains, worse on left side. Burning in the mammae.

Respiratory Organs. - Night cough, dry, constant, short (Alum., Hyos., Puls.).  Tickling in throat, with violent cough (Phos.).  Pains in sides of chest, worse from motion (Bell., Bry., Merc. Phos.).

Heart. - Pain in region of the heart, followed by palpitation.  Pulse weak and irregular.

Neck and Back.- - Rheumatic pains in the muscles of the nech and bach; a feeling of stiffness and retraction (Rhus tox.).  oViolent lightning-like pains in posterior spinal sclerosis.  oStiff neck from cold mr(Dulc), from moving even the hands.  Drawing tensive pain at points of spinous processes of three upper dorsal vertebrae; in morning on bending neck forward.  Sensitiveness of the spine (Agar.); especially in the cervical and upper dorsal regions. Severe aching pain in the lumbar and sacral regions (Aesc.); down the thighs and through the hips, with heavy pressing down (Aesc.).  oHead and neck retracted (in spotted fever) .

Limbs.- Constant irregular motion of left arm; arm useless.  Rheumatic pains in the joints, with heat and swelling (Bry.).  Twitching of fingers and toes.  Aching in the limbs.  Excessive muscular soreness (Arn.).  Rheumatism affecting the belly of the muscles.  Trembling of the fingers when writing.  Trembling of the limbs, is scarcely able to walk.  Uneasy feeling in limbs, causing restlessness.  Pain and soreness in tendo-achillis, when walking in open air, and a shortening sensation.  Burning pain in right great toe; extending up the limb.

Generalities.- Weakness, trembling, and spasmodic action of the muscles.  Nervous shuddering, tremor all over the body.  oAlternate tonic and clonic spasms.  oEpileptic and hysterical convulsions. Sharp lancinating pains in various parts, associated with ovarian or uterine irritation.  General feeling of intoxication.  Restless in forenoon; nervous in afternoon; cannot fix attention on anything. Affects the left side most.  Pains come on suddenly.  Pains like electric shocks here and there.  General bruised feeling of the whole body, as if sore.

Sleep.- Obstinate insomnia (Coff. c, Op.).  Unpleasant dreams of being in trouble.  Restless sleep.

Compare.- Act. spic, Arm, Acon., Bapt., Bry., Bell., Caul., Cinch., Clem., Gels., Hyos., Ign., Lil. tig., Puls., Ranunc, Silic.

Antidotes.- Acon., Bapt., Caul., Gels., Puls.

THERAPEUTICS. The clinical value of Cimicifuga depends largely upon its power to produce and cure reflex nervous symptoms, especially such as arise from irritation of the ovaries or uterus.  It is invaluable in the treatment of all rheumatic, neuralgic and choreic affections in nervous, hysterical women arising from irritation of these organs.  In addition to the usual symptoms indicating such reflex disturbances the patient may complain of headache in the vertex and occiput; top of the head feels as if it would fly off; pain in the eyeballs, etc.  Hysterical or epileptiform spasms at time of menses.  Chorea at the age of puberty, the menses not appearing, left side most affected.  Only second to Pulsatilla in amenorrhoea, especially suppressed menstrua- tion from cold or emotions.  Menses irregular.  Partial amenorrhoea.  A valuable remedy in all forms of dysmenorrhoea, especially neuralgic or rheumatic. Rarely useful in menorrhagia, but may be indicated by the subjective symptoms.  Ovarian neuralgia, especially left side, pains shoot upward, great tenderness, ovaritis.  Cervical endometritis, in nervous, hysterical patients, with leucorrhoea, weight and bearing down in uterine region, etc. During pregnancy useful for nausea.  Neuralgic pains like false labor pains; sleeplessness.  Often useful in the lying-in room for false pains which shoot upward and across the abdomen; "shivers" in first stage; suppressed lochia; rigid os; puerperal mania; severe after-pains.  Cimicifuga has proved useful in various mental disorders; delirium tremens; puerperal mania; nausea following disappearance of neuralgia; melancholia; in all these conditions the patient is restless both mentally and physically, cannot remain long in one place, or cannot talk without continually changing the subject; extremely nervous. Also useful in cerebro-spinal meningitis; spinal irritation, sensitiveness, especially in cervical and upper dorsal regions; nausea on pressure, etc.; locomotor ataxia, with violent lightning-like pains; sciatica.  An extremely valuable remedy in rheumatism affecting the belly or fleshy part of the muscles, worse on motion, nervous and restless; rheumatism of the back and neck; lumbago; especially valuable in pleurodynia, worse on left side, and in left inframamniary region.  Angina pectoris. Nervous cough, brought on by an attempt to speak.

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