Women’s Health

Women’s Health Herbal Remedies

Whilst herbs generally help improve the health of both men and women, there are a range of herbs that can specifically relieve problems associated with menstruation, fertility, vaginal infections, pregnancy and menopausal symptoms. As with the use of all herbs, always consult an herbal practitioner for persistent or severe conditions. The use of herbs during pregnancy is particularly important and should as a general rule NOT be taken in therapeutic doses unless prescribed by an herbal practitioner.

The following herbs are only a selection of the many herbs that can be used to treat female health issues.

Chamomile - A multi purpose herb, that can help calm the digestive system to ease the symptoms of morning sickness. An infusion can help lessen period pains when drunk as a tea ,as well as when cooled used externally to ease vaginal irritation.

Chinese Angelica - also known as Dong Quai, a key traditional Chinese herb for treating conditions of the female reproductive system. Chinese Angelica is used to treat infertility, regulate periods and improve libido and general vitality.

Evening Primrose – rich in essential oils that can help regulate the hormone balance of the body, by controlling the production of prostaglandins which are believed to be responsible for a whole range of PMS symptoms. At least 500mg twice a day is recommended to relieve symptoms,

Lady’s Mantle – another multipurpose herb that if taken internally can regulate excessive or irregular menstruation. Taken externally can ease vaginal itching. ( This is not the Lady’s Mantle – Alchemilla mollis found in grardens)

Marigold – also known as Calendula , it is known for its healing properties; the macerated oil can be massaged into the skin to help prevent stretch marks. Calendula if often combined with St John’s Wort and a combined tincture diluted in a bath can speed the healing of any stitches after childbirth and ease sore nipples in nursing mothers.

Raspberry Leaf – given to pregnant women in the last three months of pregnancy ( must not be taken in early pregnancy) as a uterine tonic to help the body prepare for labour. It is also useful after childbirth to promote breastmilk. As a general uterine tonic it can help relieve heavy or painful periods.

Sage - perhaps one of the best known herbs for reducing ‘hot flushes’ and noight time sweats, that can often accompany the menopause

Schisandra - best taken as a tincture, it is used by both men and women as a tonic to improve sexual energy. Another herb that can help reduce night sweats and one that Chinese women believe improves their complexions.

St John’s Wort – one of the best herbs to relieve the stress arising from PMS symptoms and the often emotional anxieties associated with the menopause

Vitex Agnus-castus – a hormone regulator used internally for menstrual and menopausal complaints, as well as infertility problems.

 

LIST OF HERBS TO AVOID IN PREGNANCY

Achillea millefolium – Yarrow

Acteae racemosa – Black Cohosh

Agastache rugosa – Purple Giant Hyssop

Aloe Vera – Aloe vera

Angelica archangelica – Angelica Root

Apium graveolens – Celery Seed

Aralia racemosa – American Spikenard

Arctostaphlos uva-ursi - Bearberry

Artemisia absinthium – Wormwood

Borago officinalis – Borage

Calendula officinalis - Marigold

Curcuma longa – Turmeric

Cymbopogon citratus - Lemongras

Eupatorium purpureum – Gravel Root

Filipendula ulmaria - Meadowsweet

Glycyrrhiza glabra – Liquorice Root

Hydrastis canadensis – Golden Seal

Hypericum perforatum – St John’s wort

Hyssop officinalis – Hyssop

Inula helenium – Elecampane

Juniperus communis – Juniper

Leonurus cardiac – Motherwort

Levisticum officinale – Lovage

Lycium barbarum – Goji

Nepeta cataria – Catmint

Panax japonicus – Japanese ginseng

Rosa x damascena – Damask Rose

Rosmarinus officinalis – Rosemary

Rumex crispus – Yellow Dock

Salix alba – White Willow

Salvia officinalis – Common Sage

Saussurea costos – Costos

Schisandra chinensis - Schisandra

Senna alexandrina –Senna

Symphytum officinale – Comfrey

Tanacetum parthenium – Feverfew

Thymus vulgaris – Common Thyme

Trifolium pratense – Red Clover

Tussilago farfara – Coltsfoot

Verbena officinalis – Vervain

Viburnum opulus - Crampbark

Viscum album – Mistletoe

Vitex agnus castus – Chasteberry

Withania somnifera – Ashwaghanda

The list of herbs to avoid in pregnancy varies in different countries, in particular the USA where the American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook list a number of additional herbs to avoid. Always check with you medical practitioner before taking any herbal remedies whilst pregnant.

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