how to make cbd suppositories

How to Make CBD Suppositories

How to Make CBD Suppositories, Pessaries and Generally Sticking Things In Your Bits!

I have teamed up with Yūgenial which is an incredible wellness brand specialising in CBD products. We are creating an e-book on how to use CBD in different ways beyond just supplementing with it. This included how to make CBD suppositories!

The founder of Yūgenial, Nia and I have already collaborated on events combining her knowledge of CBD and science with our passion for plant medicine!

Nia and I come from very different backgrounds as she has studied medicine at Imperial College whereas my training has been purely in naturopathy!However, I love that Nia’s scientific background meets perfectly with my witchy inclinations as there is actually a lot of scientific evidence and rationale for ancient traditions of healing!

So why is this relevant to suppositories?

Suppositories are basically a form of prescribing medicine through the vagina or rectum. So rather than taking a pill or a capsule, you can pop a suppository up there instead!

A lot of people are hesitant when learning about taking herbs vaginally or anally. It does sound quite GOOP!

However, they are actually recognised forms of drug delivery in the Western scientific tradition because there are so many blood vessels in the anus which means the drug can enter directly into your blood stream without first being processed by your gut and liver which would happen when you take a drug by mouth.

This means it works quicker and you can get more of the drug in your body.

Therefore, it makes sense why herbalists also use suppositories as a mode of application and particularly relevant if you have problems in that area.

I have used vaginal herbal pessaries (pessaries are the same concept to suppositories but there are types of pessaries that can be used to prevent vaginal prolapse or act as contraception) for clients with chronic candida or bacterial vaginosis.

Homemade herbal suppositories or pessaries are usually made with coconut oil which allows for symptom relief and also will contain herbs that can address the infection such as calendula or thyme.

However, what Nia and I realised was we could share with people how to get the benefits of CBD using a similar route!

What is CBD?

This is probably the first question when it comes to how to make CBD suppositories!

So CBD (or cannabidiol) is a compound found in the cannabis plant.

Cannabis is unfortunately associated with the compound THC which can get you high. But the CBD compound has many medicinal benefits that science has previously ignored due to the stigma around cannabis.

Many of you would have heard of hemp. This is a species of cannabis that is rich in CBD and extremely low in THC (you would not get high smoking it!).

how to make CBD suppositories

Hemp has been used medicinally and also for food, clothing, fishing nets, rope- in fact it is a highly sustainable alternative to plastic!

However, I will focus on the medicinal benefits of hemp and CBD!

Benefits of CBD

Hemp has been used as medicine for 1000s of years. In fact, it was noted by a 1stcentury Roman historian Pliny the Elder that “a decoction of the root in water relaxes contractions of the joints and cures gout and similar maladies.”

It has been used by physicians to treat fever, inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain, skin burns, tumours and even STDs!

However, it was made illegal to grow in the thirties in the US and our knowledge of this plant was suppressed.  Fortunately, due to a recent increase in scientific research that is showing overwhelming benefits from CBD we are slowely seeing progress being made to reintroduce this as a curative plant into our culture.

Some of the scientific research has shown CBD to:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Relieve pain
  • Regenerate the nervous system
  • Promote sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Alleviate depression

The list goes on and if you are interested in the studies behind this- I would recommend this blog post on CBD science byYūgenial.

Benefits of CBD Suppositories

So lets combine what we know about CBD and what we know about suppositories- we now have an excellent way to get the benefits of CBD that will be highly bioavailable!

Not only this but we get the benefits of CBD locally to this area. Therefore, some can use CBD as a way to relax or relieve anxiety before sex.

It is also incredibly powerful for women that might suffer from painful periods.

If you are suffering from menstrual cramps  a CBD suppository could be a great way to relieve the tension and pain.

A study showed that CBD inserted vaginally relieved extreme cramps in 20 minutes.

