The Tides of the Moon - Herbs for Heavy Menstruation
A full moon sat round in our sky just a few evenings ago. As the moon waxes and wanes, our human bodies ebb and flow, mirroring its cycle. Those who menstruate can find themselves especially sensitive to the cycles of the moon. Or not at all. There is not a single, definitive menstrual experience - though it would seem that our mainstream media attempts to define one all the time ("Oh no! Not your period! How will you ever have a social life?! It will embarrass you!"). Many times advertisements for menstrual products propose a "solution" to menstruation which usually involves being able to pay less attention to it. I feel that just as when we pay better attention to our breath we are able to breathe better and when we are more mindful of our menstrual cycles we are able to bleed better.
Choosing how we treat ourselves during our menstrual cycles can be as simple as a shift of perspective. Instead of a burden or "invasion" of our social calendars as so many advertisements would have us perceive menstruation, we can acknowledge the cycle that our body is going through, giving ourselves space and time when we need it. Asking for space and time can be perceived in itself to be burdensome, but it is an important part of our health and wellness.
For those of us who have especially heavy periods, known as menorrhagia, menstruation can feel like a great weight on our bodies, our mental outlook, and relationships. Fortunately, we have many green allies who can work with our bodies to reduce bleeding, cramping, and the emotional exhaustion that can come for some menstruating folk. Moon River is a restorative blend that provides the body with nutrients both physical and emotional, renewing energy, regulating the menstrual cycle, and relieving symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and mood swings.
The following herbs are helpful for those with heavy cycles and can be found in Moon River.
RASPBERRY LEAF Rubus idaeus: Toning and strengthening for the uterus, Raspberry leaf is also helpful with its astringent qualities in treating menorrhagia as well as diarrhea that can occur during menstruation. Raspberry leaf also reduces inflammation and is antispasmodic.
NETTLES Urtica dioica: Very nutrient rich, especially in iron, Nettles nourish the body. Nettles are also useful for treating menorrhagia because it reduces excess bleeding and replacs nutrients loss, especially iron. Nettles are drying and stimulating, which is important when treating the wet and exhausting symptoms of excessive bleeding and energy loss. Nettles also support the liver, spleen, and gallbladder, allowing them to support the body during menstruation, such as the liver's role in breaking down excess estrogen.
OATS Avena sativa: Rich in calcium, iron, manganese, and zinc, Oats are very nourishing when the body feels depleted and exhausted. Oats can also relieve tension headaches and melancholic states that might occur before and during menstruation.
SACRED BASIL Ocimum sanctumto: An excellent adaptogenic herb, Sacred Basil lifts the mood, balances the energetic body, and relieves cramps.
While drinking herbal teas are very useful and beneficial, when our menstrual cycles our burdensome, there is usually some underlying cause that needs to be addressed to restore balance. Making sure to take time to be quiet and reflective during menstruation can often provide the insight needed to make changes to how we menstruate. Menstruation is an opportunity for change and can be a very powerful time to re-focus and re-vision, but first we must take the time to do so.