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Actaea Racemosa. (Cimicifuga.)

Actaea racemosa, Linnee. Black Cohosh. Ranunculaceae.

Grows in woodlands from Canada to Florida. Famous as a popular medicine, particularly for snake-bites. Has received so many improper names that the oldest one is preferred. Proved in 1853 by H. M. Paine, in 1858 by Ch. H. Burr, in 1859 by Hill and Douglas, in 1871 by Bacmeister, and used like a polychrest by most practitioners.

[The observation that a drug may produce different symptoms on the different sexes is of the utmost importance for the scientific development of our Materia Medica.

Professors Hill and Douglas state in their valuable report of provings with Actaea racemosa, in the New York Quarterly, Vol. VII., 1859, p. 450: “It produced nausea, vomiting and much gastric irritation in the six women, while in forty men it was hardly noticed as affecting the stomach in the least.” Being an important remedy in morning sickness of the pregnant, we may conclude that all the gastric symptoms observed by female provers depended on the uterus.

It has also been observed that Cuprum acts more on the female and Ferrum on the male organs.].

MIND. [1]

Sensation as if a heavy black cloud had settled all over her, and enveloped her head, so that all was darkness and confusion, while, at the same time, it weighed like lead on her head.
Unable to find right word in speaking.
Mind dull and heavy.
Thinks she is going crazy.
Often started by illusion of a mouse running from under her chair.
Imagines strange objects about bed, as rats, sheep, etc. ~ Delirium tremens.
Delirium with great headache. ~ Puerperal fever.
Delirium with nausea, retching, dilated pupils.
Fear of death; fears those in house will kill him; saw wires encaging him; visions of rats and of strange objects. ~ Delirium tremens.
Mania following disappearance of neuralgia.
Puerperal mania.
Desire for solitude, or to wander from place to place.
Answers questions hurriedly and evasively.
Declares she has been poisoned.
Incessant talking, changing from one subject to another. ~ Delirium tremens.
Frequent sighs and ejaculations. ~ Mental disorder.
Would not answer; at other times very loquacious.
Feels grieved and troubled, with sighing; next day a feeling of tremulous joy, with mirthfullness, playfullness and clear intellect.
Miserable dejected feeling; anxious, weeping.
Mental depression, with suicidal mood; also after checked neuralgia.
Great melancholy with sleeplessness.
Apprehensive and sleepless. ~ Pregnancy.
Fears she will become crazy, with headache on vertex.
Fear of death.
Indifferent, taciturn, takes no interest in household matters. ~ Mental disorder.
Irritable; the least thing that goes wrong makes her angry.
Nervous and irritable.
Suspicious of everything, would not take medicine if she knew it. ~ Mental disorder.
Restless and impatient, can read only a few minutes, must get up and walk about, yet soon tires.
Headache when reading or writing; cannot write a letter.
Headache of students.
Mental emotions cause: amenorrhea; suppression of lochia.
Mind disturbed by disappointed love, business failures.
Feels faint at epigastrium when meeting a friend.
After fright: threatened abortion.


Constant dull feeling in vertex.
Dullness and heaviness in head; like after “a spree.”
Dizzy on rising in morning, with pain over eyes; faintness, nausea and occasional vomiting. ~ In mental diseases.
Vertigo, head feels too large and heavy; when stooping, head swims.
Vertigo, dizziness with impaired vision.
Fainting fits generally with some uterine affection.
Sensation as if a heavy black cloud had settled all over her and enveloped her head, so that all was darkness and confusion. ~ Mental disorder.