Herbal Suppositories

CBD can be combined with other herbs to make a vaginal pessary or suppository for specific actions. Calendula and thyme are powerful anti-fungals so you can add these to protect and work against candida infections.

St John’s Wort relaxes the nerves and has anti-viral properties so may help with HPV.

I love to use rose as it is anti-inflammatory, cooling and of course connects the womb to the heart.

How to CBD Suppositories

It is really simple! You can flex this recipe according to the amount you want to make so I’ve just provided the ratios!

  • 1 part coconut oil
  • 2 parts cocoa butter
  • 1 part Yūgenial CBD Elixir
  • Optional:
    • Herbal infused oils of your choice (this is when a herb has been infused in an oil such as almond or olive so you can make this yourself!)

All you do is melt the cocoa butter with the coconut oil and the Yūgenial CBD elixir. You can also add in your herbs at this stage and once melted you can pour into moulds and they will harden in the fridge or freezer.

Once you are ready to use you can insert them in your private parts and they will gently melt providing soothing relief.

Please note; you will get oily thighs when it melts!!

how to make CBD suppositories

I will be providing more detail on how to make a CBD suppository and other recipes in an ebook that I'm creating with Yūgenial and you can subscribe to their mailing list to be the first to hear about it when it gets launched.

CBD Suppository Controversy!

Many of you will be thinking- NO WAY- I do not want to put something up my bottom!

This is totally fine! But I do want to help allay any concerns around safety.

There is a slight paradox that anything natural promoting vaginal health such as herbal suppositories or yoni steaming is automatically side-lined and condemned to hippy, witchy nonsense.

When we have plenty of products that millions of people use on a daily basis  such as hygiene products, wet wipes etc… that contain synthetic chemicals and other things that generally do not have a good impact on our health!

Tampons are a big annoyance for me because they are so unsustainable, produced using so many pesticides, bleaching chemicals and contain dioxins that have clearly been linked with endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease!

So I know what I would rather be putting up my faffaloo and that is definitely a calming, uplifting CBD suppository made with my own hands using ingredients I trust and know where they have been!

However, I will leave it with you to make up your own mind :)!

 

 


rosemary meaning

Rosemary Meaning and Symbolism

5 Benefits Traditional Benefits Rosemary

Today I have got blissfully lost in ancient Rosemary folklore. Rosemary has so much meaning and symbolism throughout many cultures, I love how we can connect with this plant in the same way that our forebearers did.

My voyage of discovery reminded me what I love most about studying herbalism: It’s not just about learning biochemical actions of plants. It’s also about exploring the traditions, history, rituals, culture and the subconscious memory of herbs.

Rosemary has been offering us protection and comfort throughout the ages and we are still learning about all the incredible properties it has.

Here’s a rundown of just 5 of Rosemary’s benefits with a fascinating glimpse into the history of this aromatic herb.

Rosemary boosts our brainpower

A 2012 study showing the smell of Rosemary can increase your memory by 75% prompted the media to proclaim Rosemary as a latest hack to boost intelligence.

However, this is nothing new. In fact it’s something we’ve known for millennia.

As far back as Ancient Greece, students wore garlands of rosemary around their necks, or plaited in their hair to improve their memory during exams.

Rosemary connects us to those who have passed away

Rosemary doesn’t just help us remembering facts for exams. It is also saidthat it helps us remember those who have passed away.

From Ancient Egyptians to the early Europeans, rosemary would be placed on coffins or outside tombs during burial rites a tradition spanning many cultures and countries.

Rosemary reveals our true love 

On a more positive note, Rosemary is also associated with fidelity and love.It is traditional to give a sprig of rosemary to newlyweds to inspire faithfulness. In English folklore if a girl placed a plate of flour under a rosemary bush on midsummer's eve, her future husband's initials would be written in it.

In France if a man could not smell the fragrance of rosemary then he would be an inadequate lover!

You can try it yourself by putting rosemary under your pillow then your dreams may reveal you'retrue love!

