Many herbs can be used to stimulate and cleanse your uterus, improve its tone and ease menstrual or menopausal symptoms. However, some herbs that boost uterine health should not be taken when you are pregnant due to risk of stimulating contractions. While many herbs have a long tradition of safe use, you still need to consult a doctor before utilizing any uterus-supporting herbs, especially if you are trying to get pregnant, have a medical condition or take medications.
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Ginger reduces inflammation while increasing oxygen and blood flow to your uterus, say Asa Hershoff and Andrea Rotelli in “Herbal Remedies.” Ginger is actually a good whole-body detoxifier because it supports liver function, boosts circulation and promotes healthy sweating, says Ann Louise Gittleman, author of “The Fat Flush Foods.” It is safe to take during pregnancy and is in fact a proven remedy for nausea in pregnant women according to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.
Marigold is a good cleansing herb that can be used to support uterine health according to “Essential Herbal Wisdom,” by Nancy Arrowsmith. The fact that it has cleansing qualities but does not irritate mucous membranes makes it especially useful for a hardened uterus. Drinking marigold tea, or combining marigold and chamomile in tea, can help regulate menstrual bleeding and ease cramps. It should be used for a week prior to menstruation for this purpose, Arrowsmith advises. Avoid marigold if you are pregnant.
Motherwort, which may help your uterus contract after giving birth, is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat menopausal and menstrual symptoms, say Maureen Miller Pelletier and Deborah S. Romaine in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Menopause.” The uterotonic, or uterus stimulating, component in motherwort is called leonurine, which is present in the herb’s leaves according to Y.C. Kong, lead author of a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
Other studies by H. Nagasawa et al. published in Anticancer Research indicate that motherwort may have an effect against mammary cancer as well. The studies were done on mice, however, so more research is needed to determine if motherwort is effective for humans suffering this cancer according to “The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing,” by Gary Null. Avoid motherwort if you’re pregnant because of its ability to cause uterine contractions.
Red raspberry has long been used as a uterine tonic to regulate and tone uterine muscles according to “The Complete Herbal Guide,” by Stacey Chillemi and Michael Chillemi. It can help return your uterus to its normal tone and reduce swelling and bleeding after giving birth. Its ferulic acid content may ease menstrual flow by stimulating the muscles that support the uterus while also reducing excessive menstrual bleeding.
In the past, raspberry was used during pregnancy, but this is no longer recommended due to the possibility of stimulating contractions, says Chillemis. Raspberry is rich in nutrients that support the reproductive system as well as other body systems. These include flavonoids, tannins, beta-carotenes, alpha-carotenes, alkaloids, calcium, leutin, iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc, B vitamins and vitamins E and C, says Chillemis.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- "The Fat Flush Foods," Ann Louise Gittleman; 2004
- PubMed: “American Journal of Chinese Medicine;” Isolation of the Uterotonic Principle from Leonurus Artemisia, the Chinese Motherwort;” Y.C. Kong; 1976
- “Herbal Remedies;” Asa Hershoff and Andrea Rotelli; 2001
- PubMed: “Anticancer Research;” Effects of motherwort (Leonurus sibiricus L) on preneoplastic and neoplastic mammary gland growth in multiparous GR/A mice; H. Nagasawa; 1990
- PubMed: “Anticancer Research;” Further study on the effects of motherwort (Leonurus sibiricus L) on preneoplastic and neoplastic mammary gland growth in multiparous GR/A mice; H. Nagasawa; 1992
- National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine: Ginger
- "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Menopause;" M. M. Pelletier and D. S. Romaine; 2000
- "Essential Herbal Wisdom;" Nancy Arrowsmith; 2009
- "The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Healing;" Gary Null; 2000
- "The Complete Herbal Guide," by Stacey Chillemi and Michael Chillemi; 2007