[guest post] Herbal teas are a part of the wise woman tradition.

RachadminGuest Writings, Menstrual Health

Herbal teas are a part of the wise woman tradition. By Amanda Rayment

For centuries women have used herbal teas to support their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their families. There is something comforting for me in the thought that generation after generation of our sisters have honoured the cycles of menstruation, pregnancy and menopause by quietly sipping a herbal tea. At one time many women’s store cupboards were filled with both dried and fresh herbs ready to be offered to their family, friends and neighbours. A sip of chamomile for a restless little one, a cup of steaming raspberry leaf for a pregnant woman preparing to birth, a herbal compress for aching joints, always a remedy there ready in the home to be offered with love.

So what does this tradition of wellbeing, wisdom and healing have to offer women today? I hope I can inspire you in this short blog to stock your kitchen cupboard with herbal teas and bring the home herbalist back into the home. A wonderful way to begin using herbal teas is in connection with your menstrual cycle. You may love the thought of having time to retreat from daily life during your moon time and you may have the good fortune to have this blessing. For others it may be more challenging to completely step back from daily activities and the care of others during your bleed time, also some women may feel why would I want to retreat at this time? Of course there is no right or wrong way to respond to your menstrual cycle, simply the most loving way for you.

What I do know is that herbal teas can offer wonderful support which nourish and nurture women during their menstrual cycle. Just stopping for a moment to sip a steaming hot cup of herbal goodness can be delightful. I would love to share with you some of the herbs I would suggest and from this I hope you have a sense of the gifts available from a simple cuppa!

Ladys mantle, I love this herb known as a woman’s ally amongst herbalists. Using this herb is like wrapping a warm blanket around you. It reminds us of tenderness, warmth and security. So whenever you feel out of sorts as it were with your menstrual cycle, this would be the perfect herb to place in the teapot and make a brew, take 5 minutes out and sip your tea. Sometimes I prescribe to clients to make a strong brew, using 1 tablespoon of lady’s mantle in a tea pot and let it steep for 10 mins, strain and add to the bath water. Then relax in the bath immersed in this wonderful healing herb. This would be particularly helpful after experiencing a miscarriage or any genealogical operation. Lady’s mantle is an astringent herb so when there is an excess of bleeding during the menstrual cycle or after giving birth {always of course check with a practitioner if you are unsure of excess bleeding} this could be the perfect herb. This herb is also known by herbalist as a regulator, so we use it for both excess bleeding, lack of bleed and any spotting between periods. Often I add raspberry leaf to the tea pot as well; these two plants work well together. As well as this wonderful protective feeling being offered, Lady’s mantle strengthens internal tissue and assists in building uterine lining.

I couldn’t speak of the menstrual cycle without mentioning raspberry leaf; if I could I would encourage all women to have this wonderful herb in the kitchen cupboard. This plant has such affinity for women’s pelvic region. It supports and restores the uterus, also including the uterine lining. Raspberry leaf is also an astringent herb, so is helpful if there is an uncomfortable discharge or spotting in between periods. One cup of raspberry leaf is packed with easily assimilated calcium, iron vitamins C, A, E and B complex. How wonderful is that?

Of course there are many more herbs I would have in my medicine bag related to the menstrual cycle, angus castus, motherwort, oat straw and castor oil packs to name a few. Welcome World Herbal Teas offers the Moon Time tea formulated to be of assistance with the menstrual cycle and of course you could have fun producing your own perfect cuppa to enjoy.

©Amanda Rayment, Master herbalist and owner of Welcome World Herbal Teas. www.welcomeworldcafe.com

Starting in April Welcome World is launching an online herbal course, The Home Herbalist Apprentice, which is available in 3 different packages to suit all your needs to study home herbalism.