The main compounds isolated in black cohosh are glycosides, namely triterpene glycosides: actein and its aglycone acetylacteol, cimicifugoside and its aglycone cimigenol, 27-desoxyactein, desoxyacetylacteol and other aglycones.
Furthermore flavonoids and aromatic acids like isoferulic and salicylic acids have been isolated. In addition the rhizome contains resins, volatile oil, fatty acids, tannins, alkaloids, phytosterols, starch and sugar.
Extracts of black cohosh are used for the treatment of menopausal complaints, including postoperative deficiency symptoms after ovariectomy and for the psychological and neurovegetative stabilization of the patient.
The therapy with black cohosh results in relief of subjective symptoms, such as hot flushes, outbreaks of sweating, restlessness, anxiety and irritability. Psychological as well as neurovegetative symptoms are improved.