Lady's Mantle Alchemilla vulgaris
Cloak of herbal protection for women
Lady’s mantle is rich in folklore
Lady's mantle, from the Rosaceae family, is a perennial herb found in Europe, North America and Asia and has been used medicinally since the Middle Ages. The word Alchemilla is a derivative of the Arab word Alkemelych, which means alchemy and was named because people believed the herb could produce miraculous cures. The early alchemists (part chemist, part magicians) believed that the dewdrops gathered on the leaves of lady's mantle were precious with magical powers.
Reminiscent of the virgin’s cloak in medieval paintings, the leaves with scalloped edges are reputed to have given the lady’s mantle its name. It was believed by early herbalists to be capable of restoring lost virginity in women; so strong was its contractile powers; it was endowed youthful firmness to the breasts of older women. Highly astringent and rich in tannins, it was one of the most popular wound herbs on the battlefields of the 15th and 16th Centuries.
A woman’s herbal ally
Lady’s mantle is known as a very effective treatment for the female reproductive system and is recommended in all cases of menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), endometriosis, cervicitis and fibroids. It eases menstrual cramps and reduces heavy bleeding (menorrhagia). It balances the hormonal actions in the body and is thus regulating to the whole cycle of menstruation. The flavonoids invigorate the uterus and help with tension pains. It is deemed useful in treating sterility in women and helps ease the process of giving birth. Furthermore, it can ease infections of the pelvic organs. The herbal extract is often used as a douche or sitz bath to wash off excess vaginal discharge and resolve the problem of leucorrhoea, minimising irritation and infection in the vaginal cavity. It has sometimes been mixed with rose water for this purpose. It also treats problems caused by menopausal disorders. The herb is rich in salicylic acid that rapidly reduces inflammation affecting the reproductive system as well as the digestive system.
Lady's mantle tea should be consumed three times a day for treating menstrual disorders and for diabetics. In cases of amenorrhea, the tea should be more concentrated and the time left to infuse longer (about 20 minutes). This same tea may be used externally for gargling and as a vaginal douche. Add red clover to lady’s mantle for general breast health, as it nourishes the blood and encourages healthy blood flow.
Important points to remember: Don't use lady's mantle if you're breast-feeding or pregnant.
Staunches the flow and loves skin
Lady's mantle is so rich in tannins and flavonoids that it is commonly recommended for treating diarrhoea and stomach ailments such as gastroenteritis due to its astringent qualities. The tannins prevent growth of certain bacteria and makes is a time-tested remedy for loose skin.
Lady's mantle is used to soothe irritations and infections of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and an infusion works well as a gargle and mouthwash for bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. For external use, lady's mantle aids in healing wounds and cuts as it staunches blood flow (styptic) and allows the first stage of healing to begin without hindrance. Lady’s mantle tea may be used as a bath additive or the herb in a poultice to treat skin irritations, burns and boils. It can be used effectively in herbal cleansing creams and other cosmetics for its skin beautifying properties to prevent premature wrinkling.
Lady's mantle was also used traditionally for treating blood sugar diseases, as an astringent that affects the production rate of enzymes in the pancreas; thus it could be helpful for diabetics. This herb is rich in iron and thus helpful for anaemia. Traditional medicine teaches us that lady's mantle can be used effectively in cases of obesity as well as for rheumatism. It is also used in treating spasms and muscle pains, muscle weakness or general weakness, as well as growing problems during childhood. Try a soothing tea to of lady’s mantle to ease headaches and migraine.
Properties: Astringent, antimicrobial, vulnerary (heals wounds), styptic (stops bleeding), anti-inflammatory and heart strengthening.
Uses: Female health maintenance, menstrual health maintenance: painful period, menstrual bleeding, cramps, and irregularity, PMS. Skin disorders. Heart health maintenance: vascular disorders, aids blood clotting. Diabetes; sugar control. Wounds, headaches and dizziness. Digestive disorders: diarrhoea, stomach irritation, stomachache, nausea, relief from vomiting.