Mothering with Herbs
The great task of motherhood brings many fabulous rewards and with it numerous challenges. However we are not alone in the journey of raising the future, we have friends in our plant allies. Herbs have been used for thousands of years to create health and harmony in the lives of many generations of mothers. From postpartum healing to keeping our cool during the most stressful of times, our plant friends are totally there for us. Research and double checking sources is very important as some herbs and oils can be dangerous instead of helpful which may change during the different stages of motherhood.
The entire trip of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can also be looked at as a rebirthing time for the mother. When the girl sheds the skin of her maidenhood into motherhood. During this time much attention is focused inside the body as life itself manifests. Herbal Teas can be made to help nourish the growing womb and bring harmony. Red Raspberry, Dandelion, Alfalfa, Nettle, and Lemon Balm are an excellent blend as they contain numerous essential vitamins and minerals. Red Raspberry strengthens the uterus and helps to decrease postpartum bleeding and uterine swelling. Dandelion promotes circulation and strengthens the arteries although as a diuretic may not be ideal in the later stages of pregnancy. Alfalfa is full of vitamin K which is essential to a newborn baby. Nettles is an all around healing herb that promotes a healthy pregnancy. Lemon Balm is an excellent herb to help relax and tone the nervous system as it is a nervine. Preparing a cup of tea during pregnancy may seem like a simple act but these are just the type of self love rituals a mother needs to get through the journey.
Once the baby is earthside, many new lessons and challenges are ahead. Herbs are here to help us heal from sitz baths to healing the cord wound with ground goldenseal powder. Sitz baths bring a world of relief to the new mother and can be taken simply in a shallow bath or a specialty seat. A healing blend sure to bring comfort is Epsom salt, calendula, lavender, horse chestnut (crushed), white oak bark (small amount), St. john’s wort and chickweed. Simply use by blending ground herbs then add herbs to almost boiling water allowing to infuse for at least 20 minutes then add to sitz bath. A perineal bottle may also be filled with this solution and used throughout the day. Using herbs during this very fragile time will help increase healing and bring solace to the mother.
Another job that herbs are sure to handle is helping a mother produce the most nourishing thing a baby needs, breast milk! The herbs that encourage the flow of milk are known as galactogogues some of which are alfalfa, oat straw, shatavari root, fenugreek, and blessed thistle. Not only do they help with milk production but they also bring necessary nourishment to the mother and the baby.
When it comes to keeping our cool during this roller coaster of an experience, using herbs everyday will surely help to stabilize the mother and re-balance her chemistry. Motherwort, used best in tincture form, is an excellent herb as it not only tones the heart and uterus but also brings relief from anxiety, sleeplessness, and tense feelings.
In a society that is over-saturated with pharmaceuticals, may mothers always have access to the wealth of herbs mother earth has to offer in treating and healing their families. Plant allies are a proven method of healing and it is my dream for medicine women all over the world to unite and change the dominant systems of healing to the original ways. Blessed Be the Women of Herbs.
Today’s Herbal Health Author Louise Tenney
Published by Woodland Books in 1983
Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding Author Demetria Clark
Published by Book Publishing Co in 2015
Medicinal Herbs A Beginner’s Guide Author Rosemary Gladstar
Published by Storey Publishing in 2012
I am a mother of two beautiful children. I am a firm believer in bringing our culture back to basics and supporting the resurgence of traditional folk healing and natural medicine. I believe in calling upon the spirits of nature to bring healing and harmony into the world . I live in Long Beach, California where my partner and I run our family business in the crystal and mineral industry.
Want to become an Herbalist or Aromatherapist? Visit www.heartofherbs.com
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