Dullness in head as after “a spree.”
Rush of blood to head, brain feels too large for cranium; after suppressed uterine discharges or suddenly ceasing neuralgic pains.
Waving sensation in brain.
Opening and shutting sensation when moving head and eyes.
Dull frontal headache relieved by pressure.
Great pain in head and eyeballs, increased by slightest movement of head or eyeballs. ~ Meningitis.
Sensation as if temples were compressed.
Headache down to nose.
Headache every day at same hour.
Severe pain in right side of head, back of orbit. ~ After pains.
Aching and shooting pains in vertex, occiput, left temple, eye and ear; agg. lying down; hysterical crying.
Brain as if too large; pressing from within outward.
Head feels as if pounded, full; as if too large. ~ Intermittent.
Top of head feels as if it would fly off, agg. going up-stairs; declares she will go crazy.
Intense pain as if a ball had been driven from neck to vertex, agg. at every throb of heart.
Aching pain in head, particularly at occiput, only indoors; agg. in afternoon and still more in evening, disappearing entirely at 9 P. M. after a walk in open air.
Great pain in head, back and limbs.
Pain over and in eyes, extending along back to occiput.
Excruciating pain in forehead, eyeballs and temples, with cold forehead on waking, 2 A. M.
Dull boring in forehead over left brow, 10 A. M.
Pain in forehead, temple and vertex, with fullness, throbbing and heat.
Dull pain in occiput, with shooting down back of neck.
Headache better in open air.


Sensation as if vertex opened and let in cold air. ~ Climaxis.


Peculiar wild look out of eyes. ~ Delirium tremens.
Eyes expressionless. ~ Cholera.
Dark spots before eyes.
Pupils dilated. ~ Delirium.
Aching and heaviness of eyes.
Eyeballs painful, with lachrymation.
Sensation of enlargement of eyeballs; they feel as if they would be pressed out of head.
Ulcerated cornea, with sharp pains through eye into head.
Eyes congested during headache.
Pain in centre of eyeballs, and also a sensation as if pain was situated between eyeball and orbital plate of parietal bone; more severe in morning, agg. on going up-stairs.
Pain over eyes extending to occiput.
Ciliary neuralgia; aching pains in eyeballs or in temples, extending to eyes, so severe, especially at night, it seemed as if patient would go crazy.
Ciliary neuralgia; sharp, shooting pains from occiput through to eyes, or darting from eyes to top of head, with redness of eyes and photophobia; agg. on right side, afternoon and night; amel. on lying down.
Blisters on eyelids.
Severe pains darting into left eye; feels as if needles were run into eyeball through cornea; agg. on closing eyes; sleepy, but cannot sleep on this account. ~ Neuralgia.


Sensitive to least noise, with spasmodic labor-pains.
Singing in left, later in both ears.
Buzzing in ears. ~ Puerperal fever.
Sweat behind ears.


Pain in head followed by coryza and sore throat.
Coryza: dry in evening, white mucus during day; sneezing; aching pains in head and eyes, sensitive to cold air; every inhalation seems to bring cold air in contact with brain.
Greenish, slightly bloody coryza.


Face bluish. ~ Puerperal fever.
Wild, fearful expression. ~ Delirium tremens.
Face: pale; eyes large and sunken, surrounded by dark rings.
Forehead feels cold; deadly pale.
Neuralgia affecting malar bone, pain goes off at night, reappears next day.
Frequent flushes of heat, wants to be in open air.
Suddenly very faint, face became ashy white, weakness so great that she believed she was dying. ~ Puerperal fever.


Lips dry.
Lower lip cracked, as if bitten.
Jaw sunken. ~ Typhus.


Toothache in neuralgic and rheumatic patients.
Thick mucus on teeth.


Taste: disagreeable; coppery.
Cannot speak a syllable, though she makes the effort.
Talking provokes cough.
Tongue: clean but pointed and trembling; swollen. ~ Cerebral diseases.


Breath offensive.
Mouth and tongue feel warm and dry.
Spitting of thick, sticky saliva.


Dry spot in throat, causing cough; dryness of pharynx, with constant desire to swallow; fullness in pharynx; uvula and palate swollen; neck stiff.
Hawks up a viscid, coppery tasting mucus.
Thick mucus lodges in throat.
Inflamed throat, pains awaking him at night.


No thirst, slight feeling of hunger in stomach; rumbling in abdomen.
Appetite variable.
No appetite for dinner, wants to drink cold water; little at a time suffices.
Great thirst. ~ Puerperal fever.