Rosemary heals

Of course, Rosemary is also a medicinal herb and was used traditionally to sterilise and prevent infections.

Burning rosemary purifies the air so was used both in hospitals and churches to this effect.

The Romans used rosemary not just to protect against infections but evil spirits.

Rosemary has beauty benefits

Rosemary is also famous for its cosmetic uses and washing your face with it preserves youth and beauty.

A great illustration of this is when Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1305-1381) used Rosemary Water to ease her rheumatism and gout. At the age of 73 it did not only cure her of these ailments but completely rejuvenated her entire self. She became so beautiful that the King of Poland then proposed to her when he was just 26!

Rosemary has been offering us protection and comfort throughout the ages and we are still learning about all the incredible properties it has.

Now you know more about rosemary meaning and symbolism, I’m going to put some under my pillow and start dreaming of my true love 💕

rosemary meaning


ashwagandha for sleep and stress

Ashwagandha for Stress

How can you use ashwagandha for stress and sleep?

Ashwagandha falls into the category of an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants (such as ginseng) that have been researched extensively on how they can help us cope with stressful times.

Adaptogenic plants support our immune system to keep us healthy and reduce the impacts of stress on our bodies.

Ashwagandha is one of my favourite adaptogens. This herb is calming (without being sedating) and rebuilds our vital energy to help us cope with our crazy lives!

Ashwagandha's botanical name is Withania somnifera. Somnifera comes from the Latin meaning sleep inducing. So from the name we know it will be good for sleep and it is! I love Ashwagandha to help promote a dreamy, deep, unbroken sleep.

It is particularly helpful if you cannot sleep because of anxiety. Ashwagandha calms the mind and is highly restorative so I find it very effective for depleted or anxious people.

Other benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has many other therapeutic uses such as:

  • Ashwagandha is high in iron. Traditionally it was mixed with molasses and milk to relieve iron-deficient anaemia.
  • Studies have also shown its ability to stimulate the thyroid so it's often used for hypothyroidism.
  • Ashwagandha can support the muscles and joints. It can be helpful for arthritis, restless legs, neck and back pain.
  • It is a traditional rasayana or tonic in Ayurvedic medicine which means it has life prolonging properties. The name Ashwagndha means 'Smell of a horse' and is reputed to give the strength and stamina of a stallion!

How to use Ashwagandha for Stress and Sleep

The root is traditionally used in medicine and I love buying the powdered form of the root so I can add it to smoothies, soups and drinks as well.

My favourite way to enjoy Ashwagandha is in a hot drink called Moon Milk.

This drink is wonderfully relaxing, warming and comforting especially at night time. Nutmeg also promotes sleep so combines well with Ashwagandha. The powder is slightly bitter so would recommend adding a little honey or dates to sweeten!

You can try this recipe to make your own Moon Milk before bedtime to promote a deep sleep.

Recipe:

  • 250ml milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp. of cashew nuts
  • 2 teaspoons of Ashwagandha root powder
  • Small pinch of ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg powder
  • Honey or dates (sweeten to taste)

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients until creamy then heat gently and enjoy.

You can adapt this using the spices or nuts that you love to create your own version!

 


medicinal uses of lady's mantle

Medicinal Uses of Lady's Mantle

Medicinal Uses of Lady's Mantle

Lady's mantle is a traditional Western herb that has many medicinal uses particularly for female reproductive issues including strenghtening the uterus post-partum and relieving heavy menses.

It could be a great ally to many women, however, it is important to remember that it is not exclusively a female remedy and its astringent actions can be used like yarrow for diarrhoea, in hernias, cuts or wounds.

History and folklore

Lady’s mantle leaves are said to resemble the Virgin Mary’s cloak and it also has an affinity for the female reproductive tract so it is aptly named.

