Friday, April 20, 2007

Herbal: Motherwort

I tested out the Motherwort infusion I made the other day. Below are the results I recorded in my herbal.

(Leonurus cardiaca)

Date: April 19, 2007
Purpose: To promote menstruation
Method: Strong Infusion – Aprox. 1 pint boiling water to 6 tbsp dry herb, steeped for about 3 hours. Too Strong.
Dosage: Tried to drink 1 hot cup but bitter taste made it near impossible – even when sweetened with honey. Ended up drinking 2 shooters instead.
Effects: Slight nausea, fuzzy in the head. Long standing aftertaste. Bloated? Gas? Diuretic effects? Thought of drinking another shot makes me want to vomit. Perhaps my body does not need or does not want this medicine? Water down?

Notes: A perennial to Zone 3.

Also called: Herzgespan, Agripaume cardiaque, Yi Mu Cao.

Only leaves are used. Nervine, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, hepatic, cardiac tonic, hypotensive.

Most commonly used for women to promote menstruation, regulate cycles, and relieve the symptoms of pms.

Also used to treat irregular heartbeat – slowing hearts that beat too fast, and too control high blood pressure. Often combined with hawthorn as an infusion for this purpose.

My experience with the strong infusion has lead me to believe this herb is best suited as a tea infusion, sweetened to taste with honey or perhaps combined with a sweet tasting flavor herb like mint, lemon verbena, etc.

Susan Weed’s favorite remedy for hot flashes brought on by menopause.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Fixing the Girl with Herbs

image from google imagesI have a plan. I've decided it's time to have another child after 8 years. I'm feeling like it's now or never basically. So, instead of heading to the doctor for fertility drugs/treatment I'm going to start with herbs.

I've ordered bulk supplies of emmenagogue herbs (herbs that promote menstruation) so that I can jump start my cycle again after months without bleeding - all though I can feel the start of it this morning. It's the dark moon, so that's my typical time. But just in case, my herbal friends are on their way. Once I get everything "flushed" out I plan on starting a fertility promoting program with Susan Weed's red clover recipe (see below). Skullcap is also said to be beneficial to fertility so that's a possible ally too.

Below are some of the emmenagogues I'll be working with. Be smart when using these sorts of natural medicines. Research, research, and research some more. You don't want to be casual with your health. Look for second, third, and even fourth opinions and sources for information. Emmenagogues can cause miscarriages in pregnant women.

Pennyroyal - probably the most dangerous and reported to have been used by Native American Indians for centuries to induce abortion. This would also classify it as an abortificient.

Mugwort (Common Mugwort) - a more subtle relative of wormwood (artemesia absinthium) with a nice earthly flavor. Sacred to the Goddess Artemis from who it gets it botanical name: artemesia vulgaris.

Motherwort - traditionally used in China to prevent pregnancy and induce menstruation.

Yarrow - a nice, mild emmenagogue with a long history of medicinal use, especially in the healing of wounds.

What Susan Weed says about Red Clover and it's use in promoting fertility:

"One of the most cherished of the fertility-increasing plants is red clover (Trifolium pratense). Common in fields and along roadsides, it has bright pink (not really red) blossoms from mid-summer into the chilly days of fall. A favorite flower of the honeybees, the tops (blossoms and appending leaves) are harvested on bright sunny days and eaten as is, or dried for medicinal use. The raw blossoms are delicious in salads and nutritious when cooked with grains such as rice or millet.

To make a fertility-enhancing infusion, I take one ounce by weight of the dried blossoms (fresh won't work for this application) and put them in a quart size canning jar. I fill the jar with boiling water, screw on a tight lid, and let it steep at room temperature overnight (or for at least four hours). Dozens of women have told me that they had successful pregnancies after drinking a cup or more (up to four cups) a day of red clover infusion."


In addition to growing my own, I order my herbs from MountainRose - Bulk Organic Herbs

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just Had to Share

My first set of moon pads. Pictured: 5 11-inch Pads - slightly modified from the pattern, and 3 pantyliners. I'm not sure if these will get me through an entire cycle yet, but I've testing them dry and they are quite comfy. I really love the cute "pink punk" tartan fabric. Too cute.

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Moon Time Girl Stuff

I've been looking into cloth pads lately. I was surprised (and thrilled) to see that there were so many women on the internet from all over the world using cloth menstrual pads and raving about them. I decided I just had to give it a try. So, I ran down to my local Joann's and picked up some cute cotton flannel (with a punk rock flair). I hunted down a few fabulous patterns and got to work. Needless to say my sewing machine has been getting some good use over the past few days. Cloth pads are easy to make and just plain cute. I never thought I could ever be excited about getting supplies for my period.


So, why use cloth pads? The most obvious reasons are that making the switch from disposables is more environmentally friendly and saves you some money. The less obvious reasons: using cloth is more empowering, allows you to pamper yourself, and makes the moon-time experience more enjoyable. Society has made periods something to hide and be ashamed of. Using cloth pads takes this time back as our own again and creates a healthier attitude towards menstruation.

What about the gross factor? I thought about this too - a lot. My first reaction was basically "eww". But everywhere I look there are women saying that the gross factor is gone once you give cloth a try. I'm personally over it and it didn't take much persuading. Check out some of the links below for more info. There's even mention of harmful chemicals in disposables that can seep into your skin. Now that's gross.

Shop and Learn

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