Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga Racemosa, Liver Toxicity
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Angela
Posted on: November 22, 2007

On my herbs formula for menopausal problems is included a Cimicifuga sacimosa, I read a while ago this herb is dangerous for the liver, I am correct?

The name is actually Cimicifuga racemosa (or Actaea racemosa) commonly referred to as black cohosh.

You are correct in that there are has been so called "reports" that black cohosh has caused liver damage. However, there are serious "cofounding factors" involved with that finding. Additionally, there has yet to be a case of liver toxicity when prescribed within the content of a herbalist-patient relationship. Therefore, although it is safe when used properly, it is best to visit a herbalist before using black cohosh.

For more information on this topic, please go to and click on "Herbs in the News" for a full story as well as the Natural Health Products Directorate of Health Canada’s response to this report.

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