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Embrace Your Moon; Let Plants Help You

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 2 views
by Anne Salazar-Dunbar, Therapeutic Herbalist

(This article is intended to address the needs of the woman who wishes to balance her cycles, and thereby enhancing her fertility.)

Once a month or so, women are reminded of their Power and their deep connection to Creation. In some traditional cultures, women were revered at this time- a time of deep introspection and clearer relationship to Spirit. It was understood that we needed a time out from normal everyday life; we needed to nurture and honor ourselves.

Modern society has created a sense of hidden shame around our menstrual cycles. It is normal to feel embarrassment and pain. It has become a major inconvenience. So much so that modern science is proudly creating pills that allow women to only have a menstrual cycle every four months or so.

It is no wonder, then, that our moon cycles have become tangled up with physical challenges. Combine that with our auto-toxic modern lifestyles and we have ourselves a rather intense recipe for trouble.

This is where herbs come in. Plants are connected directly to the natural cycles. They are original in their source and behavior. Nothing has changed for them. Therefore they are perfect teachers and helpmates in re-establishing our relationships with our bodies and their natural and sacred cycles. The number of herbs that contain healing properties specifically for women is truly amazing. There is a definite affinity for the female spirit in the loving spirit of the plant world.

The list is long, but I would like to share some of my favorites.

Raspberry Leaf- known as an herb supreme for pregnancy, raspberry is also an excellent tonic herb for all cycles of a woman's life. I always add it to any formula that is dealing with women's challenges. Raspberry is a great uterine tonic, containing high concentration of vitamins and minerals, (especially iron and calcium).

Vitex- this wonderful plant has a stimulating effect on the pituitary gland, which among other things, regulates and normalizes hormone production. This can be particularly helpful with painful and irregular menses. It is also useful in cases of PMS, menopausal problems, and other hormonal imbalances.

Motherwort- as the name implies, this herb is special for mothers. It has been known for a long time as a treatment for both the heart and the female reproductive system. It is excellent for stimulating delayed menses. It is also known to calm the stressed spirit of an over-tired mother. It can also be good for water retention, tension, and PMS. It is not recommended during pregnancy as it is a uterine stimulant.

Nettle- An all round favorite of mine, nettle is a super food that feeds the spirit and body of all people. This is another plant that I put in all of my formulas for women. It builds and cleans the blood, nourishes the body, corrects PMS, helps with water retention, and can be excellent for excessive bleeding. The high concentration of minerals and vitamins in nettle are easily assimilated; it is one of the best plant sources of iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and chlorophyll.

Chamomile- well known for its gentle sedative properties, chamomile is a powerful yet soft healer. Chamomile works on the digestive system, the nervous system, and is anti-inflammatory. It is an excellent remedy for all manner of women's disorders, especially those rising from stress, anxiety and tension.

Dandelion- because of its ability to heal, nourish, and cleanse, dandelion is an excellent herb for many women's issues. It is effective for menstrual bloating, PMS, and breast tenderness associated with water retention. Considered a food, dandelion provides a rich source of vitamins A, C, iron, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals. The root supplies essential nutrients needed by the liver to help produce and regulate the production of hormones. The leaf aids the kidneys in eliminating excess water and toxins from the system.

This list could go on endlessly. I hate to leave out Dong Quai, Lavender, and so many others. But you get the picture. And keep in mind that many of these plants that are so good for women are considered bitters. And bitters are specific for the liver and digestion. The liver is compromised greatly in our modern culture- the auto-toxicity that I mentioned earlier. If we can help the liver, we can un-do many of the problems we face.

So keep your fellow plants in mind as you find you need assistance. They are ready and willing to do what they do so well!!

Moon Tea
This is a delicious tea that can be enjoyed anytime. It is nourishing, balancing, and relaxing.

Equal parts:
Red Raspberry

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and will not diagnose or prescribe. Anything you read in this article comes from personal experience and is not intended to be taken as medical advice.

Anne is a second generation native San Diegan, and mother of three. She is a certified clinical herbalist with training and experience in both Western and Eastern modalities. She is a graduate of Self Heal School and the East West School of Herbal Medicine. Along with a private practice specializing in women and children (though not exclusive to them), Anne also teaches classes in herbal medicine and nutritional health. In addition she works as the Lead Practitioner at Pharmaca, La Jolla. She is happy to join the Natural BabyPros team, and to assist our membership in finding balance in their health, and learning how to use herbs and nutrition for the overall well-being of themselves and their families.

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