As Well as General Female Health and Healthier Hair
Spend enough time among natural health lifestylists and practitioners and eventually you will come across these two Rock Stars: Red Raspberry and Nettles.
I first learned about them from practitioners of The Wise Woman Way, an approach to health taught by the herbalist Susun Weed. All of the information in this blog is either directly or indirectly from her teachings.
Susun Weed promotes the practice of drinking nourishing herbal infusions daily as a foundational practice for well-being. This is for everyone, not just those trying to become or already pregnant. Each day you would choose one of the nourishing herbs and make an infusion. The nourishing herbs I am most familiar with are comfrey leaf, nettle, oatstraw, and red clover blossoms. I believe there are some who advise against comfrey leaf during pregnancy. You also want to be mindful of your source, in particular with comfrey, because they may also accumulate toxins from their environment. Nettle is commonly suggested for issues with fertility and during pregnancy, however everyone and every situation is different and this information does not replace working with a medical provider.
How to make an Herbal Infusion: Use a ratio of 1oz or 3-4 tablespoons of dried herbal material to 1 quart of boiling water. If you are using a mason jar you will want to run warm water in the mason jar beforehand to warm the glass up so that it does not crack when you add the boiling water. You can also put a knife in the jar so that the metal pulls some of the heat out of the water.
You can put a covering (lid) over your container of herbal tea and water as well as wrap it in a cloth to keep the heat in. Let it steep for a minimum of 4 hours up to overnight. When finished, strain it and squeeze excess liquid out of the herbal matter. Drink it immediately or within 16 hours.
What are the benefits of Herbal Infused Teas? Steeping these larger quantities of herbal matter for longer periods of time allows for more bio-available forms of vitamins, minerals, proteins, polyphenols, and bioflavanoids to be released from the plant. As a result of this, many people find that regularly consuming these herbal infusions result in them having healthier looking skin and stronger hair.
Nettle Leaf is one of those plants that seems to be great for people in almost all situations of life including pregnancy. Nettles are considered to be one of the most chlorophyll rich plants. They are particularly abundant in vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and sulphur. Benefits of drinking it before and during pregnancy include:
- Nourish, strengthen, and rebuild the kidneys and adrenals. Accumulations of minerals in the kidneys are gently loosened, dissolved and eliminated.
- Increasing fertility in women and men by nourishing and rejuvenating the endocrine glands
- Ease and prevent sore joints
- Relieve constipation
- Reduce fatigue and exhaustion; improve stamina
- Reduce and eliminate headaches
- Nourish and strengthen the nervous system
- Nourishing mother and fetus
- Easing leg cramps and other spasms
- The high calcium content helps diminish muscle pains in the uterus, legs, and elsewhere during and after birth.
- As a source of vitamin K and its supportive ability in increasing available hemoglobin, it may prevent hemorrhage after birth and reduce postpartum bleeding.
- It is known to tighten and strengthen blood vessels while helping them to maintain elasticity. This reduces hemorrhoids.
- Increase breast milk
- Nourish and rejuvenate the cardiovascular system: Nettles are an incredible blood builder and oxygen-rich tonic, preparing the body for birth and potential trauma.
Red Raspberry is another great plant for almost all aspects of female reproductive health including pregnancy. Some recommend drinking it as an herbal infusion as well. The flavor is a little too strong for me though I have been told it works with peppermint. I tend to drink it in the traditional tea style. Red raspberry leaves are a source of vitamin C, E, A, and B complex, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
According to The Birth Center red raspberry leaves “Prevent miscarriage and hemorrhage, decreases morning sickness, and reduces pain in labor by toning the muscles of the uterus.”
According to Susun Weed, the benefits of drinking red raspberry leaf tea regularly include:
- Increasing fertility in both men and women. Raspberry leaf is an excellent fertility herb when combined with Red Clover.
- Raspberry leaf tones the uterus and helps prevent miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage from a relaxed or atonic uterus.
- Ease morning sickness
- By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery, Raspberry leaf eliminates many of the reason for a painful delivery and prolonged recovery. It does not counter the pain of pelvic dilation.
- Its high mineral content assists in milk production. For some women its astringency counters that.
- Allows the contracting uterus to work more effectively to support an easier and faster birth.
Read more about Susun Weed’s herbal pregnancy suggestions HERE.
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