Fertility; Herbs that whisper of life and tenderness.
For this particular talk I am going to focus on the aspect of concieving within the arena of fertility. Alot of the work I offer is connected with the parent and child relationship.What i have learnt early on for myself is how important it is to welcome, by this I mean have acceptance for misscarriage, termination and also the death of a child either at birth or during postpartum.That these are all aspects of the decision to have a child
For many i have recognised that the child is the wonderful byproduct and that the decision to have the child, to become a family when there may be many seeming obstacles in the way, is where the healing lies. If it is the thought of having a child that makes their heart sing and then they make the decision to do this and walk through all the yes buts, healing occurs through this process. Sometimes the effect of this healing is a child in a physical body, sometimes not.
I would like to tell a story;
There is a tribe in Africa where they do not celebrate the childs birthday from the day he is born or from the day he is concieved. But from the day he becomes a thought in his mothers mind. When he does become a thought in her mind, she goes outside of the village to sit alone. here she turns her focus inwards and listens for the song of her child. When she hears the song she listens until she knows this song within every fibre of being. Then she returns home to teach the song to her husband, they sing the song while they are making love, then when the child is concieved the mother continues to sing the song to her child in the womb.When the time is right the mother teaches the song to the midwives who are going to attend her at the birth, and so they sing the song to the child during labour and birth. After the child is born the mother contiues to sing the song to the child, When the time is right the mother teaches the song to others who live in the village,so there is always someone who knows his song. This continues through out his life so at times of celebration or difficulty there is always someone who knows his song. Then when the time is right and it is time for him to leave his physical body the villagers gather to sing his song.
Where does parenting begin? Of course it is different for all of us. Examples can be, at the first scan, when the child is born, sometimes it may be in adulthood that the relationship begins to be more active. It can be a new concept that the relationship begins befor birth, even before conception , for others it is all part of the process. If a couple is experiencing difficulty in concieving or maybe they want to approach pregnancy with what they believe is as much wellbeing as possible.
Take a moment right now to become aware within yourself of how you like to be met, to be welcomed by others. No matter if i ask this question one to one or in a group like this, always the bottom layer for all of us is that we want to know we are loved that we are loveable and capable of loving others.
So this is always no matter what the symptons or the diagnosis where we begin.This way we have shared interests not differences. This is all the woman is seeking, all her child will be seeking, all I am seeking, all you are seeking ultimately. So alot of the work i offer is allowing our awareness to come to what is true, what is real and we could say simple. Although it may not always be easy.It could as practitioners be easy to say all the clients needs to do is open their heart, to say yes to life. This may be true, but how easy do i find it to open my heart, to say yes to life in all situations? This humility is important as a practitioner to check in with myself, or we could say bring this back to myself. Simple but not always easy, this doesnot mean of course that we donot attend to the inner work. In fact the nectar that is there waiting as we dissolve our resistances to Love is more than worth the willingness to move beyond any so called "yes buts."
The main tool of focus in my herbal practice is to encourage self kindness, to be gentle with ourselves, over and over again. And of course in offering this to others I am also teaching myself.Our harsh thoughts and judgements are so painful and of no assistance, althogh sometimes we do appear so addicted to them. Sometimes we project them out onto others, sometimes we internalise them.So working with the herbs can be a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of self kindness, tenderness and acceptance leading us of course to happiness.
Conception;( If you are uncertain about any of the suggestions check with a herbal practitioner.)
I like to start with bringing a sense of movement, circulation to the pelvic region.
So the plant i would turn to is cator oil, by using castor oil packs. I can not sing the praises enough of these
wonderful nurturing packs that draw, detoxifie and penetrate into the cells very easily in a localised area, which supports the immune system. Well worth the little extra effort they take.
Sometimes using the shower over the the pelvic region, first hot water then cold , continue like this for a few minutes. These bring the blood to the surface with thehot water then push the blood deep down with the cold, again the result being circulation.
Sometimes it can be helpful to warm the uterus, especially if alot of miscarriages, operations or trauma has been experienced. Also warming the uterus can sometimes bring circulation. i do this with footbaths
Make a strong brew of equal parts of wild lettuce and lavender, strain and add to bowl check temp of water befor placing feet in. Rest back and enjoy.
Wild lettuce is wonderfully relaxing and the plant i turn to when there has been any feeling of having to pull ourselves together and so we have cut off a little from our selves. Lavender soothes , calms and relaxes and also stimulates movement.
Pelvic floor exercises again bring circulation to this area of the body, worth while doing.
Herbal teas that may be of assistance;
Ladys Mantle( not to be used in pregnancy.)
This plant reminds me of being wrapped in a soft warm blanket.
IT strenghtens internal tissue assists in building uterine lining . It is known as an astringent herb so great when the cervix is weeping a little or when there is what is called a slippery womb Sometimes in both this diagnosis drying is needed for conception to occur. I would use this plant when alot of tension and emotional difficulties are being experienced.
this is my favourite plant for conception,great as a single herb but also sits beautifully in any tea formula.Oat straw speaks of life force energy, of saying yes to life. What it whispers to me more than anything is reminding me to be tender with myself and of course with others. It feeds and nourishes the nervous system.It has a normalizing effect on the whole physiology of the body when it is under stress. Oatstraw supports conception and nourishes pregnancy. full of calcuim and packed with vitamins.
A regulating and harmonizing plant for the reproductive system. It is known as a progesterone pre cursor, to me it is much more about balancing progesterone and oestrogen. It is said to promote ovulation by having an effect on the pituartory gland.
A plant that nourishes and nurtures. Such a beautiful no nonsense strength is offered in every cup of nettle tea. It is what I would describe as getting the job done, so whatever movement is required nettle builds and strenthens, certainly assists us to be less fragile and has a very sustaining quality. Nettle could be called a uterine tonic.
I use this plant for fertility as a tonic and restorative. It assists in bringing movement especially if there is a sense of sluggishness.
Although this plant is also known as a restorative these effects occur through relaxation. It is aplant that has been used over and over again by generations of women to relax the uterus. I use this herb whenever there is a feeling of tight holding, cramping or restriction
Other plants the would be in my herbal medicine bag would be lemon balm, raspberry leaf, alfalfa and motherwort.
At the birth of a baby there is what could be called an involuntary action taking place. That no matter what, the baby is going to be born, we may not know how or when but birth is going to occur. Just as when the baby is in the womb, legs, arms and toes grow, the mother does not sit down and say to herself today I will grow a toe for my baby. It simply occurs, life provides we could say. During birth when parents make contact with this so called involuntary action it is a very direct experience. I have heard parents say experiencing the birthing of our child was a very profound time. read more
I have been asked to speak about what is at the heart of my herbal practice, which is self forgiveness. Let us all come to family life a new, a fresh, and a clean slate each day, each moment. Let us be of assistance to everyone who walks on this earth, everyone who is waiting to be born, by letting go of all the stories of suffering in family life. It sounds so simple to just let these stories go, it can even make a lot of sense to us. But it is not always easy. If most of us were asked what it would take to experience more happiness in our family life, more than likely it would involve letting go of old memories, maybe judgements or letting go of a grievance. So this is where forgiveness begins recognising that a thought, an old memory clouds the way to us experiencing all the happiness that is available in our life. Then stepping back for a moment and being willing to ask inwardly to be shown another way to see, the situation. We could say asking love to reveal itself. read more
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. read more