Bugweed with white leaves and green stem
[Cimicifuga racemosa.]

Bug herb: medicinal plant for women's complaints

Cimicifuga is certainly one of the top 5 women's medicinal plants in naturopathy. Its effect is described as estrogenic, which is why it is one of THE medicinal plants for gynecological issues. In North America, bugweed was also used by Native Americans for snakebites or rheumatism and arthritis. The reason was the analgesic and antispasmodic effect of the plant. When in the 19th century an exchange between North America and Europe was increasingly established, the knowledge about the use of Cimicifuga also reached us. Since then it has been a part of our phytotherapeutic repertoire and is frequently used in medical practices.

Facts about bug weed

Did you know that...

... the name comes from the fact that it smells so unpleasant to drive away leaf bugs?

... the roots used medicinally almost all come from wild collection?

... Cimicifuga does not increase the risk of thrombosis despite its estrogen-like effect?

What is Cimicifuga racemosa?

Bugweed is a perennial herbaceous plant with growth heights from 75cm to 2.5m. Due to its distinctive rhizome and strong roots, the plant is able to overwinter. The large foliage leaves are strongly pinnate and serrated and there are up to 70 leaves averaging 8cm x 5cm on each leaf stem. The plant's flower is a spadix up to 60cm long, consisting of several raceme-like inflorescences. The bloomed flowers are ray-like spheres of white color, giving the plant its silvery sheen to which it owes its name. The plant is originally from North America but has now immigrated to our country and is spreading. Mostly it is planted for decorative purposes in perennial gardens. It loves quite poor soils and grows also in rocky areas.

General and medicinal properties of bedbug herb

The basic knowledge


Bugweed has an estrogenic effect. Its active ingredients dock onto the body's estrogen receptors, regulate the menstrual cycle and help with PMS, but without the side effects of estrogen. Thus, bedbug herb does not affect coagulation and can be given even with a high tendency to thrombosis.


Bug herb is relaxing. It is therefore also used in naturopathy for bile spasms, gastrointestinal cramps or muscle stiffness.

Mood enhancing

Bug herb is mood enhancing. Recent studies proved a central nervous effect in the brain, which, among other things, exerts a positive effect on mood. Dark clouds therefore disappear under the use of Cimicifuga and the mood lifts.

Prolonging labor

Bedbug herb is labor-promoting. In pregnant patients, bedbug herb can promote labor, which is popular to use right before childbirth to help the birth process go optimally.

Cimicifuga racemosa: Ingredients

Cimicifuga was long considered to have a purely estrogen receptor effect. Meanwhile, a central nervous regulating effect seems to be scientifically proven.

You can find the following ingredients in bugweed:

  • Saponins
  • Phenolic acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Tannins
  • Essential oils

Bug herb: effect for body and mind

Bugweed is one of the most important naturopathic gynecological medicinal plants. Its pharmacological action on estrogen receptors of the body are due to the total mixture of ingredients. An isolated substance has not yet been proven to have an overall effect. In the most recent studies it has been shown that a central nervous effect apparently has a stimulating effect on the function of the female sexual organs. This also seems to be the basis for the effect of Cimicifuga on menstrual disorders and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating. It is important to mention here that the estrogen-like effect of bedbug herb does not bring its disadvantages such as promoting tumor growth or favoring breast cancer. Thus, bedbug herb can also be used as an estrogen-like drug in estrogen-dependent disease processes.

Bug herb properties

  • Mood enhancing
  • Decongesting
  • Antiperspirant
  • Hormone regulating
  • Estrogenizing
  • Nerve regulating

Fields of application in naturopathy

[Cimicifuga racemosa.]

Due to its hormone-like and central nervous effects, this results in directly related areas of application.


Bug herb for menopausal symptoms

During menopause, the body's own production of female sex hormones naturally decreases. Often ladies suffer from symptoms such as hot flashes, sweating and sleep disturbances. Due to its estrogen-like effect, bugweed can alleviate or eliminate these symptoms. The discomfort becomes easier and the body can better adjust to the hormone-poorer time as well.