The Latin name Alchemilla is a derivative of the Arab word Alkemelych, which means alchemy, and was named for the plant's magical powers (Grieve, 1973). Alchemists at one time made use of the dew droplets that collect in the plant’s leaves for preparing elixirs (Holmes, 2006).

In Germanic tradition, Lady’s Mantle is an herb of Freya, used in fertility magic and for protection. (Wood, 1997)I. t is also associated with Fairy lore - it is said that the Fairies too (as well as alchemists) appreciate the sacred dew, which they collect and drink as a magical elixir. This dew can be used to cleanse the third eye to perceive visions and other dimensions.

Main therapeutic uses of lady's mantle

Lady’s mantle astringent action is due to its high tannin content and is used to allay excessive menstruation but the astringency also has actions for wound healing and digestionparticularly diarrhoea and ulceration. (Bartram, 1998).

It has been used as a uterine stimulant but perhaps is best for used for toning the uterus after childbirth. (Wood, 1997). It can be used to relieve period pains and to regulate periods, and was a traditional remedy for inducing sleep. It is also high in salicylic acid reduces inflammation in the digestive and reproductive systems.

Lady’s mantle can be used externally for vaginal discharge, irritation and infection. It also makes a good skin lotion for rashes such as eczema, cuts and wounds, sores and insect bites (McIntyre, 1994, p. 110).  It can be used as a mouthwash for bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. This has been evidenced in the below study where topical application of 3% extract in glycerine (Aptarine) to minor mouth ulcers relieved discomfort and produced complete healing in the majority of patients (60.4%) within 2 days and in 75% within 3 days. (Shrivastava & John, 2006).

Monograph for Lady's mantle

Latin name:Alchemilla vulgaris, Alchemilla mollis (identical to vulgaris but generally has larger leaves and so used interchangeably)

Common names:Lady’s mantle, lion’s foot, bear’s foot, nine hooks, great sanicle

Plant family:Rosaceae

Parts used:  The leaves and flowering shoots collected between mid-summer and late summer when in flower. (Hoffman, 1996)

Habitat:Lady’s mantle is found throughout Britain and Europe. Predominantly found in pastures, banks, mountain slopes, roadsides and wood sides, it is also grown as an ornamental garden plant across the world.

Botanical Characteristics

Lady’s mantle grows to around a foot high, it largely green until it flowers around June to August a yellow inflorescence. It is a perennial and the plant is entirely covered with soft hairs. The lower, radical leaves are 6 to 8 inches in diameter kidney-shaped in general outline, ‘with their margins cut into seven or mostly nine broad, but shallow lobes, finely toothed at the edges from which it has obtained one of its local names ‘Nine Hooks’. The upper leaves are similar and either stalkless, or on quite short footstalks and are all actually notched and toothed. A noticeable feature is the leaf-like stipules, also toothed, which embrace the stem.’ (Gökçe, Selen, & Müberra, 2018)

Herbal actions

Lady’s mantle has numerous actions such as: astringent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory (Grieve, 1973)and it’s energetics are bitter, cold, dry (Holmes, 2006).

Dosage ranges

  • 2-4ml tincture 3 times a day
  • 2-4g thrice daily
  • Vaginal douche: 60 grams in 1 litre of boiling water. Infuse 30 minutes. Inject warm for leucorrhoea, candida, inflammation; or as a lotion for pruritus.
  • Decoction (roots) offer a powerful deterrent to passive. bleeding. (Bartram, 1998)

Safety issues

There are no known safety issues but it is recommended to avoid during pregnancy. As an energetically cold, astringent plant it is also contraindicated for cold spleen conditions. (Holmes, 2006)

Ecological and conservation issues

A paper published in 2009 stated that five Alchemilla species should be considered threated and in urgent need of conservation action. A survey conducted since early 1950’s showed a loss in species ranging from 20-100% in locations in Teasdale and Weardale. They posit this is due to loss of meadows, intensive farm management and increase in motorised traffic. (Bradshaw, 2009)  Fortunately, Lady’s mantle is easy to grow domestically so one would advise cultivating the plant over foraging.

