Herbs for Women - Part 1 - PMS / MENSTRUATION
by Jaguar - DD Seminar - © August 1, 2008
Some Basics First -
Let me just say first off that this is a HUGE topic. I could go on for days about herbs, essential oils, foods and supplements that target women’s issues, and there are several great books that have been written on the subject. You’ll find many of them listed in the bibliography at the end of this post. I can't hope to be totally inclusive here. What follows is the text from a seminar I used to teach at the Eastwind School of Holistic Health, and what I tried to cover here are some of the basic concerns that commonly came up in my practice. This mainly centers on reproductive issues (PMS, menstrual complaints and menopause). It has become an enormous post, as I attempted to write down all of the things I would normally say in a lecture from a five-page handout. Consequently, I’m going to divide it into two parts, menstrual related concerns in the first version, and menopause in the second. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed in either installments of the seminar, please feel free to ask it here, or to PM me, and I will answer as soon as possible.
The goal of these seminars is to introduce the reader to herbs and treatments that can be done at home in order to treat common women’s issues, not to diagnose serious conditions or replace necessary medical treatment. I have put an * by my favorite remedies.
About me -
Just so you know who’s talking to you about all this herbal stuff, I am both a Western and Traditional Chinese Herbalist with certification in each, and a Certified Aromatherapist. I was a licensed massage therapist in private practice for about six years, am nationally certified, and an Oriental Bodywork Therapist. I’ve taught at the massage school I attended as well as others, and I have taught certification courses for Amrita Aromatherapy. I left private practice to teach at a university in another field, and because I feel I need more education to offer the services I want to give my clients. Eventually, I hope to attend Bastyr University for a Naturopathic Medicine Degree. Now, I mainly consult and write about herbs, and continue my studies.
I like to use the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach with client assessment and with herbs, considering the energetic quality of the plants as well as their chemical components, especially when making formulas; but I also use them as simples and eat them as food. So, you’ll see me talking about energetic aspects of the herbs. Both approaches can be equally effective. Herbs can be very effective and they are very powerful. In some cases, they can be as effective as drugs. In others, they may have no effect at all, or increase the symptoms you are trying to treat. I respect their power, but I also understand their limits. I encourage you to do the same. There is a time and a place for herbs, and a time for medical intervention. Herbs cannot address every issue. I also recommend that you consult a good, reliable herbal reference source before using herbs. You can use the experience and knowledge of others, but remember that your experience with herbs might be different. What works for one person may not work for another.
Common Names vs. Latin Binomials –
Please note that the common names of plants are often confused. When using herbs, it is essential that you are using the herb you actually want. Confusion can be dangerous. I have included the Latin binomials for all herbs discussed, and you should look for them when buying any herbal product.
Herbal Preparations –
There are a variety of different ways to include herbs in your life, as supplements, medicine and food. Below is a glossary of a selection of herbal preparations I refer to, for reference.
Tea – A tea is a weak water based extract made from 1 – 2 tsp of dried plant material (or twice as much fresh) to one cup of hot water, covered and steeped for roughly 3 – 5 minutes. Easily made at home. However, it can only extract water-soluble chemicals from the herbs.
Infusion – An infusion is a medicinal strength extract made by steeping 1 ounce of fresh or dried plant material in one quart of boiling water for several hours, depending on the parts used. Leaves are steeped from 6 – 12 hours in a covered jar (I use a canning jar as it can take the heat), and flowers are only steeped for 4. Easily made at home. However, it can only extract water-soluble chemicals from the herbs.
Tisane - A tea made with flowers. Easily made at home. However, it can only extract water-soluble chemicals from the herbs.
Decoction – A decoction is made by adding 1 ounce of dried roots or bark to one pint of water, bringing it to a boil, and simmering it for 30 – 60 minutes. Easily made at home. However, it can only extract water-soluble chemicals from the herbs.
Tincture - A tincture is made by steeping plant material in a combination of water and alcohol, usually brandy or vodka, for several weeks. Tinctures extract both the water and alcohol soluble components from the herbs. Easily made at home or purchased, they are generally taken in a small amount of hot water. However, if an herb does not contain any alkaloids, there is no point extracting them in alcohol.
Vinegars – An extract made by soaking and ounce of fresh or dried plant material in one pint of apple cider or other vinegars. They are typically used as food.