After breakfast: headache amel.; pain in left temple; faint before breakfast, overfilled after.
After dinner: pain through chest.


Nausea and Vomiting
Eructations, with nausea, vomiting and headache, more in women.
Nausea with pain in region of kidneys.
Vomiting of a green substance; groans, raves; presses both hands to her head for relief.
Nausea, retching, dilated pupils, tremor of limbs. ~ Delirium tremens.


Acute, darting pains in stomach.
Sinking or goneness in epigastrium, nausea, internal tremor; women.
Faint sinking feeling at epigastrium with palpitation of heart.


Periodical colicky pains, amel. bending double and after stool.
Flatulence, causing a sensation of fullness.
Severe pains in bowels, small of back and down limbs.
Excruciating pains in bowels, much rumbling and wind.
Sharp pain across hypogastrium. ~ In uterine affections.
Abdominal muscles sore.


Frequent, thin, dark, offensive stools. ~ Spotted fever.
Morning diarrhea, of children.
Pains go from limbs to bowels, producing diarrhea and partial retention of urine.
Alternate diarrhea and constipation.


Pressing in region of kidneys and small of back.
Irritable bladder.
Urine: profuse, pale, watery; bloody, frequent; scanty, hot.
Increased flow of urine makes her feel weak.
Sp. gr. 1.005, then 1.019, 1.020; deposit of uric acid.


Pain and tenderness in testicles.
Pain and retraction in right spermatic cord.


Spasms of broad ligaments.
Ovarian pains shoot up to side.
Severe pain in lower part of abdomen, agg. from motion.
Uterine neuralgia.
Pains in uterine region dart from side to side.
Dull dragging in uterine region, with frontal headache.
Bearing down as if something was passing out; amel. lying down.
Bearing down in uterine region and small of back; limbs feel heavy, torpid.
Great tenderness on pressure over uterine region.
Menses: profuse, early ; dark, coagulated blood; scanty, slightly coagulated; sharp pains across abdomen, has to double up; labor-like pains; debility between periods; scanty flow between menses.
Menses suppressed: by emotions; from cold; from fever.
Menses irregular, delayed or suppressed, with chorea, hysteria, or mental disease.
During menses; hysterical or epileptic spasms; increase mental symptoms; “shivers.”
Severe bearing-down pains.
Rheumatic dysmenorrhea.
Leucorrhea, with sensation of weight in uterus.
Exhausting menses; with a young girl who was unable to open her eyelids.


Given during last month, it shortens labor.
Complaints in pregnancy; nausea: false labor-like pains; sharp pains across abdomen; sleeplessness.
Threatened miscarriage, third month; nervous, anxious.
Labor-pains: severe, tedious or spasmodic, with fainting fits or cramps; too strong, spasmodic; feels agg. from least noise; ceased for thirty-six hours.
Cardiac neuralgia in parturition.
Convulsions in labor from nervous excitement.
“Shivers,” first stage of labor.
After pains, agg. in groins; oversensitiveness; nausea and vomiting.
Lochia, suppressed, by cold or emotions; watery, mixed with small clots; suddenly ceased (puerperal fever).
Inframammary pains, agg. left side.
Burning in mamma.
Rigidity of os uteri in labor (should be taken some weeks before parturition).
Puerperal fever.
Puerperal mania: does not know what is the matter with her head, it feels so strange, talks incoherently, screams, clutches her breast as though in pain, tries to injure herself.


Hoarseness, roughness and scraping, agg. in evening; very sensitive to cold air.
Tickling in throat, with violent cough.


Frequent sighing, respiration quickened on waking.
Difficult breathing after slight exertion, with general feeling of illness.

COUGH. [27]

Dry spot in throat causes cough.
Night cough, dry, constant, short. ~ Incipient tuberculosis.
Cough at every attempt to speak.
Expectoration of a viscid, stringy mucus.


