Hormones and hormonal fluctuations play a massive role in everyone’s life, but especially that of women. We deal with hormonal changes every month, which change with each decade. For some of us, these changes are easy and not disruptive. While some women could use more support for the common complaints associated with monthly cycles, perimenopause, and menopause.
Many women are plagued with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and uterine fibroids. These conditions can make the menstrual cycle painful and difficult. Even without these complications, some women have problems with cramping, body aches, headaches, mood swings, and irregular periods. Peri-menopausal symptoms can run from mildly irritating to downright difficult. Symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain are just a few of the many complaints women have during this time.
I want to share some of my favorite feminine herbs. These herbs are used for multiple issues, but they all help support women in their cycles in many ways. I always want to stress how important it is to work with a Master Herbalist, such as Jennifer Vollbrecht, when you want to add a new herb into your routine. Herbs are lovely, but some can be pretty strong. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult with your Licensed Midwife or Doctor, as well as a Master Herbalist, to make sure the herb and the dosage are safe for you.
Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)
Raspberry might be a tasty and healthy fruit, but the leaves are just as full of benefits as the famous fruit. Red raspberry leaf has become well known as a great tea to help speed up labor. It’s a uterine tonic and helps prepare and strengthen the female body for the hardships of labor. However, it’s also an excellent choice for easing PMS symptoms, endometriosis, and menopause. Red Raspberry Leaf has a very high mineral content, which helps to nourish the female reproductive system. It also has the unique ability to both tone and relax the uterine muscle, helping to ease cramps and uterine pain. This herb is a great one for women of all ages and stages in life.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Red clover is an excellent herb for women. It’s full of natural phytoestrogens to help promote healthy hormone functions. It’s also a natural detoxifying herb, helping to move lymphatic fluid, detoxify the liver, and acting as a blood purifier. However, its full benefits for women come at times of hormone fluctuations such as perimenopause and menopause. Red clover is most well-known to help menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, but it also reduces other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and vaginal dryness.
It’s also a great herb to take during menstruation as it helps to reduce menstrual cramps and aches. It can also help balance hormones to improve fertility. This wonderful herb is also in You, Me, and Uni’s very own Know Your Gut Trust Your Gut tea blend, which is a great way to consume this herb. If you want to read more about this fantastic herb, check out this previous article, all about red clover’s health benefits.
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus)
Vitex has another name that may seem a bit interesting to some, Chasteberry. It earned this other name because Medieval monks would take this herb to help reduce their libido. However, today it’s known as an excellent herb for women, though we are still uncertain about its effects on men. Vitex helps to regulate hormones, women’s monthly cycles and works exceptionally well at reducing prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that helps regulate both the reproductive and immune systems and is involved in breastmilk production. Reducing prolactin helps to reduce the tenderness of breasts that often occurs just before menstruation, as well as vaginal dryness, irregular periods, and infertility. It also helps reduce the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and can help boost fertility if you’re trying to conceive.
Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
Much like red clover, black cohosh contains naturally occurring phytoestrogens that help balance female hormones throughout life, but especially during times of hormonal changes such as PMS and menopause. As a “New World herb,” it was introduced to European colonists as a potent valuable herb for various ailments. However, it has retained its popularity for its unique ability to reduce the symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes. Black cohosh is often used in more conventional hormone replacements for women going through menopause or having other issues with their hormones. Black cohosh can also be used to reduce and treat uterine fibroids and reduce the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). *Do not take this herb when pregnant or in labor without being under a care plan from a Licensed Midwife or OBGyn.
Blue Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
This beautiful flower is not well known for its herbal uses, which is a shame. Blue cornflower is a fantastic herb for digestion, maintaining healthy skin, and relieving menstrual cramps. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe the uterine muscle. It’s also an excellent antimicrobial and can be used to help treat vaginal yeast infections. While this herb isn’t very commonly used, it is included in You, Me, and Uni’s Know Your Gut Trust Your Gut tea blend along with red clover. This tea is a great one to help restore your feminine vitality as well as being wonderful for your gut. You can also read more about blue cornflower here.
Treat your body right
Our bodies are our temples, and they deserve to be taken care of. Sometimes we neglect ourselves simply out of thoughtlessness or business. We get so wrapped up in the upkeep of our daily life that we forget to balance out our well-being. So, whenever you want to take care of your feminine side, remember these lovely herbs and brew up a cup of tea.
Trust Your Gut, Know Your Gut and Meditative State of Mind can be purchased through Amazon. For more information on You, Me and Uni, check out the website, created by Master Herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht. Browse the herbal tea articles on the site for more tips on adding delicious tea to your healthy lifestyle.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor and the owner of Walden Writes For Women.