Three herbal friends
I have been asked to speak of 3 herbs that would always be on my apothecary shelf.
So i can start with Oatstraw which would always be on my shelf simply because it is my favourite herb. I use it more than any other plant. It reminds me of self kindness, it shouts loudly of vitality, aliveness. The smell of oatstraw is of freshly mown fields in summer time. This plant speaks of nourishment and restoring vitality. It is widely known to support and feed the nervous system. One of the ways I describe this plant is that it has a normalizing effect for the physiology when under stress. To sip a cup of oatstraw tea always reminds me to be gentle with myself. I highly recommend making a strong brew in a large jug, straining and adding to bath water, as always rest back, let go and relax deeply.
The situations I would use oatstraw tea:
- When someone is experiencing difficulty conceiving.
- Oatstraw is one of the ingredients in the Pregnancy Joy tea because I see it as the perfect herb in pregnancy.
- Whenever the nervous system needs some support. This can often be connected when we experience change in our life.
- Whenever we are experiencing symptoms of lack of energy after an illness or just have forgotten to care of ourselves.
- When we want to let go of addictions or over working.
- It is great as a douche for vaginal irritations or infections during pregnancy.
- Simply to enjoy.
2. Raspberry Leaf
Now I will speak of Raspberry leaf, how could this plant not be on my shelf when so many women knock on my practice room door? This herb is known by many as woman’s friend within the plant kingdom, and also i will speak of how raspberry leaf is a great kitchen cupboard tea to be used by the whole family. This plant still grows wild in parts of the UK, of course most people know for its delicious fruit. For herbalists, home herbalists or practitioners it is the wonderful leaves we use. Its reputation as being a woman’s herbal ally has come from direct experience, thousands and thousands of women drinking the tea in many different cultures. The grandmother of wild crafted herbal medicine Juliette de Bairacli Levy speaks of gypsy women always drinking raspberry leaf tea. Dr Christopher the American herbalist used gallons of raspberry leaf tea in his practice. Today pregnant women learn of this tea in their yoga groups, from friends and of course from herbalists. We could call raspberry leaf all purpose because as you will hear it can be used and drunk in so many situations. This tea is considered contra indicated in the first 2 trimesters of pregnancy. Any uncertainties please check with a herbalist.
The situations i would use raspberry leaf:
- I would suggest drinking raspberry leaf tea in the last trimester of pregnancy, in fact it is in the Welcome World tea range. It is known to support and tone the uterus, including uterine tissue. So we could describe raspberry leaf as nourishing this area of the body and reminding us there may be some physical work ahead to birth our baby. Of course this is different for each woman, some birth with very little physical effort, for others labour takes longer. Both these experiences of birth and any experiences in between are within the realms of natural and loving birth experiences.
- Raspberry leaf is an astringent plant; it is easy to recognise this when we are drinking this great tea you can feel the astringency in your mouth. So it can be used for discharge or bleeding. It is wonder full for after the baby’s birth and also to support breastfeeding needs. Raspberry is such a wonderful nourishing, nurturing and restoring plant just perfect for postpartum.
- Using with children’s tummy upsets ,growing pains in young teenagers this is attributed to the calcium content and also great for mouth infections. Again this plant speaks of nurturing, nourishing and restoring.
- I would use this herb either on its own or in a formula for any menstrual difficulties. Again raspberry leaf tones and nourishes this area of the body. Works wonders when there is any spot bleeding in between cycles. For heavy bleeding during menstruation rest and gently sip this soothing tea throughout the day.
- For me this teas signature is to lift our spirits and remind us to come back to our natural self, whether that is in the birthing room or the family home. So whenever it is helpful to be reminded of patience and trust and that all is well. Put the kettle on and make a brew of raspberry leaf ,Rest back and enjoy.
3. Lady's Mantle
The third plant i would choose to always be on my shelves is Ladys Mantle. This is not a plant for pregnancy but after the baby’s birth or before you are pregnant this herbs whispers so very gently of protection, of restoring balance of reminding us no matter what the appearance all is well. It reminds me of being wrapped in a warm soft blanket which is of course is our true natural self but when i have forgotten that i am always wrapped in a blanket of love; This plant assists in us coming back to this place within. Many people recognise this plant by the fact when it rains droplets of rain or early morning dew remain on its leaves for some time looking little jewels shining. This gives us a clue to Ladys Mantle uses. The leaves have the ability not to be saturated or flooded with fluid as we can see by the water becoming drops that just rest on the leaf. This is what ladys mantle offers us protection and restoration to the tissues particularly uterine. Whenever we are experiencing the feeling of too much in whatever way, the cloak of protection, ladys mantle whispers to us of is available in a cup of this sweet astringent gentle tea. Wonderful at restoring tissue , a great tonic and of course an astringent for the area i call the pelvic region.
The situations I would use ladys mantel
- Whenever tissue strengthening would be helpful combined with a tonic action for the uterus. This could be after the baby’s birth. Or it could be that the strengthening is needed in connection with menstruation and any uterine diagnosis. Any discharge that is irritating or infected Ladys mantle can be used on its own or is wonderful to combine with other plants. I would suggest using as a douche and in baths as well as drinking the tea.
- Just the herb to use for a prolapsed uterus, as ladys mantle reminds us so strongly yet gently of restoring balance and at the same time acting as a tonic herb so feeding and nourishing the uterine area.
- This is the plant I always turn to if someone has experienced a miscarriage, termination of pregnancy or genealogical surgery. I encourage when the time is right to immerse her self in a bath which has had a strong brew of tea strained and poured in to the bath. For the woman to be immersed in this bath that is whispering of self kindness, tenderly reminding her all is well is so reassuring. Also to drink ladys mantle tea.
So these are three of the herbs that i would always have sitting on my shelves ready to prepare and offer as a cup of tea or in my practitioner role as a bag of tea to take home. Enjoy.