Severe pain in left chest, below fifth or sixth rib.
Pain in right side of chest, must lie quietly on back and press with hand; breath short; slight cough.
Congestion to chest from exposure to cold air, with dry cough, night-sweats and diarrhea.
Pain through left lung and heaviness over heart.
Tuberculosis, not hereditary, but from exposure.
Sharp pains from side to side.
Acute pain from apex to base of right lung, agg. from every inspiration.


Palpitation from least motion.
Pains from region of heart, all over chest and down left arm; palpitation; unconsciousness; cerebral congestion; dyspnea; face livid; cold sweat on hands; numbness of body; left arm numb and as if bound to side. ~ Angina pectoris.
Heart's action ceases suddenly; impending suffocation.
Pulse weak, irregular, eighty per minute; feeble in morning, with trembling and weakness.
Quick full pulse. ~ Delirium tremens.
Sensation as if a heavy black cloud had settled all over her, and weighed like lead upon her heart. ~ Mental disorder.


Pains about right chest, agg. from motion, extorting cries. ~ Pleurodynia.


Head and neck retracted. ~ Spotted fever.
Rheumatic pains in muscles of neck and back; feeling of stiffness and contraction.
Cramp in muscles of neck on moving head.
Stiff neck from cold air, pain from moving even hands.
Sensitiveness of spine, especially in cervical and upper dorsal regions; soreness of all muscles. ~ Spotted fever.
Rheumatism of dorsal muscles.
Severe pain in back, down thighs and through hips, with heavy pressing down.
Violent aching in small of back. ~ Uterine affections.
Weight and pain in lumbar and sacral regions, sometimes extending all around body.
Weak trembling pain in small of back.
Pulsating pains in lumbar region.
Dull, heavy aching in small of back, amel. by rest, agg. by motion.


Severe pains down arms, with numbness as if a nerve had been compressed.
Excruciating pains in arms, agg. as evening approaches. ~ Rheumatism.
Pains in muscles, agg. from motion.
Left arm feels as if bound to side. ~ Chorea.
Constant irregular motions of left arm, which is useless. ~ Chorea.
Cold sweat on hands.
Trembling of fingers, especially when writing.


Aching in sacrum, lumbar region and down left leg. ~ Sciatica.
Severe pain in ileo-sacral symphysis and down leg.
Pressure around hips, with pain in sacrum. ~ Threatened miscarriage.
Fearful pains through lower limbs, like growing pains.
Rheumatic pains in joints, with heat and swelling.
Towards evening, soreness, aching and stiffness in region of tendo-achillis; agg. walking; soreness of heels as if bruised.
Dull aching-burning pain in second joint of right great toe, extending up limb.


Aching in limbs.
Excessive muscular soreness.
Rheumatism affecting bellies of muscles; cramping, stitching pains.
Uneasy feeling in limbs, causing restlessness.
Torpidity of limbs, with uterine affections.
Joints feel stiff in morning, as if he had worked hard day before.


Rest: improves aching in back.
Wants to lie down and close eyes.
Lying down: shooting and aching in head agg.; ciliary neuralgia amel.; uterine troubles amel.; jerking commences.
Must lie quietly on back: in chest pains.
Rising from bed: dizzy.
Stooping: head swims.
Bending double: colic amel.; menstrual troubles amel.
Must change position: to quiet jerking, in bed.
Walking: aggravates soreness, aching and stiffness of tendo-achillis.
After walking in open air: headache relieved.
Can scarcely walk: from trembling of legs.
Must walk about; when restless and impatient.
Desire to move about: when restless.
Exertion: sighing, difficult respiration.
Motion: increases pain in head and eyeballs; causes palpitation; increases pain in right side of chest; dull aching in back agg.
Going up-stairs: aggravates feeling as if top of head would fly off; pain in eyes agg.
Moving head: causes opening and shutting sensation head; produces cramps in muscles of neck.
Moving eyes: causes opening and shutting sensation of head.
Moving eyelids; aggravates pain through left eye.
Moving hands: increases pains of stiff neck.
When writing: fingers tremble.
Clutches at breast: in puerperal mania.

