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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Awakening Women to Earth Medicines: Herbalist Kathleen Gould shows us how herbs are living medicines

Apr 30, 2014 10:10AM ● By Kathleen Gould

Women are awakening to their natural connection to Mother Earth and all of her healing plants. In the past, women honored their unique intuition and were intimately connected with those subtle energies. Women have much to celebrate, including the ability to give life and nourish it.

We are the caregivers of the Earth, as well as are all of her inhabitants, be it human, animal, plant or elements. The medicinal herbs of our Earth are simply part of who we are, who we have always been and who we will always be. Women are again beginning to feel this and coming en masse to reconnect with the art of herbal healing. The spirits of the plants have lain dormant deep in the recesses of our hearts, like a tiny ember at the bottom of a campfire, waiting for the winds of awakening to fan them to life once again.

It is the time. Mother Earth hears our hearts and we are hearing hers. Listen to her and she will help return us to our true nature of radiant, feminine health. Let her guide us as we use the gifts of her simple herbs with honor and gratitude.

Herbs are living medicines. Rich in rejuvenating nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and free radical scavengers, they work to rebalance our bodies, minds and spirits. Whole plant herbs are foods, and our bodies receive them as such. The completely absorbable nutrients are assimilated and metabolized and the waste eliminated just as with any food. These plants are true healing miracles. The endocrine (hormonal) system is one of the areas women are now working to rebalance, and of course the Earth has everything we need to do just that. Most of these herbs are simple, inexpensive and readily available to all of us, so let’s take a gentle walk on the Earth and meet a couple of our herbal allies.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) – This amazing plant is a favorite among women throughout their lives. It works to calm the emotional heart. If we are stressed, suffering from grief, panic or anxiety attacks or any other emotional imbalance, motherwort is there to help us move through it. Young women love motherwort to help bring on a delayed menstrual cycle and for PMS symptoms. Women in menopause use motherwort to help regulate mood swings and/or depression, ease hot flashes, calm heart palpations and balance hormones. Motherwort is also a gentle heart tonic that helps strengthen the organ and her bitter principles make her a great ally for digestive disorders. Because motherwort is so bitter, most women choose to use her in a liquid extract form (tincture). Traditional dosage is 15 to 20 drops twice a day or as needed.

Chaste tree berries (Vitex agnus-castus) – A beautiful and ancient plant, chaste tree berries have a long history of balancing the ratio of the hormones estrogen and progesterone and helping the whole endocrine system to operate more efficiently. They are used in formulas for PMS, fibroids (ovaries and uterus), in the treatment of endometriosis and for irregular periods. For the post-menopausal woman, chaste tree berries are a wonder to help quell hot flashes. In addition, they promote abundant milk supply in a lactating mother. The traditional dosage of liquid extract (tincture) is one-half dropper full twice a day.

These are just two of the thousands of healing plants waiting for us to hear their song again.

Kathleen Gould is a registered herbalist with SW Herb Shop & Gathering Place, 148 N. Center St., in Mesa. Contact her at 480-694-9931 or

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