21 January 2019
Menopausal Herbal Allies
Recently EagleSong Gardner taught Menopause: A Second Spring at the women's herbal conference. Here is some of what she shared.
A woman’s journey is one continuous change, deepening her connection with herself and her own unique life. Understanding the different demands and tasks of each stage and calling and engaging allies, green and otherwise, is at the heart of this class. Just as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon, this extraordinary rite of passage, the metamorphosis of menopause, becomes your second spring. Staying nourished with cool and juicy herbs is where we’re heading! Having herbal allies to call on when you need support in challenging times, too! And, life enhancing practices to keep you movin’ and groovin’ whilst living your years to the fullest!
Enjoy the following herbal allies, interludes and practices that fit you and ease into the smooth transformation menopause is meant to be...
Crone’s Time Away: While in the getting ready phase of menopause in your life, make time for yourself a practice. This will look different for each woman. You know what you need, make space for it in your life. Or life will make space for it for you...
Nettle: Urtica dioica Nourishing herbal infusion brings strength, stamina and endurance to every day life. Mineral and protein rich, nettle with miso is a quick meal in itself. Nourishing herbal infusion, soup, herbal vinegar. Nourish, strengthen, rebuild kidneys. Rehydrate dry tissue. Leaves.
Motherwort: Leonurus cardiaca The plant that gives you the heart of a lion! A trustworthy ally for emotional ups & downs associated with menopause. Strengthens & tonifies heart and uterus. Lessens strength, frequency and duration of hot flashes. Ease stressed nerves, relieve anxiety. Relieve insomnia and sleep disturbances. Tincture from fresh flowering tops.
Shatavari: Asparagus racemosa This is the “She Who Has a Hundred Husbands” herb. Nourishing tonic herb for the reproductive system. An herbal adaptogen. Replenishes fluids in kidneys and reproductive organs. Relieves dryness, hot flashes and insomnia, can increase libido, enhance sexual sensation and improve overall immune response. Any asaragus will work! Tincture of root, dried as decoction, and my favorite, freely eating asparagus when in season. Roots and shoots.
Abdominal Massage: simple, easy hands-on practice for tending the genito-urinary organs, improving blood flow and a sense of being in touch down there in a tender loving way.
Crone’s Crowning: Create a ceremony acknowledging your transition to She Who Holds Her Wise Blood Within. A place to re-ignite your personal passion for life among friends and family. How would this look for you?
Hawthorn: Crataegus sp, The Gnarly Old Hag and the herb to strengthen your heart in many ways. Rich in bioflavanoids, regulates blood pressure, improves breathing, enhances cell metabolism, increases flexibility and strengthens peripheral and coronary blood vessels and capillaries, reduces inflammation, boosts immune system, and improves nerve, brain and connective tissue. And, just for good measure...hawthorn improves digestion. Fruits, flowers, leaves. Tincture & vinegar of fresh or dried fruits, fresh flowers & leaves, fruit decoction, haw butter, chutney, oxymel. Safe as applesauce for people of all ages. Dose, duration, frequency? Start young, stay strong! Ask me about the Queen of the May.
St Joanswort: Hypericum perforatum an ally for a woman experiencing anxiety, sleep disturbance and mild to moderate depression. May lower cortisol production whilst enhancing naturally occurring tranquilizers in the brain. Stimulates PMS - Pack My Suitcase and accompanying symptoms i.e. food cravings, swelling, poor coordination, insomnia, confusion, headaches, crying, and fatigue. Whew! St. J’s brings a ray of sunshine to life, dispelling melancholy and gladdening the heart. Tincture from fresh flowering plant.
Cronewort: Artemesia vulgaris A green ally through a woman’s life in menstraution, childbirth and menopause! An herb for grandmother’s dreaming the world for their grandchildren. A uterine tonic, energizes the womb with healthy blood flow. Increases the flow of bile thereby improving the digestion and assimilation of fats. A bitter digestive and delicious herb vinegar. Easy to grow, use young in salads, in a mess of cooked greens as a seasoning, young growth for herb vinegar, dried for tea, fresh tops in flower for tincture. Cronewort was the herbal surprise of the year for me...
Exercise: find physical activities that you enjoy to improve flexibility, endurance, stamina, cardio- vascular and pulmonary capacity. Walking, dancing, swimming, tai chi, yoga. What is it you love to do? How is it you love to move?
Crone’s Ceremony of Commitment to her Community: a place to announce your intentions for your years as a ripening elder.
Ginseng: Panax quincquefolius is energizing, rejuvenating, immunoprotective and adaptogenic. American ginseng is an ally for women’s health especially in menpause. Nourishes nerves, moderates blood sugar swings, regulates hormones, stops menstrual flooding, improves memory, concentration and mental acuity. Enhance libido, reduce the aging process, extend lifespan...And, she grows here! Roots and leaves, learn to grow ginseng as your crone’s committment to her community...
Oatstraw: Avena sativa rich in anti-oxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, regulates blood sugar levels, improves digestion through bulk and mucilage, improves immunity and reduces inflammation. Cardio protective. Oats are a terrific free radical scavenger helping to slow the aging process and lessen effects of oxidative stress. Oatheads in milk stage cut & dried for nourishing infusion, oat grain rolled or cut, in porridge, cookies, cakes, etc.
Linden: Tillia spp lime flowers, a symbol of friendship and tender, faithful love. Germanic peoples held judicial meetings under linden trees. Verdicts often came back sub tillia, meaning “under Linden.” It was a common belief that the tree helped unearth the truth in certain matters! Tillia, an herb for our times! Te d’ Europe once the shops in all of France closed when linden was blooming so people could harvest the flowers! A carminative herb, an aromatic bitter tonic that improves digestion. Rich in mucilage, reduces spasms, relieves heat, improves elasticity of arteries and relieves nervous palpations of the heart. Flowers fresh in tincture, dried for nourishing infusion.
Menopause is a time to go to your depths and emerge a ripenening elder.
Proceed as if you’re needed...
- Tags: diy herbal medicine