NERVES. [36]

Nervous shuddering through upper and back part of body.
Twitching of fingers and toes.
Trembling of legs, scarcely able to walk.
Great debility between menses.
Irregular motion of limbs, agg. left; legs unsteady. ~ Chorea.
Alternate tonic and clonic spasms. ~ Spotted fever.
Epilepsy, periodical convulsions, with uterine diseases.
Hysteric spasms.
Restless forenoon: desire to move about, not knowing where to go or what to do.
Nervous uneasiness during afternoon, so uneasy can scarcely fix his attention on any subject.
Paralytic affections.
Limbs cold, twitching, subsultus. ~ Puerperal fever.

SLEEP. [37]

Comatose state.
Sleeplessness: with excited brain. ~ After nursing the sick. ~ During pregnancy. ~ Delirium tremens.
Cannot sleep, because she feels numb all over. ~ After an abortion.
Sleepy, but cannot sleep because of pain through left eye on closing lid.
Awakens 11 P. M. as in a fright.
Unpleasant dreams of being in trouble or in a sad plight.
After going to bed jerking commences on side on which he lis lying, must change position.

TIME. [38]

Night: ciliary neuralgia agg.; facial neuralgia amel.; sore throat awakens; cough constant; sweats; fever with clammy sweat.
Morning: dizzy; pains in eyeballs agg.; diarrhea in teething children; pulse feeble; joints feel stiff.
At 2 A. M.: violent headache.
Forenoon: restless.
At 10 A. M.: dull boring in forehead, chilliness, heat, languor.
At 11 A. M. to noon: chilliness.
Day: mucous discharge in coryza; facial neuralgia agg.
Afternoon: headache; ciliary neuralgia; uneasy, nervous.
At 5 P. M.: chill, heat and sweat.
Towards evening: pains in arms agg.; pain in region of tendo-achillis agg.
Evening: headache; coryza dry; hoarseness agg.
At 9 P. M.: headache disappears after a walk in open air.
At 11 P. M.: awakes as if frightened.


Cold air: seems to penetrate the system; aching pains in head and eyes sensitive to it; larynx sensitive to it; from exposure congestion to the chest; causes stiff neck; when suffering with flushes of heat wants to be in cold air.
Open air: relieves headache.
In-doors: headache, mostly occipital.

FEVER. [40]

Chilliness down back, from 11 to 12 M., with pain under left scapula.
Chilly before and during discharge. ~ Dysmenorrhea.
Chilliness, then heat; languid, stretches her limbs, 10 A. M.
Feet and hands cold, then hot.
Chill, heat, sweat, alternating with dry skin, 5 P. M.
Chills, cold tremors from back; hot flushes, then slight sweat on abdomen.
Night-sweats, diarrhea. ~ Tuberculosis of lungs.
Sweat smells offensive.
Skin cold and moist. ~ Delirium tremens.
Fever during night with clammy sweat, pulse 150 and small, with great prostration. ~ Puerperal fever.


Periodical: attacks of colic; epileptic convulsions.
Pains come on suddenly.
Headache at intervals.
Headache every day at same hour.
Tendency to abort at third month.
Alternate: diarrhea and constipation; tonic and clonic spasms.


Right: pains in head and back of orbit; ciliary neuralgia; pain in spermatic cord; pain in chest; aching in great toe.
Left: dull boring over brow, aching and shooting in temple, eye and ear; pain in temple, inframammary pains; pain in chest; arm numb and seems bound to the side; irregular motions of arm; aching down leg; pain under scapula, with chill.
Side to side: darting pains in uterine region; pains in chest.
Behind forward, diagonally: shooting pains through head.
Below upward: shooting pains through head, ovarian pains; aching and burning, beginning in right toe; pains from limbs to bowels, causing diarrhea.
Above downward: shooting from occiput along neck; sharp pains in lung; pain from heart; pain in arms; chilliness in back.
Within outward: pressure of brain; pressure of eyeballs.
Without inward: sharp pains with keratitis.


