The ebb and flow of a woman's body through the many stages of life are well supported with herbs that humans have evolved with over millions of years. The botanical dispensary offers a number of nourishing and restorative plants that contain compounds with a biological familiarity that the body recognizes, and has the wisdom to utilize to its utmost benefit.
In considering what herbs are useful for supporting the female reproductive system from puberty to menopause, there are a number of plants that help bring the body into balance. They often include liver tonics, herbs that support healthy blood flow, nervines and antispasmodics, to name just a few. Most herbs offer multiple actions, but can take time to balance the complex systems that contribute to holism. Though immediate relief may be felt by some, it may take several months for the body to return to its natural homeostasis.
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa) -- the root of this native North American plant has been studied extensively in Europe, and is today's most prescribed herb for menopause. It can help manage mood shifts, hot flashes, nervous tension, and fatigue.
Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) -- The common name reveals its benefits; this herb calms and soothes the all-too-common dreaded, dull ache of menstrual cramps. In addition, it soothes general tension, calms excessive menstrual bleeding, and supports healthy blood flow and digestion.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -- the leaf supports healthy urine flow with the bonus of extra potassium, but the root is the more useful liver herb, helping to support healthy liver function, which in turn promotes the natural healthy processing of estrogens. It supports digestion as a mild bitter tonic while calming bloating.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) -- the species name belies its usefulness in supporting healthy heart function and a healthy reproductive system from menarche to menopause, as well as calming anxious thoughts and soothing gas and bloating.
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) -- Though the leaf is sometimes used, the berry is the most potent part and helps support hormone regulation by opening communication between the pituitary and ovaries to create a healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone. It is also used to support healthy fertility, balance the menstrual cycle, and calm and soothe cramping and the wide-ranging discomforts associated with PMS.
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Writer Mindy Green is a founding and professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and an advisory board member to the American Botanical Council, publisher of Herbal Gram Magazine. Ms. Green served on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies (1995-2003). The California School of Herbal Studies is among Mindy's business ventures as co-owner and a faculty member (1985-1995). She is a nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and has served on the education committees of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Aromatherapy Registration Council. She now runs her own consulting company, Green Scentsations, LLC.
A prolific writer and lecturer, Ms. Green has authored over 60 published articles on herbs, aromatherapy, skin care, holistic health and integrative care. She is co-author of Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art; author of Calendula and Natural Perfumes, and has contributed to numerous books on herbs and healing. As a botanical-therapies expert, she has been interviewed more than 400 times by leading magazines and newspapers.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.