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 Herbal Medicine: The Reproductive System 
There are a number of important books focusing on the use of healing plant in the holistic treatment of the male and female reproductive system. I strongly recommend that these books be read and reread by all interested in this field. Recommended writings include:
Green, James. Herbs & Health Care for Males, Crossings Press, Santa Cruz 1991
Koehler, Nan. Artemis Speaks, 1985
McIntyre, Anne. Herbs for Pregnancy and Childbirth, Sheldon Press, London 1988
Parvati, Jeannine. Hygieia, a woman's herbal, Freestone, 1978
Weed, Susun. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, Ashton Publishing, 1986

A number of excellent general guides to health and well-being for women have been written. These are well worth referring to, especially for the male herbalist! One I can recommended is:

Wilson, Josleen. Woman: Your Body, Your Health. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1990

This is an area of wonderful healing potential, but incredible semantic confusion! It should come as no surprise that Nature is rich in plants that nurture or address in some way the process of conception and birth. After all, this creative process is the very keynote of life. However, there arises an unfortunate 20th. century dilemma for the phytotherapist. Some of the primary remedies for the female reproductive system used by the Eclectic, Physio-Medicalist and Thomsonian herbalists of previous centuries are now seriously endangered species. The most problematic (at the moment) are:
Chamaelirium luteum : False Unicorn Root
Cypripedium spp. : Ladies Slipper
Trillium spp. : Beth Root

It is one of the signs of the ecological holocaust that humanity has wrought on our world that healing plants of this importance have become endangered to the degree that they have. Whilst still occasionally abundant locally, their ecological range has been dramatically diminished.

In the material that follows these plants are referred to, especially Chamaelirium, because they offer such profound healing possibilities. However I would caution against buying them unless they have been cultivated, which in the case of Cypripedium is extremely difficult. Wildcrafting in this case would be an ecological crime.

For more information about endangered plants and bioregional conservation issues that relate to your area please consult local conservation groups or Native Plant Societies. A good source of address for such groups is :

The National Wildflower Research Centers WildFlower handbook
Texas Monthly Press, Austin 1989

Herbal Therapy for Reproductive Health

  • Emmenagogues: are they or are they not?
  • Uterine Tonics
  • Amenorrhea
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Menorrhagia
  • Pre-Menstrual Tension
  • Menopause
  • Herbs, Fertility & Contraception
  • Infertility

    There are several herbs which have been famous throughout history for preparing mothers for childbirth. Herbs can shorten labor and lessen the likelihood of complications both throughout pregnancy and in childbirth. The most used of these is in Europe is Raspberry (Rubus idaeus). A doctor writing in the Lancet (a British medical journal) said of raspberry leaf tea; `Somewhat shamefacedly I have encouraged expectant mothers to drink this infusion. In a great many cases labor has been free and easy from muscular spasm.'

    Rubus idaeus leaves have a mildly soothing, astringent and tonic action. They help to quell nausea and are slightly sedative. Most importantly, they have a particular affinity for the uterus, and act to strengthen the uterine and pelvic muscles and help to prevent miscarriages. In addition they tone the mucous membranes throughout the body, soothe the kidneys and urinary tract and help to prevent hemorrhage. They have been principally used to encourage a safe, easy and speedy childbirth, and afterwards to help milk production and speed recovery from the birth. In the uterus the action of raspberry leaves is both relaxant and astringent. The relaxant properties tend to predominate and bring about tonic relaxation of the smooth muscle of the uterus, which acts to reduce the pain of uterine contractions at labor.

    All the partus preparator herbs described at the beginning of this chapter will help.

    Herbal Therapy for Reproductive Disorders
  • Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
  • Discomforts of Pregnancy
  • Post Partum
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibrocystic Disease(FCD)
  • The Male Reproductive System

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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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