Glycerites - Glycerites are made by extracting the components of an herb in vegetable glycerin. Glycerin is both a solvent and a preservative, and because it has a sweet taste, many commercial children’s herbal products are glycerite based. They are easily made at home, but require some daily effort to make.
Capsules - Capsules are gelatin caps filled with herbs or oils. Can be made at home.
Pills – Pills are herbs compressed in pill form, often made of standardized extracts of plant material. They are not easily made at home.
Is there a preferred form or method of taking herbs? I think that’s largely a question of two things – your personal preference and what you’re trying to accomplish. Each person is unique, and you have to consider what is the most appropriate treatment along with how to get the best rate of compliance. Some people might not be willing to make a decoction or infusion (or to drink it in the first place), and find the use of commercially available pills and capsules to be far easier. Some people will want to make everything themselves. Still others will want to be sure that they are getting a standardized amount of ‘active ingredients’ in their herbal products, and sometimes, they might be the best way to get enough of a particular herb into your system to achieve the desired effect.
Personally, I use all of these preparations, both for myself and did so in my practice. I have a preference for tinctures, because they are easy to make, easy to purchase, easy to take and don’t require you drink an entire cup of something to get a dose of an herb – but you still get to taste it.
All right, on to the meat of the matter …
Key Concepts –
- Honor the natural cycle of the body
- Support the body’s natural function
- Trust your intuition – if you think something is wrong, see your doctor
- Breast Tenderness
- Water retention
- Bloating/Water Retention
- Sugar cravings
- Digestive upsets
- Easily irritated
- Mood swings
- Sugar Cravings –
Many of us experience cravings for sugary foods within the five days before or during bleeding. The reason for this is at this point in our cycles, our bodies are using insulin much more efficiently, and insulin’s job is to drive sugar out of the blood and into the cells of the body. The result is a kind of hypoglycemic state. We can become shaky, irritable, jittery and unable to think clearly or focus on tasks at hand – in short, all the things that we think of as PMS. Women often crave chocolate in particular, which is not necessarily bad. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, antioxidants, flavanoids, serotonin and phenylthlamine. It’s been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure; stimulate endorphins (which makes you feel better), but it also contains caffeine, which can make PMS worse. Moderation is the key.
So, what can you do to counteract these cravings?
Step One - Adjust your lifestyle
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Eat protein when you crave sugar
When you start to feel irritable, start to eat a small amount of protein. The hypothalamus in the brain doesn’t know the difference between whether you’re eating sugar or eating protein. When you eat protein, the cravings will disappear, and this approach generally helps most women.
Step Two – use herbs -
If the cravings are severe and hypoglycemia or diabetes has been ruled out, you might want to try Devils Club – Oplopanax horridus. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Devil’s Club was traditionally used to regulate blood sugar levels when fasting. In the modern herbal pharmacopoeia, it has been used to treat both hypoglycemia and diabetes, because it regulates sugar in the body. It also has a general calming effect, while simultaneously making you feel alert. To use it, simmer two teaspoons of the bark in twelve ounces of water for ten minutes, strain, and drink throughout the day on the five days preceding your flow. It is also commercially available in tincture form.
-Depression, irritability and mood swings -
Depression can occur for a variety of reasons, but when it occurs in the five days or so before bleeding it’s often related to an excess of progesterone in the body. This isn’t surprising, given that there is a progesterone surge right before your period starts. Women who use progesterone based contraceptives, such as Depo-provera or Norplant will often find that their depression around their period is worse due to the excess hormone. To reduce the symptoms, we want to help the body break down the excess progesterone and eliminate it, and one of the best ways to do that is by changing your lifestyle to stop overburdening the liver, and using herbs that support liver function. The liver is the organ responsible for detoxifying the body. Remember that the underlying cause is hormonal, so herbal antidepressants might not be effective in dealing with cycle related depression.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is related to anger and irritability. If you are feeling irritable, or you seem to be easily angered or have an excess of anger, it’s a prime indicator of a stagnation of Liver Qi. Qi essentially refers to the energy or life force of the body, and each organ system has its own Qi. Using liver tonifying herbs will help to clear the imbalance and calm your emotions.
So, what can you do?
Step one – Adjust your lifestyle -
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Reduce or eliminate smoking
All of these things put a strain on liver function, so reducing them will allow your body to be better able to process excess progesterone when it needs to.
