AHP Releases Blue Cohosh Monograph

June 22, 2012

2 Min Read
AHP Releases Blue Cohosh Monograph

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® (AHP) released its quality control standards (QC) and therapeutic compendium for the botanical dietary supplement ingredient blue cohosh root and rhizome.

Each AHP monograph establishes standards for assuring authenticity, purity and QC of the monographed botanical. Each monograph addresses the historical use of the botanical along with multiple methods of analysis for ensuring the botanicals authenticity that include both physical and chemical tests appropriate for individual dispensaries or small or large companies. The identification section provides detailed photographs and images with which to develop companies internal identification specifications. Accompanying the standards is the AHP Therapeutic Compendium, which provides a complete and critical review of the pharmacological and safety data currently available, including information on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, actions, medical indications, historical and modern traditional use, structure/function claims, dosages, interactions, side effects, contraindications and toxicology.

All of this information can be used as part of a companys product substantiation files in supporting structure-function statements as well as establishing the safety of their product. Blue cohosh was historically one of the most widely used and highly relied upon botanicals for augmenting labor for more than 100 years. Conventional labor induction is one of the primary reasons why America has the worst infant mortality statistics of any similarly developed nation. Blue cohosh was one of the primary botanicals used to help to facilitate normal and efficient labor. Concerns based on case reports about its potential fetal toxicity have caused it to fall into disuse, thus potentially eliminating a once very important herb from the materia medica.

 This has been the most challenging monograph AHP has developed to date," said AHP's executive director Roy Upton. "We had to weigh the traditional data, human experience, case reports, chemistry and mechanistic plausibility for toxicity within the context of the often barbaric birthing practices employed in this country, the result of which causes more of our babies to die than in almost every other developed country; and then come up with the best guidance we could for its use."

The monograph was co-authored and edited by herbalist, midwife, physician and AHP medical director Aviva Romm, and was based on her Yale doctoral thesis as well as her original work conducted with midwives. In addition to Romms blue cohosh review being vetted by the Yale doctoral review board, the monograph was subjected to review of traditional herbalists, midwives, naturopathic physicians, medical obstetrics experts and integrative medical doctors, among AHPs normal cadre of other experts, such as botanists and chemists.

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