Pharmaceutical Latin: Rhizoma Cimicifugae
Common English: Cimicifuga
Bugbane Rhizome
Black Cohosh
Rising Hemp Root
Herbs that Release the Exterior: Cool Acrid Herbs that Release the Exterior (Wind-Heat Diaphoretics)
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Slightly Cold
Large Intestine
Maximum dose: 15g
Tincture: 2-3ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Releases the Exterior and vents measles

Headache due to Wind-Heat

Early stages of measles

Clears Heat and relieves toxicity

Fire toxins in the upper or superficial aspects of the body with sore teeth, swollen or painful gums, ulcerated lips or gums, canker sores, painful and swollen throat, sores or maculae from Warm-Heat pathogen diseases

Raises Yang and lifts sunken Qi

Central Qi Sinking or Middle Qi Deficiency with shortness of breath, fatigue and prolapse

Dai channel spasms

Guides other herbs upwards

  • Contraindicated for those with Heat due to Yin Deficiency.
  • Contraindicated for those with breathing difficulty or asthma.
  • Contraindicated for those with fully erupted measles.
  • Contraindicated for those with Excess Fire Rising.
  • Contraindicated for those with upper Excess and lower Deficiency.
  • Contraindicated during pregnancy during the first trimester.
  • Contraindicated for nursing mothers.
  • Use with caution due to potential allergic effect.
  • Toxicity: Overdose causes headaches, dizziness, vomiting, tremors, gastroenteritis and pathogenic erections.
  • It may cause ulceration and congestion of the blood in the skin.
  • It may irritate the Stomach and cause gastroenteritis. In severe cases, it may cause delirium and breathing difficulty.
  • Large doses may cause tremor, dizziness, muscle relaxation and bradycardia.

Rx. Puerariae
Ge Gen

Fr. Arctii
Niu Bang Zi
Fol. Isatidis
Da Qing Ye

Gypsum Fibrosum
Shi Gao

Early stage measles with incomplete expression of the rash with fever along with relatively superficial Yang Ming disorders.

Unblocks the pores to vent rashes and treat Wind-Heat patterns in which Heat toxin has injured the Fluids of the Stomach with fever, chills, headache and thirst.

Incomplete expression of Fire toxin rashes.

Clears Heat Excess and Fire toxin from the Yang Ming channel with toothache, swollen and bleeding gums or jaw, vertex headache or redness and swelling along the lower eyelid.

Rash resulting from Qi Stage/Yang Ming level Heat toxin.


Gypsum Fibrosum
Shi Gao
Fol. Isatidis
Da Qing Ye

Rz. Coptidis
Huang Lian

Rx. Platycodi
Jie Geng
Rx. Scrophulariae
Xuan Shen
(Fr. Arctii)
(Niu Bang Zi)

Maculae from warm febrile disease.

Clears and drains Heart and Stomach Fire with swelling of the gums, toothache, and ulcerations of the mouth and tongue.

Ulcers of the gums and mouth with bad breath.

Swollen, painful throat due to Wind-Heat.

Rx. Angelicae Dahuricae
Bai Zhi

Rx. Rehmanniae
Sheng Di Huang


Hb. Taraxaci
Pu Gong Ying
Fr. Forsythiae
Lian Qiao
Rx. Paeoniae Ru brae
Chi Shao Yao

Yang Ming headache.

Toothache from Stomach Fire.

Cools Heat in the Lungs and Stomach, stopping hemoptysis and hematemesis.

Boils, carbuncles and skin diseases.

Rx. Bupleuri
Chai Hu

Rx. Bupleuri
Chai Hu

Heat clearing herbs

Rz. Coptidis
Huang Lian
Rx. Rehmanniae
Sheng Di Huang
Shi Gao
Cx. Moutan
Mu Dan Pi

Chronic dysenteric disorders, rectal prolapse and uterine prolapse due to Yang Deficiency.

With other Wind-expelling, exterior releasing herbs to treat continuous fever, headache and sore throat from Wind-Heat patterns constrained in the muscle layer.

Erysipelas of the head and face and swelling and pain due to Fire toxin.

Stomach Fire with swollen, painful gums and oral ulcers.

Rz Atractylodis Macrocephalae
Bai Zhu

Charred Hb. Schizonepetae
Jing Jie Tan

Rx. Curcumae
Yu Jin

Dai channel spasms manifested as dragging sensations in the lower body, usually accompanied by vaginal discharge.

With charred Cimicifugae Sheng Ma Tan for urinary, menstrual or rectal bleeding due to Yang Qi Sinking and injuring the Yin collaterals.

Toxins in either the upper or lower body.

