Ayurveda & the Divinely Feminine Herbs Black Cohosh and Wild Yam

Interestingly, the two herbs pictured here, both of which have special actions on the female reproductive system, love to hang out together in our medicinal herb garden.

The beautiful heart-shaped leaves belong to wild yam, and the plant that has white flowers and leaves with a coarsely toothed margin is black cohosh

Let’s talk first about black cohosh, which should not be confused with blue cohosh. Black cohosh is a member of the buttercup family, and is often used ornamentally. It has a long history of use by North American Indians for gynecological and kidney disorders, colds, and cough. It is a warming herb which has become a popular treatment for women’s health issues, including hot flashes due to menopause, menstrual cramps, and PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

Wild yam is a cooling herb, often used as a tonic for the female reproductive system, for hormonal deficiency, as an aphrodisiac and anti-spasmodic.

Please note that this information is provided for educational purposes only. It does not take the place of a medical evaluation and recommendations by a qualified health practitioner. These herbs may interact with prescription medications, so they should be used with caution.

By Marisa Laursen, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda