Plant Magick for Womxn's Health
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
PLANTS ARE MEDICINE - Herbs have played such a huge part in my healing journey, I want to share their magic with all of you. I receive many questions regarding details about these herbs, where to buy, in what form, and what the correct dosage would be/ how much to take. I want to explain this as delicately as possible, as herbalism can be wildly complex.
I must say that each and every person is so different when compared to the next. An herb may work for one body yet may not have the desired effect for another. Maybe one body needs a stronger dose than another. Everyone has a different element within them that can become imbalanced, resulting in various patterns of health ailments. Everything in your life is relevant including current emotional balance, current diet, etc. So it’s rather difficult to make specific recommendations to a large audience as a “one size fits all” type of thing when it’s really very case-by-case.
With all that being said, below, I’ll share some simple tea recipes, herbal supplements, brands I prefer, and how much to take. Ultimately, YOU ARE YOUR OWN HEALER, and I recommend that you also do your own research. Check-in with yourself to feel what’s right for YOU!
WHEN YOUR HORMONES ARE BALANCED, YOUR SKIN IS HAPPIEST! These are some of my favorite herbs that help me to balance my hormones. Please note that some of these herbs are not recommended during pregnancy. It is advised that you consult your naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist or a clinical herbalist before starting with an herbal regimen. I’m sharing these as a way to show you that there are many alternatives to balancing your hormones & acne rather than just a cover-up with a birth control pill.
This plant is a rich source of phytoestrogens, or, plant-derived estrogen. It has a powerful detoxifying effect on the body, making it powerful in removing waste and toxins from our fluids and tissues, mainly the lymphatic system. This makes it a useful aid in healing symptoms of chronic inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis. Red Clover can be very effective in treating chronic lymphatic congestion and swollen lymph nodes. Red clover contains an agent called an isoflavone. This is a plant-based chemical that produces estrogen-like effects on the body. Because of this, supplementing with red clover provides much relief for the goddess in menopause, as menopause is a time in which our estrogen levels drop. The isoflavones can aid in managing symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, breast pain or tenderness, and vaginal dryness.
Estrogen deprivation also contributes to accelerated skin aging. After menopause, you can potentially age 5 years in 1. This herb is helpful as a daily tea to combat signs of aging as it positively influences collagen production, skin thickness, and elasticity. If you’re already producing healthy estrogen levels, do not take this as a preventative for anti-aging! This is for when your estrogen levels begin to deplete. Another cool thing about red clover is that while it can raise estrogen activity for womxn with low estrogen levels, it can decrease estrogenic activity in womxn with high estrogen levels. However, the estrogen decrease/increase is just a symptom of taking the herb and NOT an actual cure. If you have high estrogen, It’s still very important to address the underlying cause. There’s a possibility your lifestyle could include estrogenic toxins (found in drinking water, plastics used for food containers, pesticides and herbicides.) So, if estrogenic toxins are the issue, then red clover's detoxifying properties may be fitting for you.
Red clover is most effective for conditions in which there is an overlap between toxicity and hormonal factors. This includes PMS acne, breast swelling/ tenderness, ovarian cysts, and fibrocystic breasts.
Caution: be aware that red clover is a blood thinner due to the high concentration of Coumarin.
SUGGESTED TEA RECIPE:
Red clover, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Dong Quai, Rose petals
WHERE/WHAT TO BUY: if you’re looking to buy something online, check out my stories for which products I get on Amazon! If you’re in San Diego you can also find these herbs at @inharmonyherbs or check Yelp for a local herb shop closer to you! I suggest taking this in a tea. If you’re wanting to take this for hormonal imbalance, drink it every morning religiously for a month and check-in with yourself to see how you feel! And if you’re wanting it for lymphatic support, maybe 3x a week would be best.
It contains Omega-6 fatty acids which supports overall hormone function and reduces PMS symptoms like bloating, breast tenderness, irritability, and headaches. It also helps increase the production of cervical fluid!
This beautiful flower is known for the oil that is made from its seeds! This oil contains high concentrated amounts of fatty acids (specifically Omega-6, which is very beneficial in helping to decrease inflammation).
Because of the Omega-6 in this oil, it helps with calming any inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Aside from its anti-inflammatory benefits, it helps with overall skin health by refining redness, saggy-ness, roughness, and improving moisture and firmness.
But the benefits aren’t just skin deep - in fact, evening primrose oil can also help you to regulate your hormone levels and reduce PMS symptoms like depression, irritability, bloating (again, bc of the high concentrate of omegas) AND cyclical breast tenderness as it helps inhibit prostaglandins that cause cyclical breast pain.
WHERE/ WHAT to get:
You can find primrose oil in most health food stores, in the health and beauty section. You can also find it online like on amazon. (See the link in my bio for my amazon shop where I link you directly to products & specific brands!)
HOW TO USE:
(internally) start with a small dose, like 1 capsule, and CHECK IN WITH YOUR BODY & increase as needed to relieve symptoms. Ideally start taking it the day you menstruate until the day you ovulate, and taking a break until you have your moon time (menstruation) again. Be aware that too much can cause loose stools & don’t take it if you’re also taking blood thinners or anything to lower blood pressure. (Externally) As a facial oil, simply apply the oil instead of moisturizer. Or if you feel really dry, apply in combination with your moisturizer. Cheers to happy skin days ahead!
Supports hormone production and balance! Promotes a healthy mind and body throughout the menstrual cycle. Helps with PMS, heavy/ absent/ irregular menstruations. And has antibacterial/ anti-fungal, proving beneficial for acne.
