This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Caulophyllum. - Synonyms. - Blue Cohosh. Squaw Root. The rhizome and roots of Caulophyllum thalictroides (Linne) Michaux (nat, ord. Berberidaceae).
North America, southward to Kentucky, in rich woodlands.
Rhizome of horizontal growth, about 10 cm. long, and about 6 to 10 mm. thick, bent; on the upper side with broad, concave stem; scars and short, knotty branches; externally grayish-brown, internally whitish, tough and woody. Roots numerous, matted, about 10 cm. long, and 1 mm. thick, rather tough; nearly inodorous; taste sweetish, slightly bitter and somewhat acrid.
Its chief constituents are - (1) Caulophylline, an alkaloid, which is colorless, odorless and almost tasteless, and crystallizes with difficulty. (2) Saponin, (see p. 448). (3) Resins, 12 per cent. (4) Tannic Acid.
Dose, 5 to 30 gr.; .30 to 2.00 gm.
Caulophyllum is used to increase the force of uterine contractions; it has been employed as a remedy for deficient labor-pains, and is believed to be useful in dysmenorrhoea.