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 Herbal Medicine: Uterine Tonics 
 
These are plants that have a toning, strengthening, nourishing effect upon both the tissue and functioning of the female reproductive system. The hows and whys are usually unknown, but this should not belittle their remarkable therapeutic value. The differential indications are one of the most confused area of modern Herbalism. This is explored more below. Important examples:

Blue Cohosh : Black Cohosh : False Unicorn Root : Raspberry : Life Root : Partridge Berry

Emmenagogues :
Of the many plants that can stimulate the menstrual process, some have a tonic effect on the system as well. Simply triggering menstruation does not imply anything other than that. Of the emmenagogues listed some work through bitter stimulation, others through localized irritation etc.. The herbs mentioned here will also nourish the system to some degree:

Mugwort : Yarrow : Partridge Berry : False Unicorn Root

Hormonal Normalizers :
A number of plants have a direct impact upon hormonal levels in the body. Of course there are many human hormones and only a few impact reproductive function. Many claims can be made about plants that effect hormonal balance, but here we should limit the plants to those that have an observable influence. Little endocrinological research has been undertaken on these herbs so it is impossible to be specific, thus the herbalist tends to talk in terms of hormonal modulators or normalizers. The most important one in European Phytotherapy is Chasteberry, which it is fair to describe as a normalizer as it will tend to move the body back to normal function regardless of which female sex hormone is deficient or in excess. How this works is a matter of conjecture. The uterine tonics and bitters may have a similar effect because of some more generalized toning influence, but this is not as predictable as with Chasteberry.

Chasteberry : `uterine tonics' : `bitter tonics'

Uterine Astringents :
Herbs abound that reduce blood loss from the uterus, wether in excessive periods (menorrhagia), bleeding between periods (metrorrhagia), or that associated with organic disease such as fibroids. An important but unanswered question is how they work because no astringent tannin will reach the tissue from the gut. It is possible that an hormonal process is involved with some of the plants but all. Of the many valuable remedies list as astringents at the beginning of this chapter, the most toning are:

Beth Root : Yarrow
Other important uterine astringents not in the list of `emmenagogues' above are :
Periwinkle : Shepherd's Purse : American Cranesbill : Ladies Mantle

Uterine Demulcents :
Similar comments can be said about the important demulcent remedies for this system. There is no way that mucopolysaccharide will find its way there from the digestive process, but still there is no question that these remedies will soothe inflamed tissue. The most toning is:

Blue Cohosh

Nervines & Anti-spasmodics :
There are also a number of valuable remedies that impact the autonomic innervation of this complex system. By using the appropriate nervine or antispasmodic much can be achieved in terms of correcting functional tone. Here we can mention:

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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
 
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