Bug herb for neuropathy

The cocktail of active ingredients of bugweed has so far only been able to release its full effect in studies. In these studies it was found that a large part of the effect of bedbug herb is caused in central nervous system, in which it has stimulating effect on nervous structures. Positive effects have also been observed in neuropathies and it is believed that these effects are related to the central nervous potential of the plant.

Bug herb for menstrual disorders

Various symptoms are summarized under the term menstrual disorders. Excessive or insufficient bleeding, a prolonged or shortened cycle, as well as hot flashes and sweating. The cause is usually a hormonal imbalance with a relative or absolute estrogen deficiency. Due to the fact that Cimicifuga shows estrogen-like effects in the body and stimulates the body's own structures to produce hormones, the bugweed can help to alleviate and clear the menstrual disorders of the affected ladies.


Bug herb for muscle and joint pain

Already among the native peoples of North America, the bugweed was known as a remedy for rheumatic complaints such as muscle and joint pain. Today it is known that lowered estrogen levels can be responsible for rheumatic phenomena. Many of the affected ladies report that during the periods of increased estrogen levels in the second half of the cycle, the symptoms usually improve. A treatment with bedbug herb and its estrogen-like effect is therefore obvious.


Bug herb for migraine

Migraine is also one of the diseases of the central nervous system, in which some structures of the CNS are overstimulated and cause symptoms such as headache, aura and nausea. The stimulating effect of bugweed on central nervous structures also shows a positive effect here, relieving both pain and other symptoms of migraine. A connection between some types of migraine and disturbed estrogen levels has been discussed for some time and could also explain the effectiveness of bugweed.

Bug herb for weak nerves

A balanced hormonal system always helps to maintain a stable nervous system. People who suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome) know what it is like to be irritable and nervous low due to hormonal fluctuations. Cimicifuga can help balance hormone levels to ensure that no hormone deficiency is responsible for the nervous weakness.

Bug herb for depressive moods

Massive hormone deficiencies are often accompanied by weepiness, sensitivity and even depressive moods. In this case, an estrogen deficiency is usually obvious, even more so if these symptoms occur in connection with the lady's cycle. Since bugweed has estrogen-like effects, it can alleviate these depressive moods or even make them disappear. An effect that significantly improves the quality of life in general.

anduse area motivation

Notes on the use of bug herb

The bug herb should generally only be used as part of a therapy for a limited period of time. Care should be taken to ensure that the liver function is always properly given. In very rare cases, it has been observed that prolonged therapy with Cimicifuga has caused liver dysfunction.

Bug herb during pregnancy & lactation

During pregnancy, the use of bedbug herb is usually contraindicated. The exception is a targeted application directly before the birth of the child, when with bedbug herb birth-promoting contractions are to be induced. However, this should only be ordered by the therapist. In too early stages of pregnancy, this could lead to abortion. Since there are no studies attesting to safety for use in the breastfeeding period, this should also be refrained from.

Bug herb for estrogen-dependent tumors.

Bugweed has estrogen-like effects, but does not have the growth-promoting properties on estrogen tumors. Therefore, bugweed preparations can also be used for breast cancer or other estrogen-dependent tumors.

Discover our sprays

With natural methods such as the individual spagyric sprays from Zimply Natural, complaints can be treated and sustainably alleviated.

Use the healing power of Cimicifuga racemosa!

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white long flower of bug weed



Botanical name

Cimicifuga racemosa

Plant family


Other designations

Black cohosh, bugweed


June till August

Harvest time

September till November


off-sun to semi-shady


North America

Flower color


Flower shape


Leaf color


Leaf shape

pinnate, pointed

Sheet properties

jagged edges

Soil type

sandy to loamy

Soil moisture

fresh to moderately moist



Lime compatibility

lime tolerant

Nutrient requirements




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