Step Two - Liver regenerating and detoxifying herbs –
The bitter component of these herbs stimulates and tonifies liver function, so I highly recommend that you take them in a form that requires that you taste them. The bitter flavor is not one that is prized in western culture but is very important, as it stimulates salivary production, which aids in digestion. Doing so will not only help liver function, but also improve digestion and ease digestive upsets caused by PMS, both in the stomach and intestines. Once you include it in your diet, you might find that you come to crave it.
*Dandelion Root – Taraxacum officinale - A supreme liver tonic, dandelion root stimulates the flow of bile from the gall blabber and liver and helps the liver function more effectively. Dandelion will help ease liver congestion, reduce liver stress, help when you’ve overindulged in rich food or alcohol, and tonify the organ. The dosage for fresh root tincture is 10 –100 drops a day, in water. The dosage for dried root infusion is ½ - 2 cups (125 - 500ml) a day. The dosage for fresh dandelion root juice is 3 – 6 Tbsps (45 – 90 ml) a day. You can also eat the young roots from pre-flowering plants by simply stir-frying them. When I need a simple liver tonic, this is the herb I choose.
Burdock – Articum lappa – Burdock roots and seeds are an excellent lymphatic and blood cleanser, with bitter properties that detoxify the liver. It will clear excess heat, anger, irritability and restlessness. It is mildly diuretic, and will aid in reducing fluid retention, and contains a large amount of iron. Take it in the form of a decoction, 1 ounce of herb to 1 pint of water steeped for 15 minutes and strain. Drink three cups daily. The raw root can also be eaten as food.
Yellow Dock – Rumex crispus – Another bitter herb, yellow dock detoxifies the liver and has been used to treat jaundice. Decoct 1 ounce of the roots in 1 pint of water for 15 minutes, strain, and drink ½ cup 2 – 3 times a day. Warning: Yellow dock is very bitter, and the yellow color can stain your fingers.
*Free and Easy Wanderer – Is a Chinese patent formula whose primary ingredient is Bupleurum (Chai Hu) – Bupleurum falcatum. When I need a liver tonic, this is the first one I pick up. It is one of the best liver tonics around. It will improve liver function, ease flank and chest pain, dizziness and menstrual difficulties. It will help to stabilize the emotions, eases moodiness and PMS and clears anger. Chai Hu lifts the body’s energy, increasing vitality and lifting sagging spirits. Dosage is 5 – 8 teapills, three times a day, or 1 dropperful of tincture in water, three times a day.
Milk Thistle – Silybum marianum – A highly restorative herb, milk thistle both protects the liver and regenerates it. The seeds and above ground parts are used. It has been used to treat hepatitis A and B, necroses and cirrhosis. Dosage is 10 – 40 drops of the tincture or liquid extract 3 times a day. Do not make a tea of the seeds, as they are not water soluble. They can, however, be eaten. You can also purchase standardized extract in the form of pills.
Do NOT give Chaste Tree Berry – Vitex angus castus – to a depressed person, as its effects are primarily progesterogenic! It will increase the severity of the depression. Wild Yam (Dioscrea villosa) may also increase depression for the same reason.
Step 3 – Antidepressant herbs and oils –
Chamomile Essential Oils – Roman (Anthemis nobilis) and German (Matricaria recutita) soothe the liver Qi and reduce liver heat. They soothe feelings of anger and resentment in almost any circumstance. A tea of the flowers of either plant is also a relaxing nervine and digestive that calms the mind and helps digestion due to its bitter constituents.
*Citrus Essential oils – Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis), Bergamot (Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia), Grapefruit (Citrus paradisii) and Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) essential oils are all uplifting and ease stress. Inhaling their scent is calming, relaxing, and eases tension and frustration. They help to regulate the liver and smooth the flow of Qi, and support liver function. Caution: Bergamot oil contains a chemical called bergaptene, which can cause your skin to become extremely sun sensitive and can produce red burn like marks after sun exposure when used undiluted, so it should not be used externally unless it is bergaptene free.
*Motherwort – Leonurus cardiaca – Is an herb that calms without making you sleepy. Try five drops of the tincture in a glass of water when you feel overwhelmed by stress and pressure to restore emotional balance. It works best when you give yourself a small break from the day’s activities to relax and breathe, and you should allow 15 minutes for the full effect to occur. You can repeat the dose as often as every 2 hours when times are particularly difficult. Though it is not habit forming, some people may develop a psychological dependence on it, so if you find yourself feeling like you can’t get through the day without it, discontinue use.
