In her book Herbalist, Puerto Rican prenatal care educator Tania Rosario-Méndez, lists “ten women-friendly herbs”, three of which are described below and that you might already have in your garden. If you don’t, they are easily accessible. With the author’s permission, we share some of the extracts from one of her chapters which describes why you should consider planting the following herbs.
An Indian proverb says that ginger contains great nutrients. Known and venerated since the year 3,000 B.C. ginger appears in Emperor Shen Nung’s “Classic Book of Herbs.” Besides being a delicious and aromatic spice, ginger is one of the botanical remedies more commonly used worldwide due to its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and analgesics. It stimulates the secretion of saliva and digestive activity, calms the stomach, reduces nausea and vomiting and minimizes pain produced by gas and diarrhea. It’s also used as a home remedy for menstrual cramping and painful ovulation, sore throat and other cold related symptoms. Additionally, it can be used to reduce your cholesterol level and the accumulation of plaques in the arteries.
Part used: root
In past centuries, doctors in Egypt would cure arrow wounds with aloe vera. This magical plant, native to Africa has become one of the most highly regarded herbs by the scientific community and has been utilized to cure skin problems, as beauty treatment and as a first aid home remedy. Its gel contains enzymes that maintain the burned tissues clean and its titanic acid facilitates the union of the wounds. It’s demulcent (protects the area), contains analgesic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory elements that treat the pain and irritation of the skin, and reduces the formation of scars. It also has good reputation for its expectorant, due to eliminating colds and respiratory related illnesses.
Part used: crystals or gel from leaves
The Greeks imported Lavender from Syria for its fragrance, since then, its aroma has perfumed bedrooms, living rooms, and bathrooms. Its botanical name, Lavender, comes from the Latin word lavare, which means to clean. Since the middle ages this plant has been used as a common remedy to cure various illnesses. Scientific evidence assures us that the more than 100 elements in volatile oil of its flowers have a calming effect in the central nervous system. Botanists consider this plant to be a powerful remedy for headaches, cramping, and muscular spasms, minor digestive problems and depression. Its antiseptic effect is skin friendly and protects against infections. It’s the only essential oil that can be applied to the skin without needing to be diluted.
Part used: flowers and leaves
Source: Herbalist: Botanical Alternatives for a Natural Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum” by Tania Rosario-Méndez. Info: www.mujercambiante.com