Like electric shocks here and there.
Feels faint at epigastrium when meeting a friend; head feels too large and heavy; as if a heavy black cloud had settled over her; brain feels too large for cranium; opening and shutting sensation when moving head and eyes; as if temples were compressed; head as if pounded; as if top of head would fly off; as if a ball had been driven from neck to vertex; as if vertex opened and let in cold air; as if eyes were enlarged and would be pressed out of head; as if needles were run into eyeball through cornea; bearing down in uterine region and small of back; head feels strange, puerperal mania; left arm numb as if bound to side; numbness in arms as if a nerve had been compressed; like growing pains through legs; uneasy feeling in limbs; stiff joints as after hard work; nervous shuddering.
Sharp, lancinating pains in various parts, associated with ovarian or uterine irritation.
Whole body, especially arms, feels numb.
General bruised feeling as if sore.
Pricking all over.
Pain: over eyes; in head and eyeballs, in right side of head back of orbit; in back and limbs; in centre of eyeballs; over eyes extending to occiput; through chest; under left scapula; region of kidneys; in bowels; small of back and limbs; in testicles; in right spermatic cord; in lower abdomen; from heart all over chest and down left arm; in back, down thighs, through hips; down arms; in muscles: in ileo-sacral symphysis; in sacrum; in limbs.
Aching pains: in head; eye and ear; in occiput; in eyes; in small of back; in sacrum; down left leg; in region of tendo-achillis.
Sharp pains: through eye into head; across hypogastrium; from apex to base of right lung.
Excruciating pain: in forehead, eyeballs and temples; in bowels; in arms.
Shooting: in head; in eye and ear; down back of neck; from occiput through to eyes; from ovaries up to side.
Stitching pains: in muscles.
Darting: from eyes to top of head; into left eye; in stomach; from side to side in uterus.
Dull boring: in forehead.
Dull aching burning; in second joint of right great toe.
Weak trembling pain: in small of back.
Pulsating pain: in lumbar region.
Burning: in mamma.
Soreness: of abdominal muscles; of muscles of spine; in region of tendo-achillis; of all muscles.
Dull pain: in occiput.
Dull, heavy aching: in small of back.
Rheumatic pains: in neck and back; in joints.
Scraping: in larynx.
Bruised feeling: in heels.
Pressing: in region of kidneys; around hips.
Waving sensation: in brain.
Throbbing: in head.
Fullness: in head; from flatulence.
Sinking or goneness: in epigastrium.
Dull feeling: in vertex; in head as after a “spree.”
Dull dragging: in uterine region.
Cramp: in muscles of neck; in muscles.
Heaviness: in head; of eyes; in uterus; of limbs; over heart; in lumbar and sacral regions.
Tickling: in throat.
Heat: in head; in mouth and tongue; of urine; of whole surface.
Dryness: of mouth and tongue; spot in throat; in pharynx.
Numbness: of left arm; all over, preventing sleep.


Affects nerves, especially of muscles. ~ Myalgia.
Serous membranes.
Chorea from rheumatic irritation.


Surface sensitive.
Pressure: relieves dull frontal headache; desires it during vomiting; aggravates tenderness over uterine region.
Must press with hand: during pain in right side of chest.

SKIN. [46]

Eruption of white pustules over face and neck; sometimes large, red, papular.
Prickling, itching, heat of whole surface.


Climacteric years.
Nervousness from anxiety or overexertion.
Rheumatic persons.
Children, teething; diarrhea.


Side relations, Act. spic. and other Ranunculaceae.
Aconitum relieves sleeplessness.
Actaea spicata, Bryon. and Pulsat., similar in rheumatism.
Baptisia relieved headache and nausea.
Cauloph. similar in uterine and rheumatic affections.
Compare: Pulsat., Sepia, Nat. mur., Lil. tig., and Ignat.


Source: The Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica Vol. 04, 1884
Description: Clinical materia medica of Cimicifuga racemosa
Remedies: Cimicifuga racemosa
Author: Hering, C.; Raue, C.G.; Knerr, C.B.; Mohr, C.
Year: 1884
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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