Lets talk about Teas! I’ve been doing research into our Native Medicines and have come across a lot of great info about teas. My research has revealed medicinal recipes that could be used for treatments for a variety of ailments and I have found myself wanting to apply this knowledge and write about my personal experience using these healing plants, many of which have specific uses treating illnesses that I may never suffer from. I can, however, share the information in hopes that others may be able to apply this knowledge in their own lives!
Recently, my Wife has had very painful menstruation cycles (cramping, lower back pain, headaches ). Being one that never likes to see people in pain, I often wished that there was something that I could do (back massages only do so much). While there are over the counter medications that can help ease painful menstrual cycles, I must confess that I harbor a strong distrust of pharmaceutical medications. There are many unwanted side effects of these synthesized medications and they can be quite harsh on the kidneys and liver (and I don’t even like to think about what possible long term toxic buildup in the body they may cause!) Although I feel strongly about the use of pharmaceutical medications, it is not my place to decide when and how they should be used, and indeed they have proven to be very useful in many situations. I have always thought that the medicines nature has to offer can often replace most synthetic medications. I just didn’t know how to use them responsibly. The more research I do, the more I learn about the possible uses and precautions of herbal medicine and, like pharmaceutical medicines, there are some side effects. However, I’ve found that if used wisely plant medicine can be much cleaner and safer to use. (I think that one day I will write a full blog about my opinions on medicines, and the things I have learned).
Anyway, while doing research I discovered that some of our plants are particularly useful in treating menstruation issues. So one day when I noticed my Wife taking medication for her symptoms, I asked her if she would be willing to try a tea blend that I could make. She said “That would be great!” So that day when I went into the Eternity in a Box office I grabbed my notebook and set about making a simple tea blend that I thought would be perfect for her symptoms. I started with two herbs I knew to be particularly helpful with cramping muscles and easing menstrual flow: Cramp Bark and Black Cohosh. These two alone, I think, would have provided the desired relief that I was seeking, but I wanted to add a couple more herbs to round out the blend. I had found that two of my favorite herbs, Peppermint and Mugwort, have also been used traditionally to ease menstrual flow and promote a healthy cycle. Peppermint lends its awesome taste to any tea and also has anxiety relieving effects. The blend that I made had even parts Black Cohosh and Cramp Bark, and slightly less Peppermint and Mugwort. As an after thought I grabbed some Goji Berries. Goji berries taste great and have 15 times the amount of iron that spinach has to offer! I thought they would be perfect for restoring normal iron levels to the blood.
I gave this blend to my wife with instructions to brew a strong cup two to three times a day. At first she forgot to (it can be very hard to break our modern habits), but when I was home I took matters into my own hands and brewed her a couple cups throughout the day. I even tasted the tea (slightly sweetened with honey) and found it to be very agreeable (Peppermint was a good call!). At the end of the day I asked whether there was a noticeable difference, to which she replied “yes”. She told me that she was experiencing less cramping and back pain and didn’t even need the other medication! I consider that a victory for natural medicine! As I said, this was a simple tea that I put together in moments after consulting my notes on side effects and uses. I told a couple of the people from the office about my attempt to create a soothing menstrual tea and it was suggested that I write this blog.
Blog writing is completely new to me, and it is something that I have been considering for a while. We have had many discussions in the office about writing for our dedicated customers and visitors to the site. Sharing good information and making everyone’s experience with Eternity in a Box more personal is the ultimate goal. 🙂 Not wanting to disappoint I set out to do additional research to find more plant medicines and their possible uses in helping menstrual problems. I was not disappointed in the amount of information I found. There are many different plants that can be useful with menstrual health including:
Angelica Root: This one I have only find out about recently. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Angelica root has been used to promote health in woman, reduce muscle cramps, and treat Amenorrhea(a condition of irregular menstrual cycles).
Ginkgo Biloba: This is one of the oldest tree species and has many uses. It helps promote blood flow and reduce clotting. Ginkgo Biloba has been used to reduce the severity of many menstrual symptoms.
St. Johns Wort: This plant has been said to reduce both physical symptoms as well as relieve hormone related stress.
Yarrow: Yarrow has many medicinal uses, and for menstrual cycles it can relieve stress, and cramps.
There are some plants that are especially useful for treating abnormally heavy flow (known as Menorrhagia). Menorrhagia is more common among premenopausol women and can be a very seriously dangerous condition. Usually those that have it experience so much blood lose that they can not maintain their normal activities due to severe pain, fatigue, dizziness and other symptoms. If you think you are suffering from menorrhagia you should definitely consult your health care specialist. If you have a natural herbal specialist you may find some of these plants in their recommendations:
Cramp bark: Again, this one is great for relaxing muscles and relief from painful cramps.
Yarrow: Its ability to stop bleeding is very useful.
Garden Sage: This one is great for stopping bleeding.
Shepherds Purse: This one has been used with Yarrow to stop bleeding.
Ladies Mantle: Can also help stop flow.
Raspberry leaf: Also good for stopping flow.
Most of these plants contain tannins that can help reduce blood flow and a few of them are relaxants. I have also found that for women’s health in general it seems that plants in the Rosaceae family are supposed to be beneficial. Many of these plants also have effects on hormone levels that can be attributed to the symptoms of PMS.
My knowledge on these and other plants I have researched is limited to studies, and medicinal botanical info that has been gathered by those with a like mind to both revere and respect these plants. I don’t know all that there is to know and I am constantly learning new things. I would encourage others to do their own research and experimentation (it would be wise to do the research before experimenting, to better know what the plants are capable of), so they may better know the awesome powers of nature’s gifts.
Most of these plants can interact with other medicinal plants or medications. I should also add that Birth Control medications may also have adverse reactions with some of these herbs such as St. Johns Wort, and possibly others. If you are currently using any medications, it would be a good idea to consult your healthcare specialist, and do some research into any possible reactions. One should never use herbal medicines without knowing possible precautions beforehand. Part of being respectful to the plants is being aware of their effects! Almost all of these plants can be harmful for those who are pregnant or may cause miscarriage. Because of this it is important not to use them while pregnant and to consult your healthcare specialist first. Most medicinal plant’s constituents can be transferred through breast milk and it is not suggested to use them if you are currently breastfeeding. If you think that any of these plants may be useful for you, with a little knowledge you may find them invaluably helpful.
I am really grateful to share the good info I have found, and hope you may find it useful. I am always open to feedback and comments! 🙂
Sincerely, Eternity Rob.