Sm. Arcae
Bing Lang

Rx. Angelicae Sinensis
Dang Gui


Sm. Persicae
Tao Ren

Rx. Angelicae Sinensis
Dang Gui
Hb. Cistanches
Rou Cong Rong
Rx. Achyranthis Bidentatae
Niu Xi

Lifts the Qi to ease the Intestines.

Raises the clear Qi, allowing turbidity to descend and moistening of the Intestines.

Unblocks stool parched by Deficiency.

Rx. Puerariae
Ge Gen

Fr. Arctii
Niu Bang Zi
Rx. Scutellariae
Huang Qin
Hb. Menthae
Bo He

Rx. Paeoniae Alba
Bai Shao
Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao

Fol. Nelumbinis
He Ye
Rz. Atractylodis
Cang Zhu
Rx. Glycyrrhizae
Gan Cao


Incomplete expression of measles.

Facial skin disorders.

Rz. Coptidis
Huang Lian

Shi Gao
Rx. Rehmanniae
Sheng Di Huang

Fr. Forsythiae
Lian Qiao
Rx. et Rz. Rhei
Da Huang
Rx. Ampelopsis
Bai Lian

Flos Lonicerae
Jin Yin Hua
Fr. Forsythiae
Lian Qiao
Hb. Taraxaci
Pu Gong Ying


Carbuncles without abscess.

Carbuncles with abscess and ulceration.

Rx. Bupleuri
Chai Hu

Rx. Astragali
Huang Qi



Prolapse of internal organs.



  1. Some sources say that this herb is used to treat Stomach Heat, Heart Yin Deficiency and Liver Yang Rising.
  2. It is used in raising Yang, relieving the surface Heat and in treatment of childhood diseases e.g. chicken pox and measles often with Rx. Pueraria Ge Gen.
  3. The essential oil is important for surface relieving and should only be cooked a short time for that application.
  4. 3-6 grams brings up Qi. 10 or more grams clears the Stomach.
  5. Some sources say it treats rheumatoid arthritis and eases childbirth.
  6. It is believed to have an insecticide affect on bugs (bugbane).
  7. This herb is very similar to the American variety of black cohosh.
  8. This is most appropriately known as Guang Dong Sheng Ma as opposed to Serratula Sheng Ma which does not have the antiprolapse action.
  9. This herb has been used recently used to treat neurocardiac disorder and hypertension.
  10. This herb has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells.
  11. One source says that this herb guides other to tonify the Spleen and Stomach.
  12. For various types of pyogenic infections, pulverize and blend with vinegar for topical application.
  13. This herb is said to cure root decay of the teeth with fetid smell.
  14. For carbuncles and eruptive diseases, decoct and apply to the sores with silk floss.
  15. For treatment of tumors, increase the dosage.
  16. Sheng Ma, Rx. Puerariae Ge Gen and Rx. Bupleuri Chai Hu all release the exterior and raise Yang. Sheng Ma disperses Wind in the muscle layer and exterior, stops Yang Ming headache, and is ideal for raising Spleen and Stomach Yang Qi to treat sinking of Yang Qi with chronic diarrhea or prolapse. Ge Gen focuses on the Yang Ming channel to release the muscle layer, eliminate Heat and treat stiff neck while encouraging the Stomach Qi to rise, producing Fluids and stopping thirst. Baked, it can lift the Yang and stop diarrhea. Chai Hu focuses on dispersing Xiao Yang channel pathogens to treat alternating chills and fever and raises Yang Qi. Its lifting power is weaker than that of Sheng ma, so they are often used together. Ge Gen and Sheng Ma can both vent rashes and Sheng Ma and Chai Hu both spread Liver Qi.
  17. Unprepared Cimicifuga Sheng Sheng Ma releases the exterior, vents rashes and strongly cools and relieves toxicity.
  18. Honey-prepared Cimicifuga Mi Zhi Sheng Ma is less acrid and dispersing, but targets the Middle Jiao and has a stronger ascending tendency.
  19. Charred Cimicifuga Sheng Ma Tan is less acrid and dispersing, but is able to stop bleeding for vaginal or rectal bleeding from weak Spleen or Qi Deficiency.
  20. Dry-fried Cimicifuga Chao Sheng Ma when fried in vinegar, has a remarkable ability to treat dysenteric disorders with nausea and difficulty eating when combined with Rx. Ginseng Ren Shen and Sm. Nelumbinis Lian Zi. When fried in wine, its abilities to tonify the Spleen and ascend are increased. Frying it in salt leads it to the Kidney channel to lift and benefit the Kidney Qi. It can be used for treating spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge and incontinence when fried in salt and combined with Kidney tonics.