Peppermint - Mentha x piperita – can lift the spirit and give a renewed sense of energy. Make a tea by steeping one tsp of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Use Spearmint if you prefer the taste, as it has much the same effect. Inhaling the essential oils from these herbs will also have an uplifting effect.
Skullcap – Scutellaria laterifolia – Is a great herb to provide a deep, refreshing sleep. Take up to 30 drops of a commercial tincture or 5 – 15 drops of a fresh plant tincture 30 minutes before you go to bed.
-Breast Tenderness and Water retention/Bloating-
Some women experience breast tenderness during their cycles, others do not, and some experience it from time to time. Severity of pain can be minimal to severe. Nearly all women will experience some degree of water retention or bloating. Some women will gain as much as eight pounds of excess water in their body during their cycle. You can have as much as ten extra pounds of water in your body before it’s visibly noticeable. By the time you have pitting edema, you generally have more than ten pounds of excess water in your body. Many women will gain three to five pounds of water without it being noticeable, but still feel bad. Having this excess in your body can make you feel clumsy, uncomfortable, not quite in your body, cause your feet to swell and make it harder to think clearly. Usually, a mild diuretic will relieve these symptoms, and most women will benefit from using one during their period.
So, what can you do?
Step one – Adjust your lifestyle -
- *Reduce caffeine consumption. This will reduce or eliminate symptoms in about 50% of women. However, if you don’t consume caffeine in the first place, you can’t eliminate it. It’s tempting to want to use caffeine, as it’s a diuretic and it seems to make sense that it would help reduce bloating, but it’s a double edged sword. It takes the body twice as much liquid to process the caffeine contained in an eight ounces of coffee or soda as you consume by drinking those beverages. Yes, twice, and it contains no electrolytes to replace what it uses in the body. But it can also make breasts tender and lumpy, and increase uterine cramping.
Step Two – Herbs and supplements -
*Evening Primrose Oil - Oenothera biennis L., Onethera graveolens – One of the most effective remedies for breast tenderness, EPO contains high amounts of an Omega-6 fatty acid, gamma linoleic acid. Dosage for EPO is 3000mg per day, and is more effective if you take it either in three divided doses, or 2000mg in the morning, and 1000mg at night. Results can be felt within 24 hours. It will also reduce or even eliminate breast lumpiness. This is my herb of choice for breast tenderness.
*Dandelion Root and Leaf –Taraxacum officinale – Is a wonderful herb for both breast tenderness and water retention. Most of us should be using it. Both are diuretic, leading to the old common name for the herb – Piss In Bed. The leaf and root contains a high amount of potassium and mineral salts, electrolytes that are needed when you use a mild diuretic. The dosage for fresh root tincture is 10 –100 drops a day, in water. The dosage for dried root infusion is ½ - 2 cups (125 - 500ml) a day. The dosage for fresh dandelion root juice is 3 – 6 Tbsps (45 – 90 ml) a day. The dosage for fresh leaf tincture is 10 – 45 drops perd day, in water. A dose of dried leaf infusion is ½ - 2 cups (125 – 500 ml) a day. I generally use both parts together, in the form of a tincture, and take one dropperful in water twice a day.
~Menstrual Cramps – Primary Dysmenorrhea~
Primary dysmennorhea is menstrual cramping with no pathological cause – i.e., there is no underlying disease causing the pain, such as fibroids, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). There are two main types of cramping with primary dysmennorhea: ischemic and congestive. Ischemic cramping occurs when there is a restriction of the blood supply in the muscle tissues. Constriction of the blood vessels reduces blood flow, and pain is the result. Congestive cramping primarily occurs from an excess of prostaglandins in the body. While they have important functions in the body, an excess of Prostaglandins can contribute to muscle pain, inflammation and headaches as well as inflammatory conditions such as asthma.
Each type of cramping has different symptoms, and the treatment approach is different. There are also some parallels between body type and the type of cramping experienced. It’s also quite possible to have both types of cramping.