Bibliography

Bartram, T. (1998). Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine.London: Constable & Robinson.

Bradshaw, M. (2009). The decline of Lady's mantles (Alchemilla vulgaris L. agg.) and other hay-meadow species in Northern England since the 1950s. Watsonia(27), 315-321.

Culpeper, N. (1645). The Complete Herbal(Reprint 1995 ed.). Ware: Wordsworth Reference.

Gökçe, Ş. K., Selen, İ., & Müberra, K. (2018). Antiradical, antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity evaluations of Alchemilla mollis (Buser) Rothm. International Journal of Herbal Medicine , 6(2): 33-38.

Grieve, M. (1973). A Modern Herbal.West Molesey, Surrey: Merchant Book Company.

Hallmann, C. A., Sorg, M., Jongejans, E., Siepel, H., Hofland, N., Schwan, H., . . . de Kroon, H. (2017, October 18). More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLoS ONE , 12(10).

Hoffman, D. (1996). The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal.Shaftesbury: Element Books Limited.

Holmes, P. (2006). The Energetics of Western Herbs(Vol. 2). (F. Edition, Ed.) Boulder, Colorado: Snow Lotus Press Inc.

Jonadet, M., Meunier, M., Villie, F., Bastide, J., & Lamaison, J. (1989, Jan). [Flavonoids extracted from Ribes nigrum L. and Alchemilla vulgaris L.: 1. In vitro inhibitory activities on elastase, trypsin and chymotrypsin. 2. Angioprotective activities compared in vivo]. J Pharmacol, Jan-Mar; 17 (1): 21-7.

McIntyre, A. (1994). The Complete Woman's Herbal.New York City: Henry Holt.

Ozbek, H., Acikara, O., Keskin, I., Kirmizi, N., Ozbilgin, S., Oz, B., . . . Saltan, G. (2017). Evaluation of hepatoprotective and antidiabetic activity of Alchemilla mollis. Biomed Pharmacother., Feb; 86: 172-176.

Plonikov, M., Aliev, O., Andreeva, V., Vasil'ev, A., & Kalinkina, G. (2006). Effect of Alchemilla vulgaris extract on the structure and function of erythrocyte membranes during experimental arterial hypertension. Bull Exp Biol Med., 708-11.

Shrivastava, R., & John, G. (2006). Treatment of Aphthous Stomatitis with topical Alchemilla vulgaris in glycerine. Clin Drug Investig, 25 (10): 567-73.

Wood, M. (1997). The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines.Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

 


herbs for heavy periods

Herbs for Heavy Periods

How we can use herbs for heavy periods

Menorrhagia is the scientific term for excessive bleeding during a period and is usually defined as needing to change sanitary products at least every 3 hours or bleeding that lasts more than 7 days. This can increase the risk of iron deficiency anaemia. However, we can use herbal medicine to help manage heavy periods.

Why might we experience excessive bleeding?

Let's take a look first at why we might experience heavy periods. Oestrogen promotes the building of the endometrial lining. Therefore, high oestrogen can cause a thicker lining which causes heavier bleeding during your period as you shed this endometrial lining.

Excess oestrogen can be caused by:

  • Poor liver detoxification
  • Exposure to synthetic oestrogen like substances found in plastics, pesticide, some metals.
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Obesity

Another cause could be low iron. Heavy bleeding depletes iron levels. However, iron deficiency can also cause heavy bleeding because iron is needed by the uterus to prevent excess bleeding. Thereby, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of low iron caused by heavy bleeding and heavy bleeding caused by low iron.

A few studies have shown that Vitamin, A, K, and C may also be helpful at preventing heavy bleeding.

