The dried rhizome and rootlets of Cimicifuga racemosa. Synonym: Actaea racemosa.

Characters. - The rhizome is hard, 2-6 inches long, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, somewhat flattened-cylindrical in form, having on its upper surface the remains of several aerial stems, and below numerous small wiry brittle branched rootlets, which in commercial specimens are more or less broken off. Both rhizome and rootlets are brownish-black, almost odourless, and of a bitter, slightly acrid, taste. Their fracture is close, that of the rootlets presenting a thick bark, and a central axis with from three to five, usually four, converging woody wedges, so as to assume a triangular, cross-like, or stellate appearance. An infusion is blackened by a persalt of iron.

Composition. - It contains, when fresh, a volatile oil, a resin, and a bitter neutral substance, but it is not known to which of these its activity is due.

B. and U.S.P. Officinal Preparations.

Dose.

Extractum Cimicifugae Liquidum, B.P. (Fluidum, U.S.P.) ...

3-30 min.

Tinctura Cimicifugae........................................................................

15-60 min.

Action. - In large doses this drug produces nausea, vomiting, depression, headache, and giddiness. Its action on the heart is said to be like that of digitalis, but is less powerful.

Uses. - It is used as a stomachic and cardiac tonic in various conditions of weakened heart. It has been used in chorea, rheumatic affections, headache, and neuralgia, and is useful as an expectorant in bronchitis or acute catarrh, and in phthisis. Under the name of Actaea racemosa it obtained a great reputation as a cure for acute rheumatism, but this was not confirmed on a more extensive trial.