- A desire for heat
- Heat relieves pain
- Desire to curl up in the fetal position
- Stretching relieves pain
- Cramps are in the belly, thighs and back
- Not relieved by heat, or heat has little effect
- Sense of weight in the abdomen, everything feels heavy, like it’s going to fall out
- Feels her period coming the day before it starts
Ischemic Treatments –
Step one – adjust your lifestyle -
- Stretch the pelvic floor muscles. Many women will experience a good amount of relief by engaging in exercise that stretches the deep muscles of the pelvis. Yoga and belly dance are both excellent for this, and Rolfing is a wonderful massage technique that can release adhesions in these muscles.
- Use heat. Most women with ischemic cramping will see marked improvement by using a heating pad or other heat source directly on the abdomen.
- Regular release (orgasm) alone or with a partner, also helps to relax the pelvic floor muscles.
Many women report that they no longer have menstrual cramps after childbirth, probably due to the stretching of the pelvic floor muscles. (My own mom was like this).
Step two – use herbs –
Raspberry Leaf – Rubus strigosus, R. idaeus – Raspberry leaf contains fragrine, an alkaloid that tones the muscles of the pelvic region, and is especially beneficial to the uterus. Really, all women can take it regardless of what kind of cramping they’re experiencing. It tastes great, isnon-toxic, and safe during pregnancy, for which it is a superb herbal ally. The leaf contains a great deal of vitamin C, easily absorbed calcium and iron, phosphorus and potassium. Make an infusion of 1 ounce of dried leaves in 1 pint of water, cover and steep overnight. Drink freely.
Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum thalictroides – The rhizomes and root of Blue Cohosh are an excellent uterine tonic and antispasmodic that strengthens the uterus. Make a decoction by simmering 1 tsp of the dried root in 1 cup of water for ten minutes and strain. Drink one cup three times a day. The dosage for the tincture is 1 – 2 ml in water three times a day. Caution: Blue Cohosh can raise the blood pressure.
Chaste Tree Berry – Vitex agnus-castus – Another uterine tonic, Vitex normalizes pituitary and female reproductive hormone function. I usually recommend a commercial tincture in a dose of 1 – 2 ml in water three times a day.
Dong Quai – Angelica sinensis - Dong Quai is the main herb used for women’s reproductive issues in the Chinese Herbal pharmacopoeia. It tonifies the blood and regulates the cycle, promotes blood circulation, nourishes and lubricates the tissues, stimulates the uterus and stops pain. Because it contains phytoestrogens, it should not be used in situations where there are fibroids or estrogen sensitive tumors. The dosage is 3 – 15 grams in a decoction, though it can upset the stomach when taken alone. You can also find it in commercially prepared tinctures and pills, though it works better in a synergistic formula such as:
*Women’s Precious Pills – A commonly used Chinese Patent remedy with Dang Quai as the main ingredient, this formula is taken daily by a huge percentage of the female population in China to address reproductive concerns, tonify the uterus, clear the skin, and make the nails and hair grow and be shiny. Dosage is 5 – 8 teapills, three times a day.
Congestive Treatments –
Congestive cramping is usually caused by an excess of Prostaglandins in the body, chemicals that cause both inflammation and pain. Two of the worst are arachidonic acid (AA) and luekotrienes.
Your body makes arachidonic acid to some degree, but not in great amounts. Mostly we get it from our diet in the form of animal fats, meats and milk. Vegans do not produce much arachidonic acid and may have fewer inflammatory conditions as a result of their diet. The cells in your body store AA in their membranes, and when the membranes are broken down they can be converted into antagonistic prostaglandins and luekotrienes. These are some of the nastiest chemicals you body can produce, as they are associated with the body’s natural inflammatory response. Prostaglandins are released by the endometrium during the menstrual cycle, and some women will release more than others. Increased prostaglandin production results in increased uterine contractions, cramping and pain.
Step one – adjust your lifestyle –
*Decrease the amount of Arachidonic acid in the cell membranes by:
- Eating less meat, dairy and eggs
- Add inflammation reducing Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids to your diet, by:
- Replacing meat with fish rich in Omega 3’s, such as salmon, cod and mackerel. The dosage for fish oil is 1000mg twice a day when you’re trying to reduce inflammation.
- Add flaxseeds or flax oil to your diet – just one Tbsp of freshly ground flaxseeds or oil will add a substantial amount of essential fatty acids. Flax seeds and oil go rancid rapidly, so you need to refrigerate them, and you cannot cook with flax oil because it becomes carcinogenic when heated. Use instead of butter on veggies or toast, or as salad dressing.
