Forage Friday #91 Blue Cohosh

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Blue Cohosh 32420” and was taken specifically for Forage Friday. All photos found on my website are my original work unless otherwise specified and are available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

Blue Cohosh is one of our native cash crops in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s long history among Midwives goes back deep into the history of the Native Americans. They used it to cause flow of delayed menstrual cycles and to cause miscarriages. It’s also said to have been used for muscle spasms including hiccups. Some online sources say it was once used to treat epilepsy. The action of the would appear to be that it has a relaxing effect on parasympathetic nerves. Modern science has concluded that it contains glycocides and alkaloids are toxic to the myocardium ( muscles of the heart ). Obviously it shouldn’t be used lightly by anyone but especially heart patients.

It is a member of the buttercup family which has a lot of toxic plants. So we shouldn’t be surprised to find out that blue Cohosh is one of the plants that should be reserved for those who have reached a certain level of expertise ( which I am not one of them having never been in need of it’s main purpose). In spite of all the hazards, blue cohosh is available over the counter and I’ve not really heard anything about people reporting bad experiences.

As stated earlier it is a cash crop for landowners who make the time to go out and collect it. It’s kinda like taking a hike in the mountains and finding money just lying around all over. Currently it seems to go for about $11.00/pound and the last time I sold it ( more than 20 years ago) the buyers bought it washed and wet. This means that the diggers would soak it in a bucket overnight to increase the weight. The buyers knew that and adjusted their offering price accordingly. As best as I can remember we dug it in late summer and it’s actually considered endangered in some places. (Check your local regulations before harvest. Some plants have a legal season.)

As far as food value goes I am aware that the roasted seeds can be used as a coffee substitute but there’s also more plentiful plants like dandelion and chicory that can be used for coffee that it’s never been worth pursuing for me.

That’s really all I have for tonight. The growing season here hasn’t really started yet so there’s not much foraging available.

Oh and before I sign off. Please consider joining the MeWe discussion group. ( Announcement below). I’ll be addressing this in further details as a bonus post in the near future that will not be posted to Facebook except for the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Facebook page and my personal page.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.


I am adding additional social media to my network. Eventually, I’ll be leaving Facebook behind for a multitude of reasons. Even though the Lloyd’s Lens Photography page is strictly non-political I have been restricted from interacting with followers with no explanation for why. But it’s not just that. For years now Facebook has throttled content providers in general. They encourage us to grow our audience and then want to sell us back the access to them. In addition, they collect and sell the data from our interaction. So Facebook has become an entanglement of thorns. In response I have created the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe. We can still interact directly on the blog but starting today I’ll be looking for more platforms that respect the privacy of my followers and don’t limit who gets to see the post.

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2 thoughts on “Forage Friday #91 Blue Cohosh

  1. Love your photographs and information! The post on blue cohosh is interesting. One might want to consider sustainability alongside cash value when wild harvesting. Like a lot of forest botanicals who spend most of their growing season in the shade, it takes many years to get a root of marketable size. It not like digging carrots after one summer! Digging too much can affect a local population for decades. It’s good idea to be conservative when wild harvesting/foraging with these plants. Better still, plant a little patch, sit back, and watch your investment grow for a few years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my websiteand and for bringing up this important point. ♥️ You are absolutely correct about over harvesting. On the Facebook post you also brought up the idea of a forest garden for propagating important plants and that’s also an excellent suggestion. We tend to think that the Native Americans left everything to grow on its own but they actually maintained a park like environment near their settlements.


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