Vitex, also known as chaste tree or chasteberry, is a POWERHOUSE herb for womxn's health. It’s been used for thousands of years for menstrual irregularities, PMS & breast tenderness. It contains glycosides, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids (linolenic & oleic). Vitex has the ability to decrease prolactin levels, increases progesterone levels, and bind opiate receptors, which is how it improves anxiety and physical PMS symptoms (like bloating, constipation, acne, headaches, mood changes, anger, irritability and breast fullness)
This herb is one of the many that I was taking during my lowest points of hypothyroidism, as it helps normalize excessive or heavy bleeding. (Which I can personally attest to, as I was having the heaviest most painful periods of my life, as I started taking vitex my symptoms slowly faded) And as I mentioned, Vitex also increases progesterone, proving it to be helpful in regulating irregular (inconsistent, heavy or absent) periods. This is why I also believe it’s the number 1 herb to take when transitioning off birth control, as it truly helps regulate any sort of period irregularities.
WHERE/WHAT TO BUY:
You can find this herb at any herbal shop. I go to @inharmonyherbs or Peoples co-op in Ocean Beach (their supplement & herb section). If you are looking to buy something online, check out my amazon shop in my bio where I link you directly to awesome products and brands I like.
HOW TO TAKE:
If you have mild PMS symptoms or irregularities I recommend taking this as a tea throughout the month, until the day of menstruation. If you have severe PMS or irregularities, I recommend taking capsulated vitex, every day religiously for 3 months. (Starting with 1 capsule and increasing to the recommended amount) Be mindful that it may take up to 3 months to feel the effects, as these herbs work quietly to bring harmony to your hormones.
Supports a healthy female reproductive system! Treats symptoms of menopause, PMS, painful menstruation, ACNE, & ANXIETY. This herb is most popular in treating the effects of menopause.
The root of black cohosh is what’s used for its healing properties. The chemical properties of this plant acts similar to estrogen but is NOT actually estrogen. This herb is helpful for PMS, painful menses, acne, & menopause symptoms (Helps menopause as it reduces luteinizing hormone, and relieves hot flashes, anxiety, night sweats, vaginal atrophy, and depression) And relieves PMS symptoms like migraines/headaches, cramping, and bloating.
The chemical compounds bind to a type of serotonin receptor, creating positive impacts on mood by reducing anxiety, tension, & depression related to PMS. An interesting thing about black cohosh is that it can also potentially help induce or stimulate ovulation for womxn with PCOS (a condition in which one experiences hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovaries resulting in an ovulation that is inconsistent or absent) if you have PCOS def consult with your doctor/ naturopath/ or professional herbalist about how to take black cohosh.
WHERE/WHAT TO BUY:
Check online for black cohosh supplements (don’t confuse with blue cohosh as they have completely different uses) and you can also check the link in my bio to my Amazon shop if you want specifics on what exactly to buy. Be aware that this herb is not recommended if you have a liver condition or are pregnant.
HOW TO USE:
This herb is best when taken in capsule form. Take the lowest dosage to start and CHECK IN WITH YOUR BODY to see if you need to increase it. I always say to start slow, as herbs can be powerful yet quiet, if you take too much you’ll know by an upset stomach or headache.
Nourishes the blood and balances energy! This is a Chinese herb commonly used to treat PMS, anemia, menstrual cramps, low energy, pelvic pain, absent/delayed/weak periods. Dong Quai promotes overall hormonal balance and is another personal favorite of mine, as it really did help bring my body back to equilibrium when I was experiencing hypothyroidism. In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Dong Quai is one of the MOST IMPORTANT herbs for strengthening “Xue”, or, blood.
This herb treats a wide range of gynecological conditions such as PMS, irregular/missing/heavy/light menses, low vitality, fatigue, anemia, pelvic pain, menopause symptoms, endometriosis, & painful menstruation. It’s a mildly warming herb and is ideal for individuals that are more YIN in nature. (Feminine, slow, soft, earthy, passive, cold, etc) This herb nourishes the heart, spleen, and liver thereby supporting the blood and building Qi in the body.
Dong Quai helps to improve circulation in the entire body, and to the skin, and because of its detoxifying effects on the blood, it helps to CLEAR ACNE! So it’s also ideal for skin that is sallow/dry or just lacking an overall healthy glow.
Because of its high iron content, it’s really helpful for bringing back a period, healing anemia, and building iron in the body. Dong Quai also contains high amounts of vitamin b12 which is why it’s so helpful for general fatigue or low vitality and conditions like endometriosis, hypothyroidism, anemia. And since it improves blood circulation it helps with painful cramps, muscle tension, and chronic muscular pain, helping to loosen up and smoothen the muscles in the female reproductive system.
WHERE/WHAT TO BUY/ HOW TO USE:
Because this herb is difficult to prescribe, I recommend taking it as a tea! I get my Dong Quai from @inharmonyherbs, and if you’re not local, check my amazon shop in my bio for direct links on herbs to buy! here’s an amazing tea recipe for building blood/ iron (applicable if you have weak/missing or low-quality periods, or if blood is too dark or too light): Rose petals, Cinnamon, Dong Quai Nettles, Garlic Honey, Horny goat weed.
PS: Be aware that Dong Quai should NOT be consumed if you’re taking blood thinners and/or are pregnant.
When I was dealing with my hypothyroidism, I didn’t actually begin to heal until I took matters into my own hands and began studying herbalism in depth. Learning how to remedy my 14-day long period I was having every single month took almost a year. Honestly, I’m not really sure what actually cured my hypothyroidism, because I was taking so many different herbs. But what I truly learned through this healing journey was that as I was constantly looking to healers to heal me, all along I had possessed the power within me to heal myself. I share this little story as I hope to inspire the healer within you!