A survey of midwifes in the United States revealed that 45% used black cohosh to induce labor. The preparation is called “mother’s cordial? or “partus preparatus.” In addition to black cohosh, it contains squaw vine (Mitchella ripens), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), and false unicorn (Chamaelirium luteum).

What do we know about using black cohosh safely during pregnancy?

Researchers from the University of Toronto and McMaster University conducted a literature review to get the answers.

Here’s what they found.

  • Black cohosh should be used with caution during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester where its labor-inducing properties can harm the fetus.
  • There were no reports of malformations in the scientific literature
  • But until further clinical research is conducted it should be used cautiously during the third trimester and at delivery when it’s used as a labor-inducing aid.
  • The level of evidence for using black cohosh during lactation is poor.

6/7/07 00:08 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.