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Rise Up Women

Apr 30, 2021 06:35AM ● By Kathleen Gould and Madalyn Johnson
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Although each woman walks her own unique journey, the one thing we all seem to have in common is the need to care for others. Women have traditionally been the healers, nurturers and caregivers, and as such, spend much of their time flowing their energy outward in service to others and to the Earth. This outward flow of energy can be very draining. This is one of the many places that herbs enter our lives with their grace and beauty. Herbs fuel women’s bodies, minds and spirits so they can continue in that service to others.
 
These beautiful plant teachers have been healing and refueling us from the beginning of time. Plants openly and lovingly share their gifts of healing and love with and for humanity and all creatures of the Earth. Sharing this herbal wisdom with those we love and our communities not only helps us to be better caretakers but also nourishes us personally so we can continue on our unique journey with strength and courage.
 
We will look at some herbs traditionally used to support women’s bodies, minds and spirits—herbs that increase vitality, stabilize energy and moods, balance hormones, increase libido, and so much more.
 
Some herbs that immediately come to mind are nettle, red raspberry leaf, chaste tree berry (vitex), ashwagandha, motherwort and maca root. Let’s explore a few of these in more detail.
 
Nettle leaf – Many herbalists say, “If you are not sure what to do, give nettle.” Let’s start by looking at the plethora of nutrients in nettle: It contains the minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, boron and strontium; the vitamins A, C, K and B; and the phytonutrients chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and quercetin. This alkalizing, mineral-rich, chlorophyll-rich blood purifier is used in myriad ways for women, such as in formulas for bladder and urinary infections, fatigue (thyroid balancer), reducing bleeding (so it’s useful for heavy periods) and diarrhea. Nettle is also used as an energy restorer, allergy reliever, and mucus cleanser for asthma and lung congestion. It is also rich in absorbable iron, so it’s great for anemia—and the list goes on and on.
 
One of the simplest ways to experience nettle is to make a strong infusion. This is a “ramped-up” formula to kick-start your health. In a 1-quart jar, put 1 ounce of dried nettle leaf. Then cover with boiling water and put your lid on. Give it a good shake. Let this sit on your kitchen counter overnight. In the morning, strain out the herb and start drinking small doses several times a day. This quart should last about two days. The flavor is strong and green, so small shots throughout the day make it easy to enjoy. You will quickly notice increased energy and a sense of well-being. Do this for two or three times (six to seven days), or as long as you feel the need. Your body will let you know when you are replenished with the key nutrients nettle provides.
 
MotherwortLeonurus cardiaca is sometimes called common motherwort. But there is nothing common about its health benefits. From heart health to an overactive thyroid, and all forms of anxiety or panic, motherwort is the perfect helper. A simple cup of tea or a single dose of an extract can calm a racing heart caused by anxiety and can help with menstrual cramping, due to its anti-spasmodic properties. It is beautifully paired with hawthorn (another herb for women) to strengthen the heart and for its relaxing nature.
 
Maca (also known as Peruvian ginseng) – Commonly found in powder form or capsules and tinctures, this is a tonic herb that can be used daily. The powder can be added to your morning smoothie, oatmeal or just about anything that you ingest. It has a history of increasing libido; reduces menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and sleeplessness; and contains flavonoids, which can improve mood, increase blood flow, and may increase athletic performance and reduce recovery time. Give it a try for a week or two and see the results. You won’t want to be another day without it. Try these easy-to-make Energy Balls for an afternoon pick-me-up and sweet treat.
 
Energy Balls
 
1 cup almond butter (or any nut butter you like)
6-7 pitted dates
1 tsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp powdered maca
1 Tbsp coconut
 
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Add more honey if necessary to make into a firm ball. Roll into small balls, and roll in additional coconut or maca powder (or maybe cocoa powder). Place in fridge for one week, but there likely won’t be any left in a week.
 
With plants so readily available, women can be assured there is one (or 10) just right for them. Start experimenting and experience their loving and healing nature. They are here to raise you up!
 

Madalyn Johnson (left) and Kathleen Gould (right)

Kathleen Gould, registered herbalist, and Madalyn Johnson are proprietors of SW Herb Shop and Gathering Place. Gould has been an herbalist for 30-plus years and has extensive experience in herbal medicine. For more information, call 480-694-9931, or visit SWHerb.com or Store.SWHerb.com.

 
 
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