Spring is a fantastic time to gather herbs to make a women’s medicine kit.
Collect your herbs from areas which are pristine and contain large stands of plants. Try drying your herbs or make them into tinctures, syrups and herbal pills. Many of the remedies are useful for the entire family. The following herbs have been used to enhance women’s health and wellbeing for centuries.
1. Ahecha keeke
The Seminole made a medicine called ahecha keeke — caretaking medicine — for women’s health. Most recipes included: red maple — sometimes collected from injured portions of the tree — pine, oak, ash, strangler fig or rubber tree. Some recipes included strap fern, rabbit tobacco, wild persimmon, mulberry bark and elder. Men were not allowed to touch this medicine. It was used as a steam, over which a woman would sit or stand, as well as for a vaginal wash, and a bath. Ahecha keeke was also taken orally. It was taken for pain, backache and post-menopausal problems. The ingredients were likely very soothing as they possess astringent, antiseptic and relaxing properties.
Famous herbalist Jethro Kloss recommended maple for women’s health. The inner bark of maple species have been used to make vaginal douches. Kloss reported the use of sugar maple as a blood purifier and nervine. Gather the inner bark from downed limbs. Simmer them for 20 minutes. Strain out the inner bark and use the remaining liquid as a tea. The tea may be used as a vaginal douche.
Yarrow is a valuable remedy for women. It reduces pelvic congestion and is valuable when menses are painful or if the menstrual flow is excessive. Yarrow is also used to regulate erratic, delayed menses. You can make a douche of yarrow tea to relieve minor vaginal infections. If you have been diagnosed with cervical erosion, a yarrow douche can help to remedy this health issue as well.
Herbalists have historically used yarrow during labor to reduce labor pain. They believed that it helped to promote the passage of the afterbirth. Modern midwives still utilize yarrow during childbirth. It controls hemorrhaging, too.
All parts of yarrow are useful. If using the flowering tops, gather them when they are in full bloom.
Kudzu is a valuable herbal ally for women. Kudzu contains natural plant compounds, called isoflavones, which are similar to those found in soy. Isoflavones relieve menopausal complaints such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes and night sweats. Fibrocystic breast disease may be ameliorated with kudzu.
While kudzu is generally considered safe, experts recommend caution for women who have a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. It is not recommended for women who take the pharmaceutical drug Tamoxifen. Kudzu may be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Kudzu can enhance memory and concentration.
Harvest kudzu liberally as it is considered an invasive plant. While all parts are useful, the root is the most active part of the plant.
Gather fresh young raspberry leaves as soon as they appear. Raspberry leaves make a terrific tea, especially when blended with dried or fresh raspberries.
Many women suffer from anemia due to heavy menses. Employ raspberry leaf to supply your body with iron. Raspberry leaves are an outstanding source of easily absorbable iron. Unlike iron supplements, raspberry leaf does not cause abdominal discomfort or constipation.
In addition to iron, raspberry leaves contain many trace vitamins and minerals. It may be used by people of all ages. Raspberry tea is an excellent tonic to use while pregnant.
6. Red clover
Red clover flowers contain healthy plant phytoestrogens which inhibit the formation of tumors. Use red clover to make a sweet tea which promotes relaxation and improves sleep. It is useful during menses as red clover relieves cramps.
Red clover is a rich source of phytoestrogens. It prevents tumor formation and relieves muscle spasms. It calms the nerves, reduces high blood pressure, and relieves palpitations. In my opinion, red clover is one of the best herbs for women’s health.
Many women put on a few pounds prior, before and during menses. Dandelion leaf reduces fluid buildup. This can reduce discomfort, water weight, mood swings, and headaches which are common during menses. Include fresh young dandelion greens in your diet. A tea may be made; however try making an herbal extract as dandelion tea is a rather bitter.
This is the time of year to carefully gather young nettle leaves. Cooking and drying removes their sting. Include nettles in your diet as a spinach substitute. Nettles are packed with vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in nettles can help to prevent hair loss. Nettles are rich in magnesium and calcium, necessary for healthy bones. Other nutrients in nettles prevent excess bleeding. Nettles are a terrific tonic for every woman.
By gathering your own herbs now you will have top quality, free, herbal remedies available now and in the months to come.