Blue Cohosh

Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Blue cohosh (</span>Caulophyllumthalictroides) root contains N-methylcytosine, which has nicotine-like effects, and caulosaponin, a glycoside that constricts coronary vessels and may have oxytocic activity. It has been used to promote labor.[1][2][3] Blue cohosh has no specific uses during breastfeeding. No data exist on the safety and efficacy of blue cohosh in nursing mothers or infants; however, it can cause severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular toxicity, including in neonates whose mothers used it to stimulate labor. Most sources recommend strongly against its use during breastfeeding because of lack of safety data and potential toxicity.[2][4]

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Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants:

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Possible Effects on Lactation:

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


1. Allaire AD, Moos MK, Wells SR. Complementary and alternative medicine in pregnancy: a survey of North Carolina certified nurse-midwives. Obstet Gynecol. 2000;95:19-23. PMID:10636495
2. Dennehy C, Tsourounis C, Bui L, King TL. The use of herbs by California midwives. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2010;39:684-93. PMID:21044150
3. Low Dog T. The use of botanicals during pregnancy and lactation. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009;15:54-8. PMID:19161049
4. Dugoua JJ, Perri D, Seely D, Mills E, Koren G. Safety and efficacy of blue cohosh (</span>caulophyllumthalictroides) during pregnancy and lactation. Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;15:e66-73. PMID:18204101

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:

Blue Cohosh

Scientific Name:


CAS Registry Number:


Drug Class:

  • Complementary Therapies

  • Phytotherapy

  • Plants, Medicinal

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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