Herbal Adjuncts-Beneficial uterine tonics include raspberry leaves, false unicorn root and motherwort. Herbs that help promote a normal menstrual flow are blue cohosh and partridge berry. Herbs that slow excessive menstrual flow or bleeding after birth include shepherd's purse and lady's mantle.
Good remedies for PMS or cramps are gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) (found in evening primrose, black currant and borage-seed oils), vitex, wild yam root, red raspberry leaf, licorice root and cramp bark.
|Nine Essential Oils for Women's Complaints|
|Rose||universal female tonic and balancer, suitable for all gynecological problems|
|Clary sage||depression, PMS, menopause, post-partum blues (avoid long-term use if you have fibrocystic breasts or uterine fibroids)|
|Marjoram||antispasmodic, headache, menstrual cramps, constipation|
|Chamomile||anti-inflammatory, soothes frayed nerves, PMS, migraine|
|Lavender||overall equalizer, skin care, shock|
|Geranium||hormone balancer, menopause, PMS, yeast|
|Tea tree||antibacterial, herpes, the best yeast remedy, cystitus|
|Bergamot||widely antiseptic, water retention, yeast, depression|
|Neroli||insomnia, depression, anxiety, stretch marks|
The best hormonal normalizer is vitex, suitable for almost any reproductive-system condition, and especially useful for treating PMS, irregular menstruation, cervical dysplasia, uterine fibroids and menopause. Herbs for balancing menopausal hormones are black cohosh, ginseng, dong quai, Siberian ginseng, licorice, fenugreek seed and hops. Vitamin E is also useful.
Inhaling spearmint helps alleviate morning sickness; neroli and lavender can be very soothing throughout pregnancy and during labor. See "Massage" chapter for a recipe for massage oil for pregnant bellies. (See the "Guidelines for Use" chapter for contraindications in pregnancy and for information about which oils are safe to use.)
Herbal Adjuncts-In the first trimester of pregnancy, use gentle herb teas such as chamomile and lemon balm to deal with the usual maladies, but avoid strong emmenagogue (menstrual flow-inducing) herbs such as pennyroyal, rue, wormwood, goldenseal, juniper, sage and tansy. Recommended herbs for threatened miscarriage include black haw, cramp bark and false unicorn root. Toning and nutritive pregnancy herbs include raspberry, rose hip, chamomile, wild oat, nettles and partridge berry. For morning sickness, try an herbal tea of meadowsweet, spearmint, ginger and chamomile.
Oils of anise, dill and fennel, used in a bath or massage, will ensure a healthy supply of milk for your baby. The herbs themselves can also be added to food or made into tea. Drinking herbal teas not only can increase the quality of your milk, but will also increase the fluids you need in your body to create it. Sage helps decrease lactation when you are ready to wean your baby. (Drink at least 2 cups of tea per day.)
Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) can be helped by aromatherapy when combined with herbs and nutrition. An herbal sitz bath with chamomile and rosemary reduces inflammation, stimulates circulation and relaxes muscles in the pelvic region. Not quite as effective but more practical for some men is a warm compress or a massage oil applied behind the scrotum. Research has shown that muscle relaxation is vital in relieving a prostate that is chronically inflamed because of hormone imbalance. Be sure to have a doctor check this condition before attempting self-treatment.