Caulophyllum thalictroides

Botanical Name :Caulophyllum thalictroides
Family: Berberidaceae
Tribe: Leonticeae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: C. thalictroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Leontice thalictroides L

Common Names:Blue Cohosh Root , squaw root

Habitat :Caulophyllum thalictroides  is native to   Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to South Carolina, Arkansas, North Dakota and Manitoba. It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern United States, and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil. It grows in eastern North America, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Description:
Caulophyllum thalictroides is  a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage. growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).

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From the single stalk rising from the ground, there is a single, large, three-branched leaf plus a fruiting stalk. The bluish-green leaflets are tulip-shaped, entire at the base, but serrate at the tip. Its species name, thalictroides, comes from the similarity between the large highly divided, multiple-compound leaves of Meadow-rue (Thalictrum) and those of Blue Cohosh.

It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

 

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

 

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Cultivation:
Easily grown in a damp light humus-rich woodland soil preferring a position in deep shade[1, 200]. One report says that it is best in a peat garden. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c[187]. The plant only produces one large leaf each year. The seeds rupture the ovary before they are fully ripe and continue to expand naked, they are bright blue when fully ripe.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady part of a cold frame[200]. If stored seed is used, it should be sown as soon as it is received. Germination can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions during autumn or early winter. Division in spring or just after flowering[200]. Plants are slow to increase

Constituents:  alkaloids, cystine (caulophylline), baptifoline, anagyrine, laburnine. also caulosaponin, resins

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Abortifacient * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Emmenagogue * Anthelmintic;  Antispasmodic;  Birthing aid;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Oxytoxic;  Sedative.

Papoose root is a traditional herb of many North American Indian tribes and was used extensively by them to facilitate child birth. Modern herbalists still consider it to be a woman’s herb and it is commonly used to treat various gynaecological conditions. An acrid, bitter, warming herb, it stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, expels intestinal worms and has diuretic effects. The root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, oxytocic and sedative. An infusion of the root in warm water is taken for about 2 weeks before the expected birth date in order to ease the birth. This infusion can also be used as an emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant[213]. Papoose root should therefore be used with some caution by women who are in an earlier stage of pregnancy since it can induce a miscarriage or early delivery. The plant is also taken internally in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, rheumatism and gout. It should not be prescribed for people with hypertension and heart diseases. The powdered root can have an irritant action on the mucous membranes, therefore any use of this plant is best under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The roots are normally harvested in the autumn, because they are at their richest at this time, and are dried for later use. The root is harvested in early spring as new growth is beginning and is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used especially in childbirth and in some forms of rheumatism[Hypertensive * Parturient * Uterine Tonic
Blue cohosh is considered to be one of the best herbs to bring on menstruation, and is one of the traditional herbs used to induce labor in natural childbirth.2,3 It contains the phytochemical calulopsponin which actively stimulates uterine contractions and promotes blood flow to the pelvic region. 1 Blue cohosh is generally used in combination with other herbs, often black cohosh, to treat menstrual disorders. The herb’s powerful antispasmodic properties are helpful in relieving the menstrual cramps of a painful period.

The Iroquois used it to treat arthritis – research also suggests the plant possesses some anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic

 Known Hazards :  This plant should not be used during pregnancy prior to the commencement of labour. Excessive doses may cause high blood pressure and symptoms similar to nicotine poisoning. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, in-coordination and narrowing of blood vessels to the heart muscles. Powdered root can have an irritant effect on mucous membranes . Contraindicated in patients with ischaemic heart disease (angina and heart attacks) and in patients with high blood pressure

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Caulophyllum_thalictroides?o=3986&qsrc=999
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail88.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Caulophyllum+thalictroides

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