Women many times are confused as to what herbs they should take for maintaining good health. It is important that we attempt to educate ourselves with healthy therapies so that we can know how to go through our various growths and changes with greater ease. I have dedicated this article to two herbs that I use on a regular basis and which have become my good friend. We grow them in our gardens and I have seen them going through the seasons year after year.
The herb chaste berry, also know as vitex, has a colorful history associated with it. During the time of the Holy Roman Empire, the monks in hundreds of monasteries throughout Europe took chaste berries to help them come to terms with their sexual drives. A common name for this herb was Monk's pepper or cloister pepper as it was apparently a standard spice used on foods by the celibate clergy. It is also said that the celebrate priestesses of the goddess Demeter used chaste berries as well and were said to have followed a 1 1 chaste', lifestyle. Thus, the berries were seen as symbols of virginity. In ancient Greece the leaves were worn during rituals to invoke the Goddess Ceres.
However, we do not have to dress ourselves with leaves or be virgins to enjoy the health benefits of chaste berries.
Chaste berry is used to regulate the menstrual cycle in women. It helps to relieve the symptoms of PMS and eases women through the transition of menopause. This special herb has the unique property of stimulating the pituitary and normalizing the estrogen and progesterone cycle. For those who are ceasing to use the birth control pill, chaste berry will help the body regain its natural hormonal balance.
For teenage women and men, chaste berry is used to regulate'their hormones and thus help with clearing up skin eruptions. It may be taken with ginseng for the boys and dong quai for the girls.
I use chaste berry regularly and it seems to give me an ease as I go through each months cycle. I have spoken with other women who use it and they have experienced the same results.
Remember, if you are having a difficulty with your cycle, then you have to look at your diet, stress, and lifestyle and make changes were they seem necessary. When you go on an herbal program to handle the monthly cycle it may take 3 or 4 months to see a result so keep at it, eat the proper foods, keep away from the junk and create greater peace within. You can take chaste berries as a tincture or in capsules. Two capsules or one dropper full of the tincture one to three times as day.
Cautions: Chaste berries should not be used by women who are on the pill as it will counter-act the pills suppression of hormone production. Pregnant women should not use it either as it is a uterine stimulant.
The other herb that I would like to discuss is Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca). This herb is not a well known plant to the current general public. Yet it has been used for centuries and I feel that it should get the recognition it deserves as a plant for healing. As can be seen the term Motherwort" shows its relevance to menstrual and uterine conditions while its Latin name cardiacal indicates its use in heart and circulation treatment. Its taste is bitter and slightly spicy.