July 25, 2016
font size

Definition of Blue cohosh

Blue cohosh: (Caulophyllum thalictroides). A tall North American perennial plant with large blue berries. Blue cohosh is sold as an herbal dietary supplement that can induce labor. Blue cohosh contains the glycosides caulosaponin and caulophyllosaponin, which cause uterine contraction and constriction of the coronary arteries in experimental animals. There is considerable concern about the medical safety of blue cohosh. Newborn babies have been reported who have had a heart attack or stroke after the mother took blue cohosh to induce labor.

Blue cohosh was an American Indian remedy. It was principally used by the squaws as an agent to facilitate childbirth. It was therefore known as squawroot or pappoose root. It is also called blueberry root.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations