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 Herbal Medicine: Sexual Hormones and Reproductive Imbalances Materia Medica  
Men's and women's reproductive health issues are an important part of herbal and medical health care in modern societies. Herbal remedies have been used throughout history to help ease symptoms and balance hormones. For instance, the Mediteranean herb Vitex agnus-castus, or chaste tree, was recommended around 455 B.C. by Hippocrates for the undesirable symptoms that can occur during a woman's menstrual cycle, and the herb is still used for this today.

The following chart lists some of the most important herbs for men and women imbalances, giving their actions, uses, energetics, and includes a therapeutic index.

Beth root Trillium sp.

Uses: uterine hemorrhage, menorrhagia

Energy: acrid, warm, saponaceous

Black cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa

Uses: sedative, slows pulse; hysteria, muscular aches, arthritis, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, relieves irregular pains and uterine distress during pregnancy (small doses), prepares for parturition (small doses), partus accelerator, postpartem bleeding.

Energy: acrid, cool

Black haw Viburnum prunifolium

Threatened miscarriage, pains after birth, post-partum bleeding, morning sickness (with Zingiber, Gentian), uterine prolapse, sterility, irregular sudden menstrual flow; has tonic action

Energy: spicy warm, aromatic

Blue cohosh Caulophyllum thalictroides

Uses: uterine pain, amenorrhea*, prolongs gestation, relaxes uterus just before birth, controlls abortion (with viburnum to enhance), ovarian irritation, cramp-like pains during menstruation.

Energy: acrid, cool

Castor oil Ricinus communis

Uses: use the oil topically for cysts, tumors of the breas, uterus, etc.

Energy: oily, neutral

Cramp bark Viburnum opulus

Uses: uterine colic, menstrual cramps, pain in the uterus and ovaries, bladder colic--erratic pains in pelvis

Energy: spicy warm, aromatic

False solomon seal Smilacina sp.

Uses: similar to Polygonatum.

Energy: spicy warm, slightly acrid

False unicorn root Aletris farinosa

Uses: uterine weakness, frequent child birth, deficient menses, sterility, reduced flow, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea (with Viburnum opulus or V. prun.), prolapse of uterus, sterility, habitual abortion, component of "female restoratives."

Energy: bitter, warm, acrid

Nettle root, herb Urtica sp.

Uses: prostatitis, prostate hyperplasia, nutritive tonic.

Energy: sl. warm

Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium

Uses: tea of herb only, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea with other herbs.

Energy: spicy cool

Poke root Phytolacca americana

Uses: immune stimulant (topically), cancers, cysts, etc. (Caution!)

Energy: spicy, hot, acrid, nauseant, poisonous

Pygeum (similar to Prunus)

Uses: prostate hyperplasia, sedative.

Energy: spicy, cool, aromatic

Red raspberry Rubus idaeus

Uses: all during pregnancy as a tea as a mild uterine tonic.

Energy: sl. bitter, cool, astringent

Saw palmetto Sabal serrulata

Uses: general nutritive tonic and soother to the male and female sexual organs, prostate, etc.

Energy: nutritive, warm, sweet, oily

Squaw vine Mitchella repens Rubiaceae

Uses: partus preparator, smooths labor, (use 1-2x daily for the 8th and 9th month), larger doses last week; painful menstruation, regulates bleeding, relieves congestion in pelvic organs, soothes general irritation of the nervous system.

Energy: sl. bitter, cool

Tiger lily bulb Lillium sp.

Uses: ovarian pain, uterine pain, tonic.

Energy: neutral, sweet, mucilaginous

Vitex Vitex agnus-castus

Uses: progesteronic, regulates menses, increases milk flow, stabilize fetus (1st 2 weeks), menopause

Energy: spicy warm.

Willow-herb Epilobium sp.

Uses: prostatitis, diarrhea, intestinal cramps due to chronic heat.

Energy: cool, mucilaginous, sl. astringent

Therapeutic Index

Abortion, threatened: Caulophyllum, Eupatorium, Helonias, Viburnum*

Abortion, with bleeding: Erigeron

Acne (during menses): Berberis, Vitex, Juglans

Amenorrhea: Achillea, Aletris, Anthemis, Aralia, Asarum, Avena, Corydalis, Damiana, Cimicifuga*, Myrrh, Polygonum*, Solidago, Lilium

Amenorrhea (with coldness): Leonurus, Cimicifuga, Zingiber, Zanthoxylum

Amenorrhea (with anemia): Urtica + Zingiber

Anemia: Cactus, Urtica, greens, spirulina, meat, yellow dock

Anemia (with no menses): Aletris

Bladder, atonic: kava

Bladder, mucus: myrrh

Breast soreness: black cohosh, arnica (topically), Phytolacca (topically)

Breast cancer: echinacea, golden seal, poke (externally)

Breast cysts: Phytolacca (externally), Scrophularia, castor oil packs

Childbirth: aletris, arnica, hamamelis, Helonias, black cohosh, Mitchella, Viburnum

Cramps, menstrual: Dioscorea, Lobelia, Viburnum, Passiflora

Cystitis: Althea, Erigeron, Hydrangea, Juniper, Kava kava, Zea, Parsley, Thuja, pipsissewa, uva ursi, Xanthium (chronic)

Depression associated with menses: rosemary, lavendar

Displacement of the uterus: Aletris, Helonias, black cohosh, Lilium, Viburnum prun.

Dysmenorrhea: Aletris, Aralia, Anthemis, Cannabis, Caulophyllum, Corydalis, Damiana, Heracleum, Jamaica dogwood, Leonurus, Lobelia, Cimicifuga, Passiflora, Saw palmetto, Scrophularia, Viburnum, ginger

Dysmenorrhea, congestive: Cimicifuga

Dysmenorrhea, due to deficiency: Cactus, Caulophyllum, Urtica, Cimicifuga

Dysmenorrhea, neuralgic: Cannabis, Dioscorea, Lobelia

Dysmenorrhea, persistent: Asarum, Viburnum prun.

Emmenagogues: Asarum, Damiana, Gossypium, Sanguinaria (caution)

Epididymitis: Achillea, Kava, Saw palmetto

Menstrual irregularities: Caulophyllum, Helonias, Populus, Viburnum

Milk flow, to stop: Fomes officinalis, Salvia officinalis

Milk flow, to start: Vitex, Foeniculum, alfalfa, Urtica

Gestation, to prolong: blue cohosh

Gestation, normalize: Aletris, Helonias, Cimicifuga, Mitchella, Viburnum

Headache at menopause: Cactus

Headache during menses: Avena, Damiana

Hemorrhage during menses: Viburnum prun., Capsella, Achillea, Aralia

Hemorrhage postpartum: Capsella, cinnamon, Erigeron, Urtica, Viburnum

Impotence: Avena, Cactus, Cannabis, Capsicum, Damiana, Humulus, Saw Palmetto, Yohimbe

Labor: Caulophyllum, Cimicifuga, Viscum, Mitchella

Labor, pain: Cabbabis, Piscidia

Labor pains, deficient: Caulophyllum

Labor, recovery after: Lilium

Leucorrhea: Abies, Achillea, Agrimony, Aralia, Caulophyllum, Corydalis, Erigeron, Hamamelis, Helonias, Hydrastis, Salix nigra

Lochia (vaginal discharge after birth): Aralia, Erigeron, Leonurus

Mastitis: Baptisia, Echinacea, Cimicifuga, Phytolacca

Menopause: Vitex, Cimicifuga, Cactus, Nuphar, Viburnum

Menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding): Achillea, Apocynum, Asarum, Cactus, Cannabis, Capsella, Cinamon, Erigeron, Geranium, Trillium, Urtica, Viburnum

Menses, suppressed: Damiana, Rosmarinus, Polygonum

Miscarriage, to prevent: Vitex, Cinnamon, Cannabis, Viburnum, Cimicifuga

Ovarian pain: Lilium, Anthemis, Dioscorea, Piscidia, Zingiber

Orchitis: Cimicifuga, Phytolacca (externally), Pulsatilla, saw palmetto, Verbascum (topically)

Post-partum bleeding: Capsella, Cimicifuga

Pregnancy, difficult urination of: Hydrangea

Pregnancy, morning sickness: Viburnum, Zingiber, Gentian

Prolapsed uterus: Aletris, Aralia, Erigeron,

Prostatic hypertrophy: Galium, Kava, Saw palmetto, Thuja

Prostatitis: saw palmetto, Epilobium, Urtica, Equisetum, Gallium, Salix, Thuja

Sexual desire, increased: Humulus, Scutellaria

Sexual desire, decreased: Damiana, Muira puama, Kola, Cacao, Panax

Spermatorrhea: Avena, Cannabis, Capsicum, Humulus, Cimicifuga, Salix, Thuja

Sterility: Avena, Aletris, Helonias, Saw Palmetto, Viburnum

Urinary irritation: Cannabis, Chimaphila, Hydrangea, onion, Thuja

Vaginitis: Hamamelis, probiotics, Juglans, tea tree



Ingredients: Cacao seed, Muira Puama root, Damiana herb, Chinese Ginseng root, Vanilla bean, Pine pollen, Dendrobium stem, Passion Flower herb, Turmeric rhizome, Kola Nut Seed, Ginger rhizome, Frankincense oil

Indications: Impotence, lowered sex drive.


Ingredients: Vitex fruit, Black Cohosh rhizome and root, Date seed, Zizyphus seed, Valerian rhizome and root, Fu Ling sclerotium, Dong Quai root, Peony root, Aletris root, Tangerine oil, Lavender oil, Valerian oil

Indications: Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause--vaginal dryness, hot flashes, sugar cravings, lowered sexual drive, emotional swings, such as depression


Ingredients: Vitex fruit, Dandelion root, Black Cohosh rhizome and root, Blue Cohosh rhizome and root, Cramp Bark, Prickly Ash bark, Lavender oil

Indications: For PMS-like symptoms, cramps, depression, excessive flow, irregular cycles, fibroid cysts, increases milk flow after birth, adolescent acne


Ingredients: Dong Quai, Rehmannia, Codonopsis, Fu ling, Peony, Atractylodes, Ligusticum, Licorice, Yellow dock, Nettles

Indications: Anemia, fatigue, depression, pallor due to deficiency of blood



Ingredients: Siberian Ginseng root, Schisandra fruit, Echinacea root, Wild Oats herb, Bladderwrack, Gotu Kola

Indications: Weakened adrenal function, jet lag, or as a daily tonic to help adjust to normal environmental changes and emotional stress


Ingredients: Milk Thistle seed, Artichoke leaf, Dandelion root, Turmeric rhizome, Skullcap herb, California Coast Sage herb

Indications: A digestive aid for poor or painful digestion, gas, and bloating, poor assimilation of nutrients, hepatitis, cirrhosis, general toxicity of the body; a general tonic to increase the smooth functioning of the liver


Ingredients: Valerian rhizome and root, California poppy plant, Passion flower herb, Hops strobiles, Hawthorn flower

Indications: Nervousness, sleeplessness, restlessness, anxiety, tight muscles (or anytime a natural herbal relaxing preparation is needed)


Ingredients: Valerian rhizome, Linden leaf,

Hops strobiles, Kava Kava root, Chamomile flower, Celery seed, Catnip herb, Wild Lettuce herb, Orange oil, Tangerine oil, Valerian oil

Indications: Sleeplessness, irregular sleep patterns

Sexual Hormones and Reproductive Imbalances: Materia Medica 4
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 About The Author
Christopher Hobbs LAc, AHG Christopher Hobbs is a fourth generation herbalist and botanist with over 30 years experience with herbs. Founder of Native Herb Custom Extracts (now Rainbow Light Custom Extracts) and the Institute for Natural Products......more
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