Actaea. Actaea spicata, L. Baneberry. Herb Christopher. Radix Christophoriana; Racine de Saint Christophe, Fr. Christophswurz, Wolfswurz, G.—This is a perennial herbaceous plant (Fam. Ranunculaceae) growing in the woods of mountainous regions from Japan to Central Europe as well as in Siberia. Its dark-brown, bitterish, somewhat acrid root resembles that of Helleborus niger, for which it is said to be occasionally substituted. It is an active emeto-purgative, capable of producing, when in overdose, dangerous effects. There are two American species which probably have medicinal properties similar to those of A. spicata,—namely, A. alba (L.) Mill., or white cohosh, and A. rubra (Ait.) Willd., or red cohosh, distinguished by the color of their berries. Actaea racemosa was the former name of the official Cimicifuga racemosa. (Proc. A. Ph. A., 1858.)
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.