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What Is Blue Cohosh Used for Today?
Blue cohosh is widely prescribed by herbalists and midwives. A 1999 survey published in the Journal of Nurse-Midwiferyfound that 64% of certified nurse-midwives who prescribe herbal medicines use blue cohosh to induce labor. 1 It has also been used for a wide variety of menstrual problems , including several for which it would not be logical to believe that the same treatment could help. For example, blue cohosh has been used to start menstrual periods that were late in coming and yet also to stop excessive or ongoing menstrual flow.
There is no credible evidence that blue cohosh is effective for any of the conditions for which it has been used. Furthermore, several published reports cite cases of serious side effects to infants apparently caused by blue cohosh. (See Safety Issues.)
- McFarlin BL, Gibson MH, O'Rear J, Harman P. A national survey of herbal preparation use by nurse-midwives for labor stimulation. Review of the literature and recommendations for practice. J Nurse Midwifery. 44(3):205-16.