- Take Evening Primrose Oil, Black Currant (Ribes nigrum) or Borage oil (Borago officinalis) – all of which contain EFA’s that decrease inflammation in the body. Dosage is the same as for Evening Primrose.
Be patient! It will take several months to shift the balance in the cell membranes from inflammation producing chemicals to essential fatty acids, and you will have to wait to see the full benefits of dietary changes. Be gentle with yourself – changing your diet can be hard and very frustrating.
Step two – use herbs -
There are several herbs that reduce arachidonic acid and prostaglandins and therefore relieve pain and inflammation.
*Black Haw / Cramp Bark – Viburnum prunifolium - is an excellent herb that directly inhibits prostaglandins. It is highly anti-inflammatory and relives pain. Dose is 3 – 5 ml of tincture (1/2 – 1tsp) every three hours. This is my herb of choice for cramping.
*Motherwort – Leonurus cardiaca – has an antispasmodic effect in addition to its relaxing properties. Dosage is listed above.
*Black Cohosh – Cimicifuga racemosa - Relieves both pain and muscle spasm, and can regulate the cycle. The dosage I prefer is 1 500mg capsule of the dried herb, 1 – 3 times a day.
Willow – Salix alba or S. nigra – Willow leaves and inner bark contain pain killing methyl salicylate, an aspirin like compound with anti-inflammatory properties. 10 drops of the tincture is equivalent to 2 aspirin. Women with a heavy menstrual flow will want to avoid Willow, as it thins the blood and can exacerbate flooding.
Birch – Betula alba – Like Willow, contains salicylates. A Dose of the tincture is 1 – 2 dropperfuls up to 3 times a day, or the tea of the leaves, as much as you like. The same cautions as Willow also apply.
*Magnesium - Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramping in all parts of the body, including the uterus. Supplementing with up to 1000 mg per day of magnesium can be effective in reducing the severity of cramps. Having been magnesium deficient, I can personally attest that increasing this mineral in your diet will help.
*Clary Sage essential oil – Salvia sclerea – The earthy oil of Clary Sage relieves muscle spasms and pain. It reduces menstrual tension and pain. Dilute 3 – 4 drops of the oil in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil or lotion, and massage over the entire abdomen, lower back and thighs, anywhere you have pain. I like to combine it with Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium graveolens) and Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia var. vera) to enhance its pain reliving properties. Both of these oils will relive pain and muscle spasms, and soothe the mind and the heart, easing tension and stress. The formula I use is 2 drops Clary Sage, 1 drop Lavender and 1 drop Geranium in 1 Tbsp of carrier oil. It smells better than Clary sage alone, and works more synergistically to relieve pain.
You might find that your own symptoms fall into several categories here. How do you decide which herbs to try or use? I have given several choices in each area, and generally put my top choices first, and indicated which ones are my personal favorites, but the lists are certainly not all inclusive. The main reason I have several choices is that not all herbs will work for all women for the same symptoms. We’re all unique. That’s one of the reasons I use TCM assessment techniques when working with clients. It gives me a more accurate picture of the individual, and the factors contributing to their current health situation. Try one of the herbs. Keep a diary of how you prepared it, and the dose you took and how often. Write down how you reacted, how it made you feel, how long it took to work. Keeping an herbal diary like this was (and still is) one of the best parts of my herbal education. You can keep track of your progress and it’s a great reference for future work. If that particular herb doesn’t work for you, try another. I do highly recommend that you only use one herb at a time to begin with, as it’s easier to track your response and adjust dosages. Later, when you have some experience with each herb, you can combine them into synergistic formulas that address several issues at a time.
I’m going to end here, but might come back to add things over the month. My apologies for the length. Good luck with using these plants as allies, and please, feel free to ask questions. On to part 2!
- Hoffman, Michael – The Herbal Handbook
- Hoffman, Michael – The New Holistic Herbal
- Mojay, Gabriel – Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit
- Tierra, Lesley – The Herbs of Life: Health and Healing Using Western & Chinese Techniques
- Tierra, Michael – The Way of Herbs
- Weed, Susun – The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years
- Weed, Susun – Healing Wise
- Weed, Susun – The Wise Woman Herbal for the Menopausal Years
Last edited by Jaguar
on 14 Aug 2008, 05:49, edited 5 times in total.