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Saturday, October 1, 2016



Taking herbs for various WOMEN'S LIFE CYCLES are very important, and easy, to creating a balanced and harmonious lifestyle.  Our bodies go through such profound changes during pregnancy/childbirth, the comfort and ease of getting pregnant, carrying during pregnancy, and then labor, can be facilitated with herbs specifically suited for the woman's feminine essence. 

Every woman should drink red raspberry tea regularly.  It is a specific tonic herb for the woman’s entire reproductive system, regardless of your age (after the onset of the menses).

Preparing herbal teas: different parts of the herbs are handled according to their softness (yin) or hardness (yang).  Yin parts of herbs are the leaves and flowers.  Because they are soft and delicate, they should not be boiled – as that would destroy the medicinal components in the herbs because they would be destroyed in the aggressive boiling.  Instead, you should boil the water and then add the herbs to the pot, (always covered).  Then remove from the flame, and allow to simmer for twenty minutes.  Or, if you put the herbs in a cup, add the boiling water, cover the tea cup and allow the herbs to sit for twenty minutes.  Yang herbs, on the other hand, are the roots, barks, and stems, and need aggressive stimulation in order for the therapeutic properties to be released.  These harder, woody parts should be cut, chopped or sliced, added to the boiling water, covered, and allowed to boil for twenty minutes.  Then remove the pot from the flame and allow it to remain sitting for another twenty minutes.  If the formula you make or purchase includes a combination of yin and yang herb parts, you would simply add the formula to the boiling water, covered, and allow the formula to boil for only five minutes or so.  This would not destroy the yin herbs, and it would stimulate the yang herbs.  Remove from the flame, and allow the formula to steep another twenty minutes, still covered.  To sweeten, NEVER use sugar.  Raw honey would be best, as well as a number of other natural sweeteners, but never sugar.

INFUSIONS are awesome.  They are more potent and really simple to make.  You take the same herb(s), put them in a quart jar, add boiling water, cap tightly and let sit overnight.  I like to sit mine overnight and put some honey in the bottom of the jar before adding the herbs or hot water – that way it’s already sweetened.  Or let sit for four or more hours.  Then you can sip/drink the tea all day.  The tea doesn’t have to be scalding hot when you drink it.  It can be warm or room temperature, but it should definitely not be cold.  When you make large amounts, it can be refrigerated (strained) for three days.

Last year I found myself in the ER with a bout of kidney stones.  Since then, I do an occasional infusion of kidney herbs to eliminate kidney and gravel stones, cleanse the urinary tract and strengthen the kidneys.  You can also do that as maintenance with any condition.  Pick a couple of herbs that treat that condition, make an infusion and drink it once or twice a month.  I realized as I am typing this, I haven’t had my kidney herb infusion in more than a month, so I just got up and made some which I will drink first think in the morning on an empty stomach.  Yeah!

Following are a number of herbal tea suggestions for various stages (pre and post) of pregnancy/childbirth.

To alleviate symptoms of jaundice, anemia, constipation and toxemia: alfalfa and red raspberry leaves.

To reduce acidity and help with iron assimilation: borage, nettle and clover leaves.

As a general tonic: comfrey root.

To tone uterine muscles: red raspberry, apple peels, mint, blackberry and peach leaves (also reduces morning sickness). 

To aid during childbirth: basil, lavender, nutmeg, red raspberry; squaw vine (taken during last two weeks).

To expel the placenta: chamomile, angelica root, pennyroyal, basil.  

To restore the blood after birth: alfalfa, comfrey; to heal placenta site: comfrey, plantain; to stop excess bleeding: yarrow, shepherd's purse, nettle.

Other birthing herbs: blue cohosh, lobelia, squaw vine, sassafras. 

Breastfeeding: bayberry, milkwort, chammomile, fennel, hops, blessed thistle, lavender.

To increase milk production: fennel seeds, alfalfa, borage, anise/star anise seeds.

To decrease milk: mugwort, sage, mullein, comfrey – for sore breasts use these as a leaf compress or tea.

For vaginitis or yeast infection, use Golden Seal, chamomile, sage, comfrey: these may also be taken together.  For severe conditions drink 1 cup 1-3 times per day, otherwise one cup every other day. 

As a mild, general tonic to soothe the nerves during menses: clover, chamomile, valerian root and mugwort.  Parsley can be taken to increase menstrual flow (and also to relieve cramps) along with tansy and true unicorn root. 

To decrease the menstrual flow: cranesbill, white pine bark, yarrow, white oak bark, juniper berries, bay leaves, black cohosh, skullcap, rue and pennyroyal.

Do not take blue or black cohosh, pennyroyal or tansy in excess and avoid pennyroyal, angelic and rue during pregnancy as they may cause miscarriage.  Also avoid juniper berries and parsley with kidney problems or inflammation.

A general tonic for menopause: Blessed thistle, mugwort, rye, sage; to soothe the nerves: hops, valerian root, chamomile and lemon balm; to relieve menopausal symptoms: wild yam, fenugreek, gotu kola, licorice root and sarsaparilla. For best results make a tea combining one herb from each of these groups with an herb high in minerals (dandelion, alfalfa or borage) and drink a cup daily.

Please look up any of these herbs for further clarification and explanations of each herb.  I’ve shared a lot of suggestions.  Even though it seems simple enough to me, it can clearly be confusing and overwhelming if you have no experience with herbs.  But their use really is simple.  If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to drop me an email, I would be more than happy to clarify things.  If you get an herb book or two, and begin reading about the herbs, the simplicity of their use will be obvious.  I PROMISE.  Just pick one or two herbs in the various categories, and make a simple tea to start.  None of the herbs I’ve suggested are dangerous, except in specific situations.  Just like any food, or exercise, or dessert – if you have allergies, or medication restrictions, or serious health conditions – you simply can’t eat peanuts (if you are allergic), or exercise too strenuously (if you have a heart condition or knee surgery), or eat sweets that might raise your blood sugar.  So read about the herbs before you take them, so that you do so with knowledge and safety.

Suggested reading: The Way of Herbs, by Michael Tierra, advanced reading The School of Natural Healing by Dr. John Christopher.

My book will finally be out in another six-eight weeks: “The Energetics of How Herbs Heal, without Drugs or Surgery.”  You can get your discounted ($3) copy now on the pre-order website:  After its release the book will be $9.99.

                                                              . . . MAKE NATURE'S MEDICINE YOUR OWN

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