5 Herbs for Excess Bleeding

There are lots of herbs that can be used for heavy periods. We may first want to look at use herbs that manage the underlying causes such as high oestrogen. However, there are also herbs that can be used to control excess bleeding such as:

  • Lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
  • Yarrow(Achillea millefolium)
  • Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
  • Tienchi ginseng (Panax notoginseng)
  • Birthwort (Trillium erectum)

These have been used traditionally for uterine bleeding. My favourite is Lady's mantle and I've written a blog specifically about Lady's mantle and her many uses here.

Want to know more....

If you want to learn more about managing your menstrual cycle then I have just the solution! I teamed up with the Empowerment Coach Ellen Million to share coaching and nutrition tips for a balanced body and mind during your period in this webinar all about managing your moon cycle! You can buy it to watch today today here. It also comes with a free PDF summarising all the key points.

Natural remedies for Period


natural remedies for period pain

Natural Remedies for Period Pain

What natural remedies can you use for period pain?

There are lots of natural remedies for period pain (dysmenorrhea) caused by intense menstrual cramps.  However, it is important to understand why these happen in the first place. Endometriosis, fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease can cause pain during a period.

Also there is an emotional connection with our psyche and our womb. High levels of stress and anxiety can also trigger cramping and spasms during a period.

Why do we get period pain?

There are hormone like chemicals called prostaglandins which stimulate the uterus to contract to shed the lining of the uterus (endometrium). The shedding of the endometrium is the bleeding part of the period!  However, high levels of prostaglandins can cause cramping and pain during your period.

These prostaglandins are derived from arachidonic acid which is an omega 6 fatty acid. A lot of our diets are high in omega 6 and low in omega 3 which is anti-inflammatory and may reduce prostaglandin levels for an easier period. This is one of the reasons why we can ease period pain with diet!

Nutritional Support for Period Pain

  • Omega 3 fatty acids- these are found in oily fish, grass fed meat such as lamb, seaweed and nuts and seeds and are the anti-inflammatory heroes for period pain! As well as increasing omega 3- also try to lower omega 6 which is found in vegetable oils such as sunflower seed or rapeseed (canola).
  • Magnesium- this great mineral can also lower prostaglandins and relax the muscles to ease cramps. You can supplement or ensure you are eating lots of dark, green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale which are also high in magnesium!
  • Ginger-adding this warming spice to your food or having a tea has also been found to relieve period pain.
  • Calcium- studies have shown calcium to be very successful at reducing period pain. This is high in nuts, oats, spinach, beans and dairy products.

Herbal Remedies for Period Pain

Even if we eat the best diet, we are human so can still get period pain! Therefore, its great to have some herbs on hand too to help you if you if a hot water bottle is not going to cut it! My favourite herbs are:

  • Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa)
    • Wild yam is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. This means it reduces pain and inflammation associated with uterus and ovarian cramping. It relaxes the central nervous system and also may help with hormonal imbalances through promoting liver detoxification.
  • Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
    • I love Motherwort because relieves feelings of anxiety and nervousness. This can often cause tension and pain in the body. The botanical name Leonurus cardiaca means heart of a lion so it provides strength and courage! However, Motherwort also benefits and promotes blood flow to the uterus. This makes it the perfect herbal ally for period pain!
  • Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
    • Black cohosh is a well-known herb that relieves symptoms of the menopause. However, it also is used to treat period pain. It has pain killing actions and eases cramping of the uterus. It is effective for fibroids and also helps bring on periods if they are delayed.
  • Crampbark (Viburnum opulus)
    • The clue is in the name! This herb can be applied topically and also taken internally to relieve menstrual cramps. It relaxes the tissues and blood vessels to calm down spasms.
  • Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia erythrina)
    • This is a powerful herb that should only be used in small amounts as directed by a herbalist.  However, it does have a profound effect on relieving uterine cramps and reducing pain quickly!

Want to know more....

If you want to learn more about managing your menstrual cycle then I have just the solution! I teamed up with the Empowerment Coach Ellen Million to share coaching and nutrition tips for a balanced body and mind during your period cycle in this webinar all about managing your moon cycle! You can buy it to watch today today here. It also comes with a free PDF summarising all the key points.

