CIMICIFUGA – Synonym: Actea racemosa; black cohosh; black snakeroot from the Ranunculaceae family is one among the multiple homoeopathic medicines having good action on the muscles of the uterus. Hence, for the female complaints it is remarkably used for conditions like dysmenorrhoea, abortion, prolonged labour, after pains. It was used as a dietary supplement for menopausal complaints in traditional medicine by Native Americans. The extract of the roots had been used to treat snakebites and labour pains in olden days.
According to Homoeopathic system of medicine the drug Actea racemosa is prepared using the resin – cimicifugin (macrotin). Macrotin has affinity towards nerves thus the medicine shows good results in the treatment of disorders of female reproductive system as stated above. In physiological doses this medicine has strong action on the unstriated muscle fibres, thus shows a good result in the management of uterine contractions during painful menses, labour or after pains. It produces hyperaesthesia of the sensory nerves with suppression of the muscular activity. This action shows a better indication of potentised Cimicifuga for the management of prolonged labour due to atonic uterus or threatened abortion after an episode of hyperactive uterine action. The medicine in its physiological doses show the hyperemic state of the brain manifested in the form of severe headache, vertigo, dimness of vision, delirium. The studies using the herbal preparation of Cimicifuga has demonstrated good results in sleep disorders especially for the elderly aged females whereas Homoeopathically it used successfully in the management of climacteric problems as sleeplessness, irritability and hypochondriac behavior.
There is no extensive proving done for this medicine, but the symptoms collected from the provers are highly valued as most of them show distinctiveness about the medicine. Some of the important symptoms of the medicine are as follows:
- Melancholy, hypochondiasis, puerperal mania; “the mania of sorrow” – by Dr Talcott
- Hysteric behavior, weeping tendency.
- Irritable, desires to be left alone, suicidal tendency.
- Obstinate insomnia with imagination of strange objects in the room, rats under the chair.
- Severe congestion of blood vessels in the head with sensation as if brain is too large; or heavy clouds settled on the head.
- Throbbing headache, more on the vertex and occiput with sensation as if the top of the skull would fly off.
- Local muscular rheumatism – stiff neck, joint pains.
- Sinking sensation in the pit of stomach with pain in the vertex and mental irritability during climacteric period.
- Myalgia of the diaphragm with sensation as if the sternum was pressed firmly with a fist.
- Severe dysmenorrhoea, neuralgic pain, uterine cramps. Pain shift from one side to other.
- Intermittent type of labour pains, spasmodic pains which cease and start again with cramps in the hips.
- Intense after pains making the patient too sensitive – indicated for sub-involution of uterus.
This remedy can be compared with Caulophyllum, Pulsatilla nigricans, Belladonna, Kali carb, Gelsemium for the action on uterine musculature; the type of pains and the pattern of uterine activity do differ.
- William Boericke ‘Boericke’s New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica with Repertory’ – 3rd revised and augumented edition
- E.A. Farrington ‘Clinical Materia Medica’ – 4th revised edition
- Richard Huges ‘ Manual of Pharmacodynamics’ – 6th edition
Dr. (Mrs.) Kiran S Kammar
Professor & HOD, Dept of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
Yenepoya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital
Naringana, Mangalore, Karnataka
Yenepoya (Deemed to be University)