8th March International Women’s Day
Today, International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.
Women have been the keepers of healing ways and secrets of plant medicines. It is a part of their lineage and a “birthright”. I encourage everyone, especially ladies to learn as much as you can about how to care for yourself and your loved ones using gentle and effective means of treatment with herbs. In women’s health, there are a number of herbs that are essential: raspberry leaf, lady’s mantle, sage, yarrow and most importantly, nettle.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) has traditionally been combined with raspberry leaf in a tea. Nettle leaf is a great source of iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K and other nutrients. Nettle was particularly prized by women who wanted to restore and replenish themselves after giving birth. These traditional applications are still resonant among women today.
Numerous studies have found vitamin B6 to be effective for treating symptoms associated with PMS, and B6 has also been shown to help relieve morning sickness during pregnancy. Menstruating women need a constant supply of iron to counter the monthly loss from menstruation, and pregnant women need even more. Iron demands go up in pregnancy—a pregnant woman needs 27 mg per day versus 18 mg for a menstruating, non-pregnant female.
Not the leaf is the only part of nettle that is elementary for women’s health, but nettle seed and root also play an important role. Nettle seeds contain a vital lecithin component called choline, that is important for the developing baby’s brain health, particularly the parts of the brain that affect learning ability.
For women, the health benefits of nettle root and its actions on the body are similar to those of men: optimizing and regulating the endocrine (hormone) system. The active compound ß-sitosterol in the root is assisting the body in finding an optimized, healthy harmony.