Natural remedies for Period


benefits of red clover

Benefits of Red Clover

What are the benefits of red clover?

The benefits of red clover (trifolium pratense) for hormonal health.

The flowers of red clover can be used to restore hormonal balance,  promote fertility and support with menopausal symptoms.

Red clover for hormonal balance

Red clover is high in isoflavones which act as phytoestrogens. This means that they can protect against more dangerous forms of oestrogen that your body makes and the xenoestrogens we find in plastics and toxins. These play a role in hormonal based cancers so consuming phytooestrogens can be protective against this.   There has been a study that shows it can also be helpful for fibrocystic breasts.

The isoflavones in red clover such as genistein which is also found in chickpeas and soy have been shown to be protective against colon cancer too.

So whilst protecting against dangerous oestrogens, they can also be used therapeutically for people low in oestrogen such as symptoms of menopause. Benefits include:

  • Improve blood lipids and reduce cholesterol
  • Increase bone mineral content & strength - protective against osteoporosis
  • Reduce skin ageing induced by low oestrogen
  • Reduce hot flushes
  • Lowers blood sugar and so helpful with hormonal acne

Red clover is also used in folk medicine to enhance fertility and prevent miscarriages. It can regulate the menstrual cycle and tends to be a general cure all for infertility.

Other uses of Red Clover

As well as this red clover is high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium which nourish the nervous system to reduce stress and restore regular cycles. Therefore, drinking red clover infusion is a great way to supplement our mineral intake naturally to nourish our body.

Traditionally red clover is also used to clear the skin as in known as a blood cleanser or alterative. It enhances detoxification of the liver so works really well in chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

It also supports the lymphatic system and therefore, used in anti-cancer treatments both topically and internally.

 


herbs for urinary tract infections

Herbs for Urinary Tract Infections

Herbs for Urinary Tract Infections

I suffered a lot with UTIs in my early 20s.  Learning how to use herbs for urinary tract infections instead of antibiotics was a huge part of my journey in exploring natural medicine.

When I first experienced a urinary tract infection, I tried the usual over the counter remedies and cranberry juice but nothing seemed to work.  The pain and discomfort was so difficult to manage I would be desperate to find something to resolve it. So I took antibiotics. However, I became trapped in a  cycle of recurrent infections and antibiotic usage.

Nothing was able to break cycle.

I realised I could not carry on like this as it was affecting my work and health so I started to research alternatives.

And there were lots of alternatives to try! Salt baths, D-mannose, Vitamin C,  Homeopathic remedies such as Cantharis.

I read about different herbs that could helps such as Uva Ursi (Bear berry) and Echinacea.

Back then I had no idea about how to use herbal medicine back then but I found this tincture in a health food shop and for the first time I was able to  get rid of my infection without resorting to antibiotics.

I also changed my diet having become interested in nutrition and eventually after increasing veggies, bone broths and reducing sugars then my UTIs stopped occuring.

Antibiotics are life-saving medicine. However, if you are looking after your health then herbs can be such a great tool to manage UTIs so you can heal at home.

I recommend that everyone starts building a first aid kit of herbs so you have them ready when you need them.

Herbs to Help

Herbal teas are lovely for UTIs are they naturally will be processed through the kidneys and urinary tract. We all know the cardinal rule of UTIs is to drink lots of water! So herbal teas are a lovely way to increase hydration as well as flush out the bacteria.

My favourite tea would be buchu, corn silk, calendula and uva ursi. The corn silk soothes and coats the urinary tract relieving pain whilst  the buchu, uva ursi and calendula have anti-septic and anti-bacterial qualities to address the infection.

This combined with a tincture of echinacea and maybe goldenseal if it is really chronic would work very nicely to clear up a UTI!

herbs for utis

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection is simply when pathogenic microbes have found their way into the urinary tract and started to cause irritation.

The urinary tract comprises of kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra and prostate.

So a UTI in the bladder is called cystitis, in the urethra its urethritis and kidneys is pyelonephritis.

A UTI could start in the bladder but then move up the to infect the kidneys and this is when it can become life-threatening so always talk to your healthcare professional if you suspect you have one!

Symptoms of a UTI

This can vary but generally here is what to look out for:

  • Urethritis- this can be a gradual onset where you start to experience irritation and inflammation resulting in painful urination and changes when you pee. There can also be vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • Cystitis- you might the urgency and need to pee a lot but not always have much to pee and it be very painful when you do. 40% present with blood in the urine too.
  • Pyelonephritis- similar symptoms to cystitis or urethritis but also you might have fever, chills, nausea and severe lower to middle back pain. This needs treating immediately!

Why do we get them?

There are lots of reasons why you might be prone to urinary tract infections. Over 56% of women will experience a UTI within their lifestime so it is really common! One of the reasons of course, might be diet or hygiene (there can be some cross- contamination down there!)

However, E.coli overgrowth is linked to low oestrogen so there is a link between our hormonal health and UTIs.

Also there is a big connection between our emotions and our physical body so stress can be a big trigger factor.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the bladder is connected with the emotion of fear. The burning symptoms combined with peeing are also linked with anger (are you feeling pissed off?!). So take time to reflect and meditate on why you might have a UTI- is your body trying to tell you something?

Example protocol for using herbs for urinary tract infections

  • Simmer gentle these herbs in 750ml of water for 15 minutes then leave to steep and drink throughout the day:
    • 6g Uva Ursi
    • 3g Buchu
    • 3g Corn silk
    • 3g Calendula
    • 2g Dandelion leaf
  • Take 3ml of Echinacea angustifolia root tincture every 3 hours
  • Have some valerian tea at night to aid sleep
  • Stay well hydrated drinking the decoction and lots of water
  • Eat lots of fermented vegetables
  • Avoid all foods containing refined sugars
  • Have a warming bath once or twice a day and add salt and calendula- no scented products

 


benefits of dandelion

Benefits of Dandelion for Digestion

The Benefits of Dandelion for Digestion

Dandelion is a common plant that most people can recognise. Therefore, it is a great introduction to herbal medicine. You can pick any part of the plant at any time of year for its medicinal benefits!

Why is Dandelion good for digestion?

  • Dandelion loves the liver. It is known in herbal medicine as a 'cholagogue'. This means it stimulates bile production. Bile helps us digest fats and is a natural laxative to keep our bowels regular!
  • It is not only a cholagogue but dandelion promotes a strong and healthy liver which in turn supports our whole body
  • The beautiful yellow flowers have an affinity with our solar plexus chakra- the centre of emotional and physical digestion
  • Dandelion root is rich in inulin. This acts as a prebiotic to nourish our gut bacteria.
  • Dandelion stabilises blood. sugar and supports the pancreas.
  • The taste of dandelion is slightly bitter. The bitter taste stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid required to digest food. The bitter taste also stimulates pancreatic enzymes to start the digestion process in the small intestine.

How can you get the benefits of dandelion for digestion?

  • The root of the dandelion provides most benefits. The best time to harvest this is usually in Autumn when it is highest in medicinal starch and sugars.
  • The leaves can also be nibbled before a meal or added to your salads to get the digestion enhancing bitter flavour.

What can you do with dandelion?

There are so many things you can experiment with dandelion to make. Here are just a few ideas to enjoy:

  • Try roasting the roots and make dandelion coffee
  • Add alcohol to the roots or leaves to make a dandelion tincture
  • Or instead add the roots to vinegar to make a dandelion vinegar
  • Use the dandelion the flowers in a honey and make a dandelion infused honey
  • You could fritter the dandelion flowers or